2017 Keynote Speakers: Francis Percival and Stephanie Swane

This year Francis Percival, a London based food and wine writer, and Stephanie Swane, of Modernist Cuisine, will be joining us as our keynote speakers! Stephanie Swane, will discuss bread myths, technique hacks, equipment advice, and other interesting findings the Modernist Cuisine team has uncovered while writing their new book Modernist Bread. Francis will be joining us to speak about food clusters and his experiences across different industries and what they can learn from each other. His book, Reinventing the Wheel, which covers the history, science, and future of cheese and dairy farming is due out in September.

Francis Percival writes on food and wine for The World of Fine Wine. His work won Louis Roederer Best International Wine Columnist in 2013 and Pio Cesare Food & Wine Writer of the Year in 2015.

Apart from The World of Fine Wine, his work has appeared in Decanter and the Financial Times in the UK and Culture, Saveur, and Gourmet in the US. With Bronwen Percival he is the coauthor of Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes, and the Fight for Real Cheese, forthcoming from the University of California Press in September 2017.

Besides writing, Francis also teaches classes for Neal’s Yard Dairy and cofounded and hosts the London Gastronomy Seminars, a long-running series of lectures and talks in London dedicated to making the technical side of food and drink fun and accessible. As a speaker himself, Francis has addressed audiences ranging from the Barista Guild of Europe, to TEXSOM, and the UK’s own School of Artisan Food.

Stephanie Swane is the publisher and editorial director of Modernist Cuisine’s in -house publishing department The Cooking Lab. She develops and leads new publishing projects and partnership opportunities. She has brought over 25 years of experience working on custom books, global sales, brand management, foreign rights, and licensing to the team.

Stephanie leads the editorial team in writing and publishing Modernist Cuisine’s upcoming book, Modernist Bread, due out in 2017. Over the last three years she has traversed the globe to help the team research bread from every imaginable angle. Stephanie has met with experts in baking, milling, agriculture, production, history, fermentation, and beyond. She regularly attends industry workshops and conferences that cover all aspects of baking, from commercial production to cereal science.

Prior to joining Modernist Cuisine, Stephanie worked with publishers that include becker&mayer!, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Putnam, Reader’s Digest Children’s Publishing, and Little Golden Books. She has worked with a diverse group of global brands, retailers, wholesalers, and licensors, ranging from CBS Paramount, Disney/Lucasfilm, Fox Entertainment, Hasbro, NBCUniversal, and Warner Bros. to Amazon Publishing, Barnes & Noble, Costco, Indigo, Target, and Williams-Sonoma. She holds a master’s degree in media studies from the New School and a bachelor’s in art and art history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

When not working on the next Modernist Cuisine project, Stephanie can be found in her Seattle garden. True to her Dakota farming roots, she enjoys growing exotic and native vegetables and fruits, including varieties of wheat and rye. She loves all things fermentation – from beer brewing to pickling. An avid artist and crafter, Stephanie sells her art at fairs around the city. Stephanie is also an active member of AACI, ABA, AIB, BBGA, IACP, Maine Grain Alliance, Northern Grain Growers Association, Northwest Independent Editors Guild, PNBA, and the Real Bread Campaign.