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Eating and writing

The Brooklyn Paper

Brooklyn has finally combined two of its fiercest passions: food and books.

Gastronomic culture will merge with the intellectual establishment in Brooklyn for a three-day extravaganza at the Wythe Hotel — a marriage the festival’s founder says is proof that the foodie phenomenon is far from over.

“I think it’s just the beginning — there’s huge terrain to cover,” said Elizabeth Thacker Jones, a graduate student at NYU’s food studies masters program and the founder of the Food Book Fair, which will take place at the swank new hotel the first weekend of May. “Before it was someone who just enjoyed eating and hosting and now it’s more about who made this food, and the politics of where it came from: the definition of the word foodie is changing.”

And as part of its coming of age, the foodie movement will be infinitely discussed, dissected — and of course, eaten, including a foraging-centric meal with Gary Lincoff, New York City’s resident mushroom man, and a feast inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (you do not have to come with a debilitating injury).

Discussions will touch on technology, cities, and even so-called food pornography, with notable food writers and thinkers as Marion Nestle, Francis Lam, and Gael Greene weighing in on the tough issues and befuddling contemporary phenomenons like the food-ification of social media — why so many people take to their Facebook pages to post pictures of things they’ve eaten or cooked.

“The internet is such a huge force, and we’re so stuck in these virtual worlds,” said Jones. “When we go out with our friends to eat we’re breaking out of that, but we’re also documenting it on our phones. And that’s part of what we’ll be talking about.”

The Food Book Fair at the Wythe Hotel [80 Wythe Ave. between North 11th and North 12 streets in Williamsburg, (718) 460–8000]. May 4-6, tickets $15 and up. For info, visit www.foodbookfair.com

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.

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