When I wrote my first post about the International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC), I wasn’t sure what to expect. This would be my first food blogger conference and had I know what was in store for the weekend, I’m not sure I could have been as patient for the Friday kickoff to arrive. One point I need to touch on and then I promise to get off the soapbox and get back to recapping the AMAZINGNESS that is IFBC- the new ios7 update on my iphone and I are not getting along.
I decided to leave the DLSR at home and just take my iphone as my camera for the weekend. While I usually snap a thousand pictures a second and then dread the daunting task of editing through 25 versions of the same shot, I didn’t have that problem this weekend because my phone decided to be blurry and quite honestly, I was so wrapped up in the moment most of the time that I completely forgot to whip out my camera and “get the shot”!! So, I’ll be featuring and linking to some of the wonderful photos from other food bloggers that were at the conference, which also means that you get some links to read OTHER accounts of IFBC! Win win for you!
Over the weekend there were times for “sessions” and for each these parts of the conference, there were three different”sessions” to choose from. As the weekend progressed it grew increasingly harder to choose which one to attend! In my recap I list only the session that I attended. The conference was only two full days, starting at noon on Friday with lunch from Chipotle and wrapping up around noon on Sunday, with a trip past the downtown Chipotle. A weekend started and ended with Chipotle is pretty tough to beat in my book! With all of the food, meeting and greeting, sessions, more food, and learning it felt MUCH longer than two days, but in that happy way that you wish it would end. Also in the way that you want a nap but refuse to take one because so much fun is happening that you don’t want to miss it! Let’s start with outlining what the weekend had in store.
As I walked into my first blogging conference I realized two things, first, there are a LOT of people who blog and second, it was time to put on the meet and greet hat! Luckily, happenstance placed Torie, of TorieandTristan.com, in front of me in line and after she turned around and introduced herself, we became the book ends of the conference! Event before my first bite of delicious Gluten Free Carnitas I’d already made a friend! She’s another local gal so you’ll see a few joint posts pop up in the coming months! This was the kick off to a wonderful weekend of food, friends and learning! The learning part started with lunch; I always thought I didn’t like pork, but those Carnitas started to change my mind! They were delicious! On our way into the “Conference Welcome” there was a Cupcake Royale station strategically placed which is where we immediately went after we secured our spots at a table. They were serving up the CUTEST little cones- in addition to real scoops as well. You can see the pictures below!
1:40-2:45 Conference Welcome & Keynote Speaker: Dorie Greenspan
There is SO much that could be said about the AMAING Dorie Greenspan, and I wish that at this moment I could remember all the amazing and wonderful one liners that she said but there were two things that I remember WEEKS after this IFBC session:
1- She followed her passion and was SO incredibly humble inspiring!!
2- Say YES and see what happens!!! Give “trying things” a try!!!
2:45 – 4:15 Live Food Blogging with Amazon.com Grocery There were 15 brands represented, and each of them had three minutes, yes that’s 180 seconds, to pitch their brand to a room full of food bloggers and answer any questions. When we sat down at the tables for the conference welcome, each of us found a bag filled with full size packages of the dry goods were going to taste. When the live food blogging started, conference volunteers brought out brown paper grocery bags FILLED with bottles of the juices, coconut waters and other liquid items we were going to sample. It was QUITE a spread!
4:30 – 5:45 (Sessions) Session 2 Writing: Entrepreneurial Journalism: Building Your Food Blog Media Business [Mark Briggs, Director of Digital Media at KING] Broadcasting, in exploring how food bloggers can thrive and grow in the competitive digital writing space. Learn the business dynamics and skills required to turn your blog into a successful media business.
7:00 – 9:00 “The Guest Suite” and & A Taste of Seattle Gourmet Fair During the Amazon.com live blogging session, the vendors were mentioning that we could sample other flavors of their treats and such in the “guest suite” later that night. Now, I don’t know about you but the words “guest suite” just sound like one big gold lettered, hand written invitation to a world of glittery fun if you ask me! All afternoon I kept envisioning and wondering what the guest suite was, and let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint! With reusable bags provided by AllRecipes.com, we were welcomed into a large conference room with tables set up, and on those tables were STACKS and PILES of delicious treats and snacks! There were additional flavors of treats we had sampled earlier that day, wooden spoons and whisks, full size boxes of cereal, cans of Dry Soda (a household favorite so I was thrilled!)… my bag overflowith by the time I made it to the end of that tasty treat trail! We stashed our bags and headed into “A Taste of Seattle Gourmet Fair” where we sampled various bites prepared by some of Seattle’s best chefs and restaurants and sipped on some specially selected wines! I was pleasantly surprised by how good the sorghum salad with curry-roasted winter squash and crispy chickpeas was! Had Garrett, of the blog Vanilla Garlic, not beckoned to use from behind the Bob’s Red Mill booth I wouldn’t have picked up that tasty little bit and experienced sorghum for what I believe is the first time. Thanks Garret, I owe you one!
My buddy One Punk Army posted some AWESOME pics of the Gourmet Fair HERE. Be sure to check em out!
I had two favorites from the tasting fair. First was the amazing Chianti tasting table and Franciacorta bubbly from Balzac. They had a line up of Chiantis and secret bottles of bubbly, can we say love at first sight! The other hightlight was the italian antipasti spread from Ethan Stowell’s Rhone XIII. Ever since I heard rumors of a roving antipasti cart, I knew that there was a place for me there! The Rhone XIII spread was- delicious! Due to my ios7 update resulting in a blury camera AND quite a few happy sips from the Chianti table I didn’t get many pictures but one of the gals I met at the end of the conference, Colleen’s Kitchen, has some GREAT pictures from the gourmet fair on her blog <href=”http://www.colleens-kitchen.com/2013/09/ifbc-day-1.html” target=”_blank”>here.
Note: In order to received the discounted active blogger rate at IFBC, all participating bloggers were required to write three posts about their experience at the conference. I would also like to note that I was THRILLED to join the conference and would have written these posts regardless- but I prefer full disclosure! 🙂