About the association of food journalists
AFJ is a professional organization dedicated to preserving and perpetuating responsible food journalism across media platforms.
Forty years after its founding, the group is as passionate as ever about helping members adapt to and excel in their rapidly changing field. While their backgrounds and platforms may vary, AFJ members share the same goal: To learn and grow together as professionals in the expanding world of food journalism.
Annual programming includes the AFJ awards competition, which takes place every spring.
Members of this international group meet at an annual conference to discuss topics ranging from food history to reader engagement. In recent years the AFJ has traveled to Park City, Memphis and Seattle. The 2017 conference will take place in Philadelphia on Sept. 13 -15. Join us.
Meet the executive board
Amanda C. Miller
Amanda C. Miller lives in Chapel Hill, N.C. She has a master’s degree in arts administration from Columbia University, and has worked for over 15 years in nonprofit management. Miller is leading AFJ's charge to engage with millennials and inspire dedication to ethical practices in an era motivated by profit. She was named executive director in January 2017.
Kathleen Purvis has been the food editor, columnist and reporter for The Charlotte (NC) Observer since 1989 and a professional journalist since 1978. She is a longtime member and past officer of AFJ. In addition to several stints as a regional co-director, she has previously served as AFJ’s vice president and recording secretary, and she hosted an AFJ conference in Charlotte in 2006. She is also a member of the awards committee for the James Beard Foundation. She is a former chair of the foundation’s book awards and was the founding chair of the JBF Leadership Awards, and currently serves as a special liaison for the humanitarian and lifetime achievement awards. A two-time nominee for the James Beard Foundation journalism awards, she has won awards from AFJ and the N.C. Press Association and is a winner of the Missouri Lifestyles Journalism Award for news feature reporting. She is the author of the books “Pecans” and “Bourbon” in the Savor the South cookbook series from UNC Press. She is working on a new book for UNC Press, “Distilling the South,” a food-travel book on touring Southern craft distilleries.
Hanna Raskin is the food editor and chief critic of The Post and Courier. Since joining the paper in 2013, she's earned multiple AFJ awards for online journalism and restaurant criticism; an IACP nomination for a documentary on camp meeting fried chicken and the first-ever James Beard Foundation award for local impact food journalism.
Raskin previously served as restaurant critic for the Seattle Weekly and the Dallas Observer. In 2013, she published “Yelp Help: How to Write Great Online Restaurant Reviews,” which received an M.F.K. Fisher Award from Les Dames Escoffier International.
A food historian by training, Raskin is a founding member of Foodways Texas and is active in the Southern Foodways Alliance. She has served as a regional co-director for AFJ and led the effort to update its ethics code.
Additionally, Raskin completed two terms as co-chair of the AFJ membership committee. As vice-president, she's working to help make AFJ relevant to food journalists working outside of traditional newsrooms, including visual and audio journalists, and to establish the organization as a leading voice for the culinary world’s fourth estate. Her top priorities include emphasizing diversity, embracing technology and advocating for the preservation of journalistic and ethical standards in the industry-at-large.
Gwen Ashley Walters
Gwen Ashley Walters is a veteran freelance food journalist and author of three award-winning travel destination cookbooks. She is also a professionally trained chef and the editor and publisher of the food blog “Pen & Fork,” which the Phoenix New Times twice named “Best Food Blog in Phoenix.” Her work has appeared in Sunset Magazine, Cooking Light, The Arizona Republic, PHOENIX Magazine and Sun Valley Magazine, Eater.com and Grubstreet.com.
Walters is past president and a current member of the Phoenix chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, a philanthropic organization of women culinary leaders. She has been a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals since 1999. Walters has served as Region V co-director for the past two years.
Bob Batz Jr.
Bob Batz Jr. has been active as an AFJ member since 2007, when he became food editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and has been an active board member since 2010, serving two terms as vice president. He’s proud to have led the paper to several AFJ awards, including Best Newspaper Food Section in 2009 and 2011.
Banner photography credit - Steve Hoffman