A Hedgewitch, a Yeti Viking, and Noodle Soup…Is This a Book Festival?

Bailey Cates introduces you to Katie Lightfoot, a hedgewitch who is a baker and owner of the Honeybee Bakery. Jereme Zimmerman, a traditional brewing revivalist and self-described “Yeti Viking,” returns to ancient brewing practices and ingredients. And Ken Albala shares his obsession with noodle soups from around the world.

Yes, this is the 2019 Fort Collins Book Fest!

Under the theme, “Food for Thought,” this year’s festival showcases 40+ authors, poets, chefs, and food experts as it takes on important social and cultural topics around food. It’s a literary feast for the foodie in all of us!

The free, two-day event takes place on Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19 at venues throughout downtown Fort Collins. As with previous years, no festival tickets are necessary to attend, but the writing workshops do require registration as space is limited.

Expect the unexpected this year: cooking demos at Ginger and Baker, a storyteller’s portrayal of Julia Child, unique topics like the history of Colorado’s apple industry, and even tea and food tastings with Happy Lucky’s Teahouse.

The full author lineup, event schedule, and description of sessions is available on the FoCo Book Fest website.

Here’s just a taste of what you’ll find at the festival.

Keynote Presenters

In Saturday’s opening keynote presentation, acclaimed author Rick Bass shares anecdotes from his book, “A Traveling Feast: On the Road and at the Table with My Heroes.” Rick is an iconic American writer with more than 20 books to his credit. He will also participate in the reading session “Literary Tapas” and the panel discussion “Everyone Eats: Exploring Our World Through Food.”

The festival’s closing presentation, “The (R)evolution of Indigenous Food Systems of North America,” features chef Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, James Beard Leadership Award winner, and author of “The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen.” He is internationally renowned in the culinary movement of indigenous foods and is redefining North American cuisine through the understanding and use of indigenous food knowledge.

Earlier in the day, Chef Sean sits down with Esquire food and drink editor Jeff Gordinier for a conversation about food systems and culture. Jeff also shares his latest work, “Hungry: Eating, Road Tripping, and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World.”

Politics and Ethics of Food

“Food for Thought” continues the festival’s tradition of bold discussions of important social issues.

Featured author Stephanie Anderson advocates for moving beyond sustainable practices and embracing regenerative agriculture with her book “One Size Fits None: A Farm Girl’s Search for the Promise of Regenerative Agriculture.”

Colorado State University researchers also join the conversation about food systems and the future of food production. Michael Carolan shares his insights into “The Food Sharing Revolution: How Start Ups, Pop Ups, and Co-ops Are Changing the Way We Eat.” Mark Easter discusses the environment with “The Blue Plate: A Food Lover’s Guide to Climate Change.” And Joshua Sbicca examines food inequality with “Food Justice Now! Deepening the Roots of Social Struggle.”

Cooking Demos and Cookbooks

A food-focused book fest wouldn’t be complete without great culinary experiences!

Ginger and Baker’s Teaching Kitchen will host four cooking demos open to all ages. These free sessions include “Sabores de Nuestra Tierra” with chef Ana Mario Benavides, a baking demo with Ginger and Baker staff, “Fast & Easy Vegan Cooking” with chef JL Fields, and “Noodle Soup: Recipes, Techniques, and Obsession” with Ken Albala.

Award-winning author and food writer Toni Tipton-Martin shares her book, “The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks” along with her journey discovering the true role of black women in the creation of American cuisine.

A Literary Menu

Author readings are always a popular part of the FoCo Book Fest, and this year will be no different.

Friday evening’s “Literary Amuse-Bouche” helps kick off the festival and features readings by Octavio Quintanilla, Poet Laureate of San Antonio, Texas; poet Adam Dickinson; and Colorado writer Ramona Ausubel.

Saturday’s readings will have you enjoying selections from Molly Reid, Keetje Kuipers, Iris Jamahl Dunkle, and Bill Tremblay. There is also an opportunity to hear from 20 local writers at the FoCo Writers Read event.

New York Times bestselling author Bailey Cates shares the latest in her Magical Bakery Mystery series, “Cookies and Clairvoyance,” and award-winning young-adult author Laura Resau talks about “Tree of Dreams.”

Craft Beer and Brewing

Finally, what would a Fort Collins Book Fest be without craft beer?

In addition to Zimmerman’s talk about his book, “Brew Beer Like a Yeti,” you can a meet Christina Marie and hear about her adventures “Cooking with Beer in Colorado.” Plus, there’s a panel discussion about current brewing trends and craft culture that includes Equinox Brewing’s Colin Westcott and Horse & Dragon Brewing’s Tatum Cochran.

Sprinkle in additional discussions, performances, and presentations and you have a weekend filled with authors, activities, and “Food for Thought.”

What Fort Collins Book Fest: Food for Thought
When All day, Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19
Where 10 venues in Downtown Fort Collins
Cost Free
More info www.FoCoBookFest.org