We have arrived in Seattle for the International Food Bloggers Conference!!!!! (HEAVEN ON EARTH). My boyfriend has already filled every millisecond in between the conference and the necessary 6 hours of sleep, food, another round of food, some more food, a touch of sightseeing, and some more food. I have been looking forward to this trip for about 6 months, my first ever out of town food bloggers conference. These events are always so fun for me, getting to network with other bloggers who are as passionate about blogging as I am, and who understand sometimes it is necessary to stay up till midnight editing a photo of oven roasted chicken and potatoes to post by 8am….
It’s 6:30am right now, Saturday morning, our hotel room is pitch black, there is a good amount of snoring coming from the pillow beside me, the conference doesn’t begin for another couple of hours, but I can’t go back to sleep!! Let me describe why I am sitting here fully dressed and so excited for the day to begin – Yesterday was filled with sightseeing at Pike’s Market, a ton of eating, and then the afternoon at the Sansaire test kitchen.
I can’t even describe the happiness oozing out of me right now. We were able to choose from about 4 different excursions at the conference, and of course we chose a sous vide excursion (which only had 12 people total), so it was extremely intimate. One of the founders, Scott Heimendinger, who used to be a blogger himself, led the excursion by giving us a full day in their test kitchen learning how to use their newest products, and cook some pretty awesome foods. Oh, and gave us some tasty local beer and wines :). I could probably have set up a cot in this beautiful test kitchen, set up for a few days, and been totally content. Who needs to shower when you have a dozen sous vides, a freezer drawer full of NY strips, and a set of the coveted Modernist Cuisine books laying right next to you?
The sous vide is such an amazing tool… it’s sort of like the modern day, upscale crockpot if you will…. you marinate and vacuum seal (or ziploc) your meat or vegetables before you leave for work, and by the time you are home you have a gourmet dinner. Plus, it does look pretty darn fancy, however easy it really is, so it is sure to make you look extremely impressive upon your guests arrival for dinner.
Here is Albert, full concentration and hard at work!
Needless to say, I loved every second of this adventure in their test kitchen.
MMMMM sous vide chicken tacos in their steak aging sauce……
One of the best things I took away from IFBC was all the incredibly talented bloggers I was able to meet and become friends with. It really is an incredible feeling to interact with people who are just as passionate as you are about this stuff. (Terrible quality pic, but loved these guys!!!) I really want to highlight two sets of bloggers I absolutely fell in love with!!! Donna and Stephen at Dang That’s Delicious, and Dawn at First Look Then Cook – these guys are all so incredible. Juggling full time jobs and creating their mouthwatering blogs… people after my own heart :).
Day 2 was pretty jam packed – we sat in on several sessions – beginning with the keynote by Kim Severson, New York Times food reporter and author. If I had two words to sum her talk up, they would be hilarious and masterofwords (okay that is 4 words but whatever). She spoke a lot about the importance of honesty in writing on our blogs, and how to just become better overall writers. I learned so much I can’t possibly sum it all up here, but let me just say she was incredibly inspiring.
Next we moved on to several more sessions by some really talented people – Irvin Lin of the food blog Eat the Love, and Sarah Flotard, a food stylist that made me want to eat her Thanksgiving turkeys right off the projector. These two are some serious food geniuses, Sarah even taught us how to beautifully paint a dark brown, perfectly roasted and finger licking good raw turkey to present for photos, still not sure if I can bring myself to do that one, but her ideas were really eye opening. Then… on to what felt like an eternity of continuous shoveling food into our mouths.
Finally, we snuck off on our own for a bit and visited the Chihuly Gardens… Albert’s idea and zero regrets here.
All in all, I have to say this was one of the most exciting, happy, fulfilling things I have ever done. The older I get, the more I realize I need to start just doing things I am interested in, regardless if I don’t know anyone, and I’m forced to put myself out there. I can’t wait to keep up with all the truly special people we met this weekend, and use all the exciting new things I learned!