Guild of Food Writers

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Guild of Food Writers
Founded 1984
Key people Jane Suthering, President
Office location London, England
Country Great Britain

The Guild of Food Writers is the professional association of food writers and broadcasters in the United Kingdom. It has over 390 authors, broadcasters, columnists and journalists amongst its members.


The objectives of the Guild, as set out in its Constitution, are as follows:

To bring together professional food writers.

To issue a Directory of Members.

To extend the range of members' knowledge and experience and keep them informed.

To encourage the development of new writers by every means, including competitions and awards.

To contribute to the growth of public interest in, and knowledge of the subject of food.

To campaign for improvements in the quality of food.

International affiliations[edit]

The Guild is twinned with the ASA (Associazione Stampa Agroalimentare Italiana).

Guild Food Policy[edit]

The Guild aims to contribute to the growth of public interest in, and knowledge of, food and to campaign for improvements in the quality of food produced and consumed in the UK.

Current Guild Food Policy extends to such issues as:

  • Pressing for the introduction of practical food skills into the national curriculum and of healthy meals into schools
  • Calling for a halt to the commercial sale and development of GM products until they are proved to be safe both for our health and the environment
  • Campaigning for more government assistance for organic farming and supporting those working in organic food production
  • Working for food labelling that protects the consumer's right to choose
  • Campaigning for a reduction in food miles
  • Working towards the elimination of food poverty


On 12 April 1984, a group of the great and good in the British food world gathered for lunch at London’s Intercontinental Hotel to enjoy a lunch devised by the hotel’s chef Peter Kromberg.[1]

Among others, Arabella Boxer, Elizabeth David, Christopher Driver, Jane Grigson, Claudia Roden, Michael Smith[citation needed] and Katie Stewart were in attendance to discuss the formation of an ‘association of food writers’. A debate arose about whether or not it would be an elite academy in the French style or something closer to the existing Circle of Wine Writers. The latter won the day.[1]

On 17 January 1985, the first meeting of the Guild of Food Writers took place in Claridges, under the chairmanship of Derek Cooper. Over the years, the Guild has grown to a membership of around 400 professional writers, editors, journalists and broadcasters in the field of food.[1]

The Guild has become a significant force in its field, being among the first organizations to lobby government about the potential risks of genetically modified food; to emphasise the importance of local produce and food producers; to encourage seasonal eating; to attempt to raise the standard of food in our national institutions, from schools and hospitals to prisons and even motorway cafés; and to encourage children to cook.[citation needed]

The Guild’s annual awards for food books, journalism and broadcasting are now regarded as the premier awards in the field, and its annual Cook It and Write It competitions aim to identify and foster cooks and food writers of the future.[2]


Membership is open to those who, for payment, under their own or a pen name, write or broadcast on food for consumer, trade, professional or academic publications or organisations, and whose work is regularly published or transmitted in the UK.

Prospective members should be able to show one of the following: at least one substantial food or cookery book already published by (but not limited to) an established publisher; the equivalent in food or cookery work e.g. editorship/cookery series/food column etc.; have been in regular employment over a six-month period writing or broadcasting about food for a recognised professional publication or organisation. Applications are discouraged from those whose work is entirely or predominantly on behalf of a client or clients who pay the applicant a fee for promoting a specific product or service.


  1. ^ a b c Wilson, Bee (23 April 2010). "The Kitchen Thinker: Guild of Food Writers". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Mayo, Nick (11 May 2013). "Shortlists announced for The Guild of Food Writers annual awards". Maidenhead Advertiser. Retrieved 10 March 2014. [dead link]

External links[edit]