Barbara Sweeney is a Sydney-based food writer. For 10 years she edited the seminal restaurant guide Cheap Eats in Sydney and later contributed to The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide; spending four years as NSW regional editor. Her food feature stories have appeared in a variety of publications, including Country Style, Good Food, Qantas, Vogue Living, House & Garden, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sunday Telegraph.
Wanting to capture the feeling of discovery that comes from time spent in bookshops and the pleasures of reading prompted Barbara to start Food & Words, a food writers’ festival in 2012. It’s an event that brings a diverse range to speakers together to talk food and a place where fiction writers, scientists, lexicographers, historians and agriculturalists join chefs, cooks, cookery book authors and food writers on stage in a joyful celebration of connoisseurship.
Barbara also runs Talking Cookbook, an Agony Aunt service for cooks and would-be cooks that operates regularly at Carriageworks, Sydney’s leading farmers’ market.
Barbara grew up in Sydney and studied Communication at University of Technology Sydney. She has lived in Sydney, rural NSW, London and Italy, working in both magazine publishing, with experience as production editor, editor and subeditor, and hospitality. She is a keen cook who devours more cookbooks that she can possibly digest, is a judge with the National Honey Show and works with a Sydney asylum-seeker community kitchen project. She has served on the food team of TEDxSydney, owned a small country café and presented food segments on TV and radio. She likes to talk about food – a lot.
Kind words about Food & Words.
“Food & Words was a breath of fresh air. It was original, thought provoking and fun. I will definitely be attending again next year.”
Julie Gibbs, Publishing Director, Illustrated Books Penguin Group (Australia)
“It was a pleasure and an honour to be a part of the inaugural Food & Words festival. The line-up was inspiring and stimulating, but the highlight was the grace, humour and style by which the whole event was created.”
Alex Herbert, chef and owner Bird Cow Fish
“Food & Words is a truly special day and I was thrilled to take part in it. Everything just went so well: it was a great mix of speakers, and perfect venue and so incredibly well organised. I especially loved the whimsical touches, like the reading of The Walrus and the Carpenter that made it truly memorable.
Belinda Jeffery, cookbook author