Los Angeles Times food section staff writer Amy Scattergood discussed her experiences and stories regarding food journalism during fifth and sixth period in Ahmanson Lecture Hall on May 3. The presentation was open to all students.
Chronicle Assistant Features Editor Anusha Mathur ’20, who received the Morris Michael Landres Award for journalism last year, funded Scattergood’s visit with her grant.
Scattergood said she combined her love for writing with her experience in culinary school to create her niche as a food writer.
“I did not go to journalism school, but that didn’t seem to matter because I could write,” Scattergood said. “I guess the one unifying principle behind all of this is, if you are interested in journalism, please take journalism classes, but the basic point is learning how to write and continuing to be creative and interesting and thoughtful in that writing process to extend that curiosity to people and things that you write about because that’s what journalism is all about.”
Scattergood holds degrees from Yale Divinity School, the Iowa Writers Workshop and the Cordon Bleu culinary school. She has also co-written a whole grain cookbook and published a book of poetry.
She described how her background in poetry, specifically at Iowa Writers Workshop, has benefited her journalistic writing.
“I found, especially when I was editing, that [my poetry background] was phenomenally helpful because the point of good poetry and writing it is word choice and condensing images and thoughts and ideas into smaller and smaller evocative bits,” Scattergood said. “I think that in many newspaper stories, that is not done enough.”
Students said that they enjoyed learning about the culinary world of journalism.
“I went to see Amy Scattergood speak because she’s a food writer and I wanted to learn more about the restaurants in Los Angeles and information about them,” Mak Kriksciun ’21 said. “It was really interesting to hear about the journalism aspect of it.”