Tara Austen Weaver writes about the big, wide world: food, travel, culture, the environment, art, and adventure in its many guises. A Northern California native, she has lived in five countries on three continents and is happiest either exploring with a notebook and camera, or spending the day in a kitchen learning how people feed themselves (the best stories always get told in the kitchen). Tara loves to write about farmers, environmentalists, artists, and other passion-driven individuals. She has a hard time picking a favorite spot on earth, but it might just be at 7,000 ft. in the backcountry. Or on a small island. Or in a sailboat. And definitely at a dinner table, surrounded by friends or intriguing strangers.
Tara’s writing has won awards and been published in numerous anthologies. She has coauthored a guidebook, a children’s book about art, and ghostwritten a photography book. She’s written for Edible San Francisco, San Francisco Magazine, FoodandWine.com, Chow.com, Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn, and currently writes the farm-to-table column for Edible Seattle. This allows her to do one of her favorite things: spend a day traipsing around an inspiring small farm with a dog at her heels.
A lifelong traveler and adventurer, Tara has hiked the Great Wall of China, stood on the International Date Line, and learned to rescue lost scuba divers in the South Pacific. As a former wilderness instructor, she has logged many trail miles and watched dawn from the top of a few high mountains; give her an ice ax and she will know how to use it.
For two years, Tara was a daily blogger for The Grinder, the award-winning food media blog on Chow.com. Her own blog site, Tea & Cookies, has been recommended by the Food Network and selected by the Times of London as one of the top 50 food blogs in the world, and by The Independent (UK) as one of the 50 best food sites in the world. It has been featured in Philadelphia Style magazine, on Saveur.com, Epicurious, Slashfood, Simply Recipes, Alltop, and WineCountry.com. An essay written for the site won best post in the 2008 Food Blog Awards.
Tara’s first book, The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman’s Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis, was published by Rodale in February 2010. The book tells the story of Tara’s foray into the world of meat, after a vegetarian childhood filled with tofu and alfalfa sprouts, and her often humorous struggle to come to terms with the issues and figure out what she should be eating. At its heart, it is a story about the choices we make in life, though there are a lot of cowboys, cute butchers, and bacon along the way.
The book has been mentioned in Newsweek, on New York Magazine’s Grub Street, in Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, Redbook, Women’s Wear Daily, Body & Soul, and McLean’s (yay, Canada). It was a February 2010 reader selection for Elle magazine and received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. You can see all the reviews/press mentions here.
Tara has been in love with the written word for as long as she can remember. She’s a book industry veteran, having worked for several publishing companies, at a literary agency, and as a freelance developmental book editor. She has presented at various writing conferences and even judged a few writing competitions (though she’d really prefer not to, it’s no fun being judgy). She’s currently a member of Seattle7Writers, working to promote literacy and reading in the Pacific Northwest.
Tara holds an MFA in creative writing from Mills College and for many years served on the executive committee for Litquake, San Francisco’s literary festival. There she pioneered the wildly popular Lit Crawl, a literary pub crawl that annually draws five thousand attendees to wander the streets of San Francisco’s Mission District in search of authors, literature, and a few stiff drinks.
Someday Tara plans to spend her days writing in an office that looks very much like a greenhouse, with a dog at her feet and a garden and orchard outside. For now she lives in Seattle, with a view of snow-capped mountains, and tries to squeeze in as much traveling, hiking, biking, kayaking, and rowing as she can. She’s currently at work on a new book, Orchard House, to be published by Ballantine/Random House in 2014/15.• Email her at: tara [at] taraweaver [dot] com, or use this form. • Read her adventures on the Tea & Cookies blog • Follow her on Twitter, where she chats about food, writing, photography, and life. • Learn more about her editing work. • Meet Tara at an event