About our IFWTWA Home Page

As food, wine and travel writers we take mouthwatering, refreshing, exotic, inviting photos every day. Now we're excited to share more of our members' photos with you. Each month we update our homepage with a new image and anecdote from our featured member photographer.

Pam and Gary Baker
IFWTWA Home Page Photography Committee

Featured Member & April 2021 Banner Winner

Charbroiling oysters at Drago's in New Orleans by Therese Iknoian

Charbroiling Oysters at Drago's in New Orleans by Therese Iknoian
Drago’s Seafood Restaurant of New Orleans is known for its “original charbroiled oysters” which are devoured by the hundreds each night in a show of dancing flames and speedy shucking skills. As a travel journalist, you are expected to try the house specialty, right? But what if you haven’t touched an oyster in decades due to a “bad experience?” Since it’s your job, you do the polite thing. Well, I ended up reaching for a couple more, too! Bathed in butter, garlic, parmesan and lemon, and hot from the grill, they really are pretty dang yummy. And a show to enjoy!

Therese IknoianTrained as a news journalist, Therese Iknoian spent a decade as a daily newspaper journalist where she earned a Pulitzer Prize as part of a news team. Today, she combines prize-winning journalist research, writing and photography with her passion for meaningful travel, discovering the unexpected, and inspiring others to take their own journey of wonder, whether in the backyard or across the globe.

Teamed with her husband, Michael Hodgson, she creates immersive award-winning stories and photos on their blog, HITravelTales.com, where she loves to tell personal stories about the people to illustrate the depth and attraction of a destination. Getting behind the scenes drives her journalistic storytelling. Her specialty areas and primary interests include local culture and history, people behind the destination, innovative food, creative drink, outdoor and urban adventures, alpine trails, architecture, fitness and wellness, and boutique businesses that make a place hum.

Featured Member & February 2021 Banner Winner

Bench Overlooking the Ocean by Sofia Bournatzi

Bench Overlooking the Ocean by Sofia Bournatzi
This photo was taken in Athytos, a village in Halkidiki Greece. It is built on the top of a 75-rocky cliff viewing the Aegean Sea. Athytos is known as the village of the artists due to the incredible location and the traditional architecture that inspire them. A big sea-view “balcony” hosts the village’s restaurants and bars and between them colorful benches have been located alongside. For the visitors of Athytos these benches provide small moments of romance, inspiration and happiness.

Sofia BournatziSofia Bournatzi considers herself as one of the loyal servants in tourism. She has worked in hotels, travel agencies, associations, tourism boards. She's been the Marketing Director of Halkidiki Tourism Organization and Regional Manager of Hellenic Federation of Tourism Enterprices. For the past 15 years, She is the proud owner of PASS PARTOUT - Tourism (P.R. Company based in Thessaloniki, Greece) and of 2 e-travel magazines. She also manages the sales & marketing department of DOUCAS TOURS & TRAVEL, the family DMC company, which - by the way - is the oldest one in Greece, since it was founded in 1885. Travel writing became her special private place, where everything is colorful and interesting, so she will never stop writing stories. Contact Sofia and see more of her work at pass2greece.gr.

Featured Member & January 2021 Banner Winner

Rogue Valley Oregon USA: Old barn, rolling green vineyards & mountains scene

Rogue Valley from Medford, the heart of the Rogue © Travel Medford
"Take in this view of the Rogue Valley from Medford, the heart of the Rogue. With rolling hills of vineyards, the wild and scenic Rogue River and a wealth of outdoor recreation, such as Roxy Ann Peak in the image, you will need several days to truly explore this award-winning, undiscovered wine country. It might also surprise you to know that the Rogue Valley is a short distance from Oregon’s only national park, Crater Lake, but is also home to the World's Best Cheese at Rogue Creamery and the renowned Harry and David. Come eat and drink your way around this hidden Southern Oregon gem and be prepared to experience the unexpected." For more about Oregon's Rogue Valley Wine Country, see article and podcast here.

Travel Medford: Heart of the Rogue Logo

We are Travel Medford. IFWTWA Associate Host Member.
Visit our website travelmedford.org and follow us on social media to learn all about us.
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Featured Member & December 2020 Banner Winner

Barcelona bakery breads, scale & holiday gingerebread cookie manshelves

Barcelona Holiday Bakery © Sharon Kurtz
"Barcelona Holiday Bakery © Sharon Kurtz" transports you to the festive streets of the Catalan capital of Spain on a chilly, 2016 December afternoon. With twinkling lights and the scent of pine needles in the air, you can’t help but feel the magic of Christmas. I shot this photo of a holiday bakery window display on a small side street in the gothic quarter. Gingerbread cookies are beloved during the holidays in Barcelona. I was taken in by the traditional trappings of the bakery, the aroma of ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon wafting from the open door."

Sharon Kurtz avatarSharon Kurtz is a freelance travel writer and tour leader for a women's travel group who shares her passion for travel, culture and food by exploring local customs and flavors at home and around the globe. Her love of exotic destinations & traditions began as a young girl with a train journey to Montreal for the World's Fair. People spoke French and ate strange and wonderful fool... she was hooked and hopes to never recover. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and 3 dogs, but her carry-on is always packed ready for the next adventure. She enjoys writing about solo women travel, international destinations, adventure and culinary travel for web based and print magazines. Contact Sharon and see more of her work at SharonKKurtz.com.

Featured Member & November 2020 Banner Winner

Hot Air Balloon Ride over Albuquerque, New Mexico

Hot Air Balloon Over Albuquerque by Debbie Stone © Deborah Stone

"A hot air balloon ride often ranks atop many travelers’ bucket lists. It’s not hard to understand why, as the experience is magical. It’s an unmatched way to provide a unique perspective of the environment. And what better place to embark on this enchanting journey than Albuquerque, the 'hot air balloon capital of the world.' I shot this image with my iPhone when the hot air balloon I was riding in momentarily 'kissed' another balloon. We were so close, I could almost make out the faces of the people in the other balloon. I set the shot to encompass the panorama of the city scape and mountains in the background."

Deborah Stone avatarDeborah Stone is an established travel writer and columnist, who crosses the globe in search of unique destinations and experiences to share with her readers and listeners. As an avid explorer, I welcome new opportunities to increase awareness and enthusiasm for places, people, culture, food, history, nature, outdoor adventure, wellness and more. My travels have taken me to nearly 100 countries and to all seven continents, and my stories appear in numerous print and digital publications, including Luxe Beat Magazine, Big Blend Magazine, Northwest Prime Time, Los Alamos Monitor, Traveler Confidential Magazine, Santa Fe Fine Lifestyles Magazine, AAA New Mexico Journey and Travelworld International Magazine, among others. I also share my travel experiences on Big Blend Radio, as a regular contributor. My work reaches well over 2 million readers and listeners representing a demographic of primarily affluent professionals and active retirees.

Featured Member & October 2020 Banner Winner

South Willamette Valley vineyard panorama

Willamette Valley Vista © Cori Solomon
"The vistas from a vineyard on a gorgeous day can bring new life to every winery. In this case it had been raining the night before and I was fortunate to get to Vidon Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains AVA as the sky had cleared exposing puffy clouds. From a NASA scientist working on the Apollo program, Don Hagge turned his efforts into growing grapes and making wine after he retired. Mesmerized by the view, I can only imagine waking up each day to this vineyard view."

Cori Solomon headshot avatarCori Solomon, an award-winning freelance writer/photographer, resides in Los Angeles, California. Her writing focuses on travel, art, food, wine, and pets. Cori’s background is real estate and art. Her art plays a vital role in her writing as she utilizes the palette both visually and verbally in many of her articles. Cori shares her experiences and joy of her subjects in a passionate, candid, caring and entertaining way. Like her animal art where she looks beyond the eyes to find an animal’s inner soul and spirit, Cori looks for the story that is behind the restaurant, chef, winery, winemaker or artist. As Cori often travels with her dogs, some of her travel articles deal with pet-friendly hotels and locations. Cori had a travel, wine, and pet column on Examiner.com from 2010 until they shut their doors in 2016. Currently, in addition to writing her blog, The Written Palette, she is a contributor to Big Blend Magazine, FWT Blog and Magazine, SommTable, Vinely, and Wander with Wonder.

Featured Member & September 2020 Banner Winner

Saint Remy Market: fresh garlic & oils for sale in marketplace

Saint Remy Market © Wendy VanHatten
"Colorful and tasty...this garlic from Cavaillon, France just begged for a photo shoot. It paired great with the olive oil, baguette, and wine we also bought." 

Wendy VanHattenWendy VanHatten is a published author, international travel writer, food, wine, and travel blogger (www.travelsandescapes.net), co-founder of Forks, Corks, and Brews (www.forkscorksandbrews.com/), Editor-in-Chief for Prime Time Living Magazine (www.primetimeliving.org), wine, food, and travel writer for WE Magazine(www.wemagazineforwomen.com), and member of IFWTWA. VanHatten lives in southern California with her husband and office cat, travels as often as she can, and enjoys wine and cooking. Contact VanHatten at [email protected] for more information. VanHatten has been named one of the women bloggers to watch for 2019 by WE.

Featured Member & August 2020 Banner Winner

Cinque Terre coastline view with flaming pink bougainvillea in foreground

Cinque Terre © Scott Kendall
"Walking the Blue Path from Monterosso to Vernazza, we stopped on the cliffside trail overlooking the Ligurian Sea back towards Monterosso. The flaming pink bougainvillea framed the magical sight, one of many I will always remember from our two hour hike in Cinque Terre."

Scott Kendal avatarScott Kendall is the Founder and Editor of PlayStayEat.com and a writer, photographer, and videographer based in The Woodlands, Texas. Scott has written numerous articles covering Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, England, and France in Europe and many articles covering the Texas Hill Country, Colorado, Washington State, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York, New Orleans, Lake of the Ozarks, and other areas in the US. He has been published in EuropeUpClose, International Living, Links & Libations, MilesGeek, Touring Bird, Airguides, Travel Writer's Cafe, and other publications. His website with links to his articles can be found at PlayStayEat.com and scottkendalltravels.com. His email is [email protected].

Featured Member & July 2020 Banner Winner

Food and wine pairing at Wente Vineyards in Livermore Valley Wine Country © Edward Quan
"This garden table setting captured my eye as I wanted to convey the authentic California wine country experience of Wente Vineyards, America’s longest, continuously operated family-owned winery, founded in 1883."

Edward Quan avatarEdward Quan lives and breathes the world of luxury travel. He began his career in European luxury fashion and as an accomplished travel writer, he has a passion for discovering inspirational and authentic stories behind each destination that defines luxury travel today. Quan delivers captivating storytelling on personal style and luxury travel covering once in a lifetime enriching outdoor adventures and cultural attractions, personal wellness, farm-to-table dinning only the locals know, wineries and distilleries, world class hotels and resorts and of course shopping.

Quan's travel stories have appeared in The Bahamas Weekly, Blush Vancouver, Retail-Insider, Travel Thru History and his personal blog, Style Drama. Also, a lecturer in Language, Literature & Performing Arts Program at Douglas College, a speaker with the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association, Member British Columbia Association of Travel Writers, and destination lecturer on board Celebrity Cruises.

Featured Member & June 2020 Banner Winner

Strawberry Chiffon cake at Bread and Butter Bakery

Strawberry Chiffon © Kurt Jacobson
"Taken at Bread and Butter Bakery, a small bakery down a tiny side street a couple of blocks from Sante Fe's plaza. Even though this is a gluten-free bakery, many who enter are captivated by the gorgeous cakes, macaroons, and cookies, finding their products appeal to gluten-loving bakery consumers also."

Kurt Jacobson avatarKurt Jacobson is a full-time freelance travel, food, and wine writer. Kurt is a semi-retired professional chef and brings his love of all things food to his writing. With published articles in 10 magazines and over 30 websites, Kurt spans the globe. He has published around 400 articles with 125 of those being accommodation articles!

Most visited and written about locations are Colorado, Alaska, Mid-Atlantic states, and Japan. Kurt is also a competent photographer and most of his published work features his photos. Few travel writers cover as many subjects as Kurt does. With past careers of cooking, aircraft mechanic, and real estate professional, few subjects are off-limits.

Kurt writes for Mother Earth News about organic gardening, real food, and their nature and environment sections. He is also a regular contributor to GoNOMAD.com and trip101.com.

Homepage & About Image Credits

San Diego, California Panorama

The great US city of San Diego CA USA is one of the favorite destinations for people visiting California. The Embarcadero is seen here including the Coronado Bridge.
Shutterstock Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1381874948 By Chris Rubino

Vineyards in southern Styria, Austria, in late summer

Vineyards in southern Styria, Austria, in late summer
Shutterstock Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1511945975 By alpinenature

Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

Panoramic view of Bernkastel-Kues and the Moselle river with the surrounding vineyards of the Moselle-valley on a sunny afternoon. Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.
Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1425710585 By Juriaan Wossink

Panorama of Maldives tropical beach water bungalows

Beautiful tropical beach panorama of bungalows with wooden bridge near the ocean with boats and palm trees at Maldi
Dreamtime.com Photo 78426687 © Lexandr Lexandrovich - Dreamstime.com