Ben Colvill

I am a London-based freelance writer and copy-editor specialising in food and wine (and related culture). Educated at Warwick and Oxford in the humanities and having completed a research degree at Goldsmiths, I have also trained with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (and am in the throes of the Diploma at the moment) and the Academy of Cheese (currently working towards their Fellowship). I came to more creative writing relatively recently after having spent a number of years scribbling away in an academic context. I now spend my time, joyously, writing about food and wine news as well as more in-depth features, for example on London’s cheese scene, the history of Bordeaux’s white wines and a 3-part series on Syrah around the globe. I also write restaurant/wine reviews, publish the very occasional recipe and do general editing work (often with a particular focus on wine tasting). Non-writing moments are spent trying to learn Sanskrit (gosh, it’s hard!) and roaming the Chilterns with my partner and faithful hound.

Special subjects

My primary focus is food (particularly gastronomy, seasonal eating and cheese) and wine (still, sparkling and fortified) as well as the intersection of the two: food/wine pairing. I also write about restaurants, chefs, winemakers and food-related travel. This year, I have been working on two new monthly columns in addition to regular features. The first, on the theme of cooking with the seasons, started in January and looks at a specific seasonal food, its history, gastronomy and related recipes. The second series will be starting later in the year and focus on literary reviews and discussions of classic works of food and wine writing. The idea is to bring genre defining, as well as forgotten/more offbeat, works to a new audience. I have a particular interest in diversity in food and wine writing and plan to use the series to highlight communities often afforded insufficient voice in the kitchen. I trained as an art historian, so I am also very interested in late nineteenth and twentieth century art, literary modernism and gastronomy: Dali’s food and wine books, Alice B. Toklas’s cookbooks and the Futurists’ culinary works, amongst others. I travel as often as I can in the UK and internationally, writing as I go. This slightly wider scope allows me to explore cultures and peoples through a shared language of food and hospitality - a wonderful and often humbling experience.

Languages spoken

English (mother tongue) and French to advanced, albeit rusty, (C1) standard. Sanskrit (basic but improving?).

Regular work

I am a freelance writer and editor. Current clients include Falstaff International and I'm still a relative newcomer, so this year I am hoping to extend my work to other publications and platforms as well as expanding my own website.

Ben Colvill