Saint Mary's Presents The Language of Food: A Conversation with Food Writer Samin Nosrat, Chef Cindy Pawlcyn and Novelist Alev Croutier

What: The Eleventh Annual Scholarship Benefit for the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Saint Mary’s College of California presents "The Language of Food: A Conversation with Samin Nosrat & Cindy Pawlcyn, moderated by Alev Croutier" on March 16, 2013, at the Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco.

Author and novelist Croutier will facilitate an entertaining discussion between noted chef Pawlcyn and culinary philosopher and writer Nosrat about the celebration, representation and expression of food through the written word and in various forms of media today.

“The Language of Food” is a benefit to support scholarships for students in Saint Mary’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program and will be emceed by former national poet laureate, and Saint Mary’s alumnus, Robert Hass '63.  Attendees will enjoy an evening of wine and hors d'oeuvres and have the opportunity to win a variety of prizes including a weeklong vacation in Tuscany, Italy, at Villa La Quercia, plus airline miles; a weeklong stay at Dolce Far Niente in Jenner, Calif., at the mouth of the Russian River; a long weekend at a Puget Sound waterfront cottage on Vashon Island, Wash.; a gift basket from Lagunitas Brewing Company; and Cal Shakes tickets.

Cindy Pawlcyn has pioneered fresh, local, seasonal, sustainable wine-country cuisine since opening Napa Valley's legendary Mustards Grill in 1983. She is the founder and owner of three of Napa Valley's most beloved restaurants— Mustards Grill, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, and Brassica Wine Bar & Wood Grill— and is culinary partner at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Pawlcyn has earned rave reviews from the most exacting critics, a devoted following, and countless national awards, such as a Robert Mondavi Award for Culinary Excellence. She is the author of the James Beard Award-winning “Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook,” “Fog City Diner Cookbook,” and “Big Small Plates and Appetizers.” Her fifth book, “Cindy's Supper Club,” was released in May 2012.

Samin Nosrat began her cooking career in her family kitchen, learning the art of Persian cooking and the importance of gathering around the table. While studying journalism with Michael Pollan at UC Berkeley and working in the kitchen at Chez Panisse, Nosrat developed a passion for telling stories about food, articulating the importance of how and what we eat. She coordinates fundraising and awareness-raising activities nationwide using food as the vehicle for engagement and activism. She is at work on her first book and has published food articles in Martha Stewart Living, Yoga Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle and Edible San Francisco. She lives in Berkeley, California.

Alev Lytle Croutier is the author of the nonfiction international bestseller, “Harem: The World Behind the Veil,” “Taking the Waters,” and the novels “The Palace of Tears and Seven Houses.”  Her articles have appeared in Harper's, Gourmet, Savour, the Edible Series, SF Magazine, Focus, the London Telegraph and Zyzzyva, as well as in many anthologies. She was one of the two women invited to contribute to "A Window Over the Mediterranean" at the G8 Summit in Genoa in 2001. Croutier was the commentator of the Canadian Film Board series “The Powder Room,” BBC's “Mozart in Turkey,” “The Reign of Women” and “Harem.” Her novel “Palace of Tears” is in development for an internationally cast motion picture.

When: Saturday, March 16, 2013, 5 - 8 p.m.

Where: Dolby Chadwick Gallery, 210 Post Street, Suite 205, San Francisco, CA 94108

Cost: Tickets $100 per person, $50 for Saint Mary's alumni. Space is limited; RSVP by Feb. 24, 2013

Background: "The Language of Food: A Conversation with Samin Nosrat & Cindy Pawlcyn, moderated by Alev Croutier" is presented by the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Saint Mary’s, one of the most successful writing programs in the Bay Area. Founded in 1995, the MFA Program in Creative Writing is a two-year course of study that leads to a degree in creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. For more information about the MFA Program in Creative Writing, or the Language of Food benefit event, contact Sara Mumolo at or (925) 631-8556.


Michael McAlpin
Director of Media Relations
(925) 631-4222 office
(925) 878-9535 cell

About SMC
The Saint Mary’s College of California experience inspires learning that lasts a lifetime. For nearly 150 years, the College has provided students with a rigorous education that engages their intellect and spirit, and awakens a desire to transform society. Guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Church’s oldest order dedicated exclusively to teaching, the College enrolls more than 3,800 students in undergraduate and graduate liberal arts and business programs. For more information visit Saint Mary’s College at and just 23 miles east of San Francisco.