This past Saturday I attended BlogHer Food in San Francisco. If I’ve lost you already, let me explain. BlogHer Food is a yearly conference bringing together all of the best food bloggers to mingle, learn, and get exposed to really tasty food. The experience was phenomenal. I attended two informative sessions at BlogHer Food. The first discussed Food Styling. I earned alot about the tricks of the trade that you’ll hopefully come to appreciate in upcoming posts including: food looks better placed in odd numbers; opposing colors look best together; and you can find all sorts of handy tools at Dollar Tree and the hardware store.
I also enjoyed the session on building community. Bloggers with huge followings generously offered the wisdom of their experience and Kristen Doyle of Dine and Dish even has a site : Adopt a Blogger that helps us newbies figure out how to build community. I am excited to get a mentor! A particularly fun part about the day was meeting some of my favorite bloggers in person, including Ree Drummond of the The Pioneer Woman and David Leiteof Leite’s Culinaria. (He is just as hilarious in person!)
The closing keynote session was amazing, Shauna James Ahern from Gluten Free Girl, Molly Wizenberg from Orangette and Michael Ruhlman were some of the most passionate people I have ever encountered. They were all drawn to food writing and blogging from personal need and experience. It was an extremely moving session. When Michael stood at the close and made the impassioned case that “cooking is fundamental to our humanity” and quoted from the book “Catching Fire” I was truly inspired. I have already ordered the book on Amazon.com. I simply could not take notes fast enough. BlogHer Food was also a chance to get exposed to new blogs that will surely be added to my reading list from here on out. A few that I think you might like too include: shutterbean.com, eatthelove.com, and streaminggourmet.com.
I even won a fabulous signed cookbook from Lisa Schroeder, Mother’s Best, for sharing a safety tip from one of my very unsafe kitchen experiences-an oven fire. (see plum pizza). Lisa is the chef at Mother’s Bistro in Portland and it is a wonderful restaurant specializing in comfort foods compiled from all kinds of mom’s. If you are in the area you should go.
And, if all the mingling and learning wasn’t enough, BlogHer also sends attendees home with lots and lots of freebies. Scharffen Berger Chocolates debuted their Chocolate Adventure Contest ( which I will be entering) by handing out goodie bags with three kinds of chocolate, safron, coconut oil and a flash drive. Other favorite giveaways included: some wonderful spices from McCormack and a great bunch of cooking tools and baking dishes from Chefs.com. The day ended with a the most incredible appetizer buffet I have ever encountered at Le Cordon Bleu San Francisco. Absolutely everything was Gluten Free and there were selections for Vegans, Vegetarians and Meat Lovers alike (you would not believe the bacon experience!). The most unusual item had to be the Bacon Martini complete with Bakon Vodka with crumbled bacon and maple syrup around the rim and Godiva Chocolate Liqueur inside.
The highlight for me was how friendly and open these bloggers are. I have been to alot of conferences and trade shows and never have I met so many engaging people. At every opportunity folks were introducing themselves and looking for common ground. I’m so glad I could make this event.