Eating Like a Chef, Reading Like a Writer


One of our daughters runs a literary supper club.  She crafts a dining experience out of a literary text.  She has created dinners based on Moby Dick, Alice in Wonderland, and even American Psycho.  She develops a menu and designs a “tablescape” to evoke the ideas, themes, and settings of the novels.  The result is a unique literary and culinary experience.

Because of her work, Mackensie eats differently.  When she eats, she isn’t just enjoying a meal or collecting her daily calories.  She is also trying to figure out how the chef created the meal.  What spices were used?  What cut of meat? How did the chef put the meal together?  How was it designed on the plate?  She eats trying to figure out the techniques the chef used and the goals the chef was trying to achieve.

Isn’t this what we want our student writers to do?  Don’t we want them to read differently?  To not only read for plot, but also to be able to read thinking about the craft moves a writer has used and what that writer might have been trying to achieve?  Don’t we want our writers to then try out those moves in their own writing in order to have a particular impact on their readers?


5 thoughts on “Eating Like a Chef, Reading Like a Writer

  1. Great comparison. That is exactly what we should be aiming for. I told our first grade team after finishing the authors as mentors unit, “you’ll never read another book with them without noticing the author’s craft.” This would be a great analogous to share with kids!

  2. Yes, YES, and Y.E.S. Perfect description of what we want and need. Writers who are Reading like a writer! This is our goal. I love the chef and mentor meal connections through your daughter. I’m going to think on that some more! 🙂

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