LongHouse Food Scholars Program

July 03, 2016 - July 17, 2016


What is the LongHouse Food Scholars Program?

The LongHouse Food Scholars Program is a residential, immersion experience that is designed to give the skills for researching, reporting, and creating food stories for print, radio, and television.

Under the tutelage of working media professionals, scholars create multimedia content—some of which may premier at LongHouse Food Revival (our yearly gathering of food media producers, editors, and  writers) or as part of the annual LongHouse online journal.

The Food Scholars Program is structured like a newsroom, intense and fast-paced, with distinct deadlines and deliverables. Working with masters of their craft, scholars shoot and edit mini-documentaries and slide-shows, conduct interviews, gather oral histories, and create online content.

This food media “boot camp” includes daily writing exercises, weekly specialty seminars in recipe testing, studio and location food photography, basic culinary skills, weekly “salon” dinners with food authors, professors and intellectuals, and professional mentoring sessions.

In addition, each scholar is responsible for creating a personal, online portfolio—drawing from this work as well as any additional work he or she may have.

Located in a tiny hamlet in upstate New York, the LongHouse Food Scholars Program will take place:

July 3rd – July 17th


July 24th – August 7th

This session will include the option for one-on-one mentoring for ongoing projects: books, dissertations, entrepreneurial initiatives, blogs, or websites that students may (or may not) have in development.

The LongHouse Food Scholars Program is highly competitive and selection is based on a passion for food and storytelling, a well-established appetite for learning, and well-stated career goals.

Our mission is to prepare participants for careers in food media, activism, food justice, academia, food writing, and food-related entrepreneurial ventures.

Who Comes to The LongHouse Food Scholars Program? 

Aspiring food writers and food media producers. This program draws on the best and brightest of the emerging generation and supplies serious, hands-on training—necessary to compete and to be employable in a market that requires significant scholarly knowledge as well as fluency in each media platform.

The LongHouse Food Scholars Program offers a unique opportunity to work with multiple mediums and allows scholars to hone their particular interests and talents. In order to allow each group to rev up to racing speed even before arrival, a four-session phone seminar is included in the program. During these sessions, scholars will have the opportunity for one-on-one mentoring with program staff, and with founder, author and journalist, Molly O’Neill.

Past scholars are currently employed by companies that include NPR, Grist.org, The Weiser Kitchen, Serious Eats, Food 52, Zagat Guide, Sweet Roots NYC, Just Food, and Northside Media in Brooklyn.

Download the full 2016 brochure

Download the full 2016 application


Applications received after April 15th will be reviewed as space permits.

*please submit your applications to scholars@cooknscribble.com

Applications do not guarantee a spot in the program.  This application helps us to customize our staffing and programming to best serve the needs of each LongHouse Food Scholar. The information also allows us to create groups of like-minded scholars in order to support the forging of long-term collegial bonds.


Our faculty works with scholars on all content creation, acting as mentors both in the field and in the editing room.

Scholars work individually as well as collaborate during team projects. In addition, weekly “Salon Evenings” with visiting lecturers are scheduled to explore specific aspects of food content creation.


Molly_OneillMOLLY O’NEILL, Executive Director and Founder

Author of the memoir, Mostly True: Family, Food and Baseball, and four cookbooks including, The New York Cookbook, and One Big Table, Molly was the food columnist with the New York Times Magazine for over a decade, the host of the PBS series, Great Food, and the editor of the Library of America’s American Food Writing. O’Neill founded One Big Table, a multimedia company dedicated to telling American food stories in 1999, established cookNscribble, the online classroom resource and community for food writers in 2010, and created LongHouse Food Revival in 2012.


Ame_GilbertAME GILBERT, Culinary Director

An artist, writer, and food scholar, Ame creates underground salon events in New York City. She has taught “Food is Art” at Parsons School of Design, is curator for the Umami Food and Art Festival, and teaches food writing at cookNscribble.com. Her writing has appeared in Gastronomica, Food, Culture & Society, and in Best Food Writing 2007. She has guest-edited the food issue for W.W.3 and maintains the blog, foodpoetics.



Note: Other faculty TBA


The guests at our weekly dinners typically include working professionals, intellectuals, and activists such as:

SARA KATE GILLINGHAM-RYAN, founder of theKitchn.com, blogger, and author of Good Food To Share and the Greystone Bakery Cookbook

ANNE MENDELSON, independent scholar, food historian and action of Stand Facing the Stove, Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages.

DUDLEY REED, a portrait photographer whose work has been featured in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Tatler, and Vogue.

TAMAR ADLER, author of An Everlasting Feast and food columnist for The New York Times Magazine.

CATHY GUNST, James Beard Award winning cookbook author and food host of NPR’s Here & Now.

HALI RAMDENE, food editor at theKichn.com

DAVE COOK, founder of EatingInTranslation.com

DARRA GOLDSTEIN, author and founding editor of  Gastronomica, and editor of California Studies In Food and Culture (University of California Press).

SARAH GRAY MILLER, editor-in-chief of Modern Farmer

BARRY ESTABROOK, James Beard award winning author and contributor to Civil Eats

VICTOR SCHRAGER, James Beard award winning photographer

Note: Faculty and staff are subject to change 

Download the full 2016 brochure

Download the full 2016 application


Note: Our schedule changes based on the evolving and unpredictable nature of the projects we are creating. The LongHouse Food Scholars Program includes a combination of in-depth instruction, individual work time, one-on-one mentoring with faculty, garden and kitchen work, group meals, chores, and free time. Scheduled “Reading Periods” are designed to allow scholars concentrated research, writing, and editing time, although every day has scheduled activities and chores. 

The program provides fully immersive, intensive participation in academic inquiry and media creation. At the end of each session, scholars’ materials will be presented to an audience of assembled guests.


AUGUST 3 — SCHOLARS ARRIVE – Introductions, room assignments, and festive group dinner

AUGUST 4 — MORNING PAGES (DAILY WRITING EXERCISES); tour of facilities including media lab; discussion of program; introduction of faculty; individual assignments; advisor meetings. Introduction to LongHouse Food Revival 2014.

AUGUST 5 — MORNING PAGES: WRITING ABOUT FOOD – Molly O’Neill; building the LongHouse blog – Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan and faculty, holiday BBQ

AUGUST 6 — MORNING PAGES; local Farm tour; introduction to photographs and videography, explore surrounding area and dinner on your own

AUGUST 7 — MORNING PAGES; writing and reading hours, bloggers’ circle

AUGUST 8 — MORNING PAGES; culinary “boot camp” and intro to food photography, first blog post due

WEEK 2 — FOCUS ON PHOTOGRAPHY with Penny De Los Santos, Dudley Reed, and more, Introduction to the Art of the Interview and Sound with John and Kathy Gunst, weekly blogs and journal pieces

WEEK 3 — VIDEO AND SOUND with Deb and Rod Smith of SmithBites, weekly blogs and journal pieces

WEEK 4 — EDITING STUDENT PROJECTS, weekly blogs and journal pieces, finalizing portfolios, mentoring, final presentations, and next steps…

Room & Board

Scholars live in a 19th century historic, brick house on Main St.—featuring a modern kitchen, a media lab, and comfortable reading and writing areas.

Food is locally-sourced from nearby farms whenever possible. Breakfast and lunch are a la cart and ingredients are provided. Mandatory rotating chores include garden work, kitchen duties, and general maintenance.

Dinner is prepared by the LongHouse culinary intern, with the help of two scholars. Generally, we eat together. We also frequently host faculty and artists. Evening discussions often keep us around the table into the twilight hours.

Thursday and Saturday suppers are on-your-own. There is a local restaurant, and students often venture to Hudson, Millerton, or Albany to sample restaurants. Students also prepare simple meals in the household kitchen, using groceries available from area markets. Sundays, we offer brunch and an early supper before our weekly blog workshops.


Located 40 minutes southwest of Albany, New York in the Helderberg Mountains, this tiny village was a center of early American life, the site of the pre-colonial era Rent Wars, and center of the 19th and early 20th century dairy industry. Nearly equidistant between New York City and Boston, the hamlet has fewer than 200 homes and is listed on the National Historic Registry as the largest extant collection of Federalist and Colonial Greek Revival structures.

The town has one restaurant, one bed and breakfast, and one of the oldest lending libraries in America. The Huyck Perserve, a 2,000 acre nature preserve features: hiking trails, a nature study center, and a lake with a designated swimming area. There is tennis, basketball, kayaking, hiking and, for those unafraid of hills, cycling. Dubbed “Brigadoon” by the New York Times, Rensselaerville is remote and quiet. The internet access is dicey. Only Verizon and cell service is available.

The quiet nature of the place has brought a growing community of artists, photographers, film makers, and writers to the town, joining the traditional community of farmers, academics, small business people, clergy, and state workers who live here. About half the homes are owned by people from New York City.

The nearest train is Amtrak in Hudson, New York. Hudson is a 2 hour train ride form Penn Station, New York. Rensselaerville is a 40 minute drive northwest of Hudson. The nearest airport is Albany.

Aside from the local rescue squad, the nearest medical treatment is in Albany. The nearest grocery store, mall, health food store, pharmacy, and movie theater are in Albany.

If you are on medication, bring it with you. Be especially mindful of allergy medication. Late summer is allergy time in these parts.

If you have special dietary needs, these can be partially accommodated—by pre-arrangement only. We eat locally, serve a single menu at dinner to the entire group, and discourage a la cart eating. Vegetables and fruit are abundant; the available protein is dairy and meat. We serve whole foods only. We do not supply protein powders or synthesized substitutes. We do, however, serve lots of pie and ice cream.

Temperature in the summer tends to range anywhere from 70-85 degrees during the day to 55-65 degrees at night. Dress is casual. Sweaters and jackets are frequently necessary. Only sturdy shoes make it here.

The town is rural and therefore those who have cars are encouraged to bring them.

Download the full 2016 brochure 

Download the full 2016 application


The LongHouse Food Scholars Program tuition is $3,200. This includes all housing, breakfast and lunch seven days a week, dinner five days a week, and all instruction, mentoring, and materials.


This application helps us to customize our staffing and programming to best serve the needs of each LongHouse Food Scholar. The information also allows us to create groups of like-minded scholars in order to support the forging of long-term collegial bonds. 

Applications received after April 15th will be reviewed as space permits.

Download the full 2016 application

*please submit your applications to scholars@cooknscribble.com

50% non-refundable deposit is required upon acceptance. The remaining balance is due 30 days prior to the start of the program.


Apply now for our 2016 program!

Send materials to scholars@cooknscribble.com

Download the full 2016 application


This application helps us to customize our staffing and programming to best serve the needs of each LongHouse Food Scholar. The information also allows us to create groups of like-minded scholars in order to support the forging of long-term collegial bonds. 

Applications received after April 15th will be reviewed as space permits.

*please submit your applications to scholars@cooknscribble.com