All the Food that’s Fit to Print at the Festival of Books

Want to learn a few new moves in the kitchen? Here’s where to find the cooking demos at the literary confab

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, taking place this weekend at USC, is every bookworm’s dream—and then some. Started in 1996 as a way to unite lovers of literature, the festival (it’s still free!) has evolved into an extravaganza with live bands, poetry readings, on-site art creations, intimate conversations with authors and filmmakers, and bonus: live chef demos.

It makes sense. How could you spend an entire day relishing literature without getting hungry? Enter the chefs. With some of L.A.’s biggest names—Suzanne Goin, Roy Choi, and Ben Ford, among others—turning out for the two-day shindig, you can get an earful of prose and go home with culinary inspiration.

Here’s where to find them:


Alan Jackson and JoAnn Cianciulli — 11 a.m.
The authors of The Lemonade Cookbook will showcase recipes devoted to cuisine inspired by the Southern California lifestyle.

Roy Choi — 12:30 p.m.
The chef and restaurateur behind Koreatown’s new POT Bar at the Line hotel and author of L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food, will sit with renowned restaurant critic Jonathan Gold for an intimate interview.

Suzanne Goin — 2 p.m.
Famed as a pioneer of California cuisine, the chef and author of The A.O.C. Cookbook will host a demo showcasing her love of all things seasonal and fresh.

Hugh Acheson — 3:30 p.m.
The Georgia-based chef known for his Southern fare will demonstrate how to preserve seasonal produce with recipes from his cookbook Pick a Pickle. 


Jackie Collins —11 a.m.
The witty author of the Lucky Santangelo series will be cooking up zesty dishes inspired by the funky lead character of her books.

Scott Conant — 12:30 p.m.
The celebrated chef will present a demo based on traditional recipes from his restaurant Scarpetta, and his book, The Scarpetta Cookbook.

Ben Ford — 2 p.m.
The chef of Ford’s Filling Station will step behind the grill and explain how to make dishes from his cookbook, Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking, a good primer for backyard parties and soirees.

Carla Hall — 3:30 p.m.
The author of Carla’s Comfort Foods (a cozy guide for creating comfort dishes using flavors from around the world) will show viewers how to fuse international flavors at home.

Bonus: Food Network chef Giada de Laurentiis of Everyday Italian will make a guest appearance on Saturday at 1:35 p.m. to read to mini-chefs from her line of children’s cookbooks Recipe For Adventure.