Wow! It’s hard to believe that Food Blog Forum is over! After months of planning, the response from attendees of Food Blog Forum was two thumbs up! (By the way, Mr. Bunkycooks happened to catch Chef Rathbun doing that at the kick-off party Friday night, so we couldn’t resist using this photo!) While I know you cannot please everyone, I do think that the attendees that came to our event in Atlanta this weekend had a really great time and learned a lot.
I actually came across the first email contact that I had with Jaden Hair (Steamy Kitchen) this morning. Back in May, I asked if she would be interested in bringing Food Blog Forum to Atlanta and she said yes! Putting this event together was so much
hard work fun! It’s sort of like planning a party in high school and hoping everyone will come…and they did!
I have to thank both Jaden Hair (Steamy Kitchen) and Diane Cu (White on Rice Couple) for being so wonderful to work with! Diane and I must have exchanged hundreds of emails over the course of the last few months. It was pretty crazy, but I am so glad that we did this. It was great to finally have a food blogger’s conference in the Southeast!
I also want to thank everyone that attended Food Blog Forum (many of you from far away!) and our sponsors. None of this would have been possible without all of you! Getting to meet and network with other food bloggers and sponsors is definitely one of the benefits of coming to these events (besides the wine, food, swag and giveaways, of course!).
Now, to show you some of the fun…here is my recap of the festivities!
Our kick-off party Friday evening was hosted by The Viking Store in Atlanta. They truly went above and beyond anything that I could have anticipated! Thank you so much to Chef Donna Brousseau for coordinating the whole evening and preparing all sorts of delightful food! Thank you also to Chef Jessica Ray for all the great pasta dishes and to Analia Serebrenik for managing the store that evening. I know that we kept you there late. I hope you got to eat and drink all of the leftovers!
Of course, a huge thank you goes to Whole Foods and Montaluce Winery for providing wine and cheese for the evening (this would include some cheeses from our other sponsors at Woolwich and Jarlsberg). You all were extremely supportive of the event! A big thank you also to Tank Goodness Atlanta for some of the best cookies I have ever had. Mercy!
Besides all of the great food and wine, we were treated to a very informative and humorous cooking demonstration by Chef Kevin Rathbun. I could not believe that Chef Rathbun hung out with us all night. I thought that was very cool. I guess he thought we were alright, too!
Many thanks to Chef Rathbun for his participation and generosity. It definitely made the event a memorable one. By the way, we all were really happy to get the recipe for “Thick Cut” Grilled Bacon with a Sweet and Spicy Sticky Sauce. I think most of us are still thinking about those pork belly tacos! I for one, am still wearing mine!
The next day’s seminar was at The Shed at Glenwood. They did a great job of keeping us fed and watered all day long starting with coffee, muffins and fruit to lunch that included three kinds of sliders (Angus Burgers, Fried Green Tomatoes and Goat Cheese and Chicken Salad), pasta salad and deviled eggs. Cindy Shera (the manager) did a great job with 100 people tucked into her restaurant. Thanks to she and Chef Lance Gummere for making it a great day. We also had lots and lots of cookies from Byron Bay and Walkers Shortbread to keep us going during the afternoon session.
Besides the food and the amazing swag bags…you should have seen the giveaways! A set of Calphalon cookware, a Kitchen Aid stainless steel mixer, six other Kitchen Aid appliances, Le Creuset Dutch Ovens, a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, Chef’s Catalog gift cards and the list goes on! Wow! Too bad I wasn’t eligible!
The first session on Building a Dream Career with Scott Hair (Steamy Kitchen) was very inspirational and it set the tone for the rest of the seminar. Everything was so upbeat and positive. Jaden’s personality lights up the room and you instantly know why she has been so successful.
I found the two panel discussions, Working with Media Outlets and Brands and Building a Personal Brand, to be very helpful as I think about making some changes and moving forward with my own website.
The consistent theme was to limit your focus, love what you do and to be authentic. Positive thinking and energy plays a large part in your ability to be successful. It is great to be reminded of this as we all get wrapped up in so many other things associated with our blogs. It is good to get grounded in this philosophy. Here is a great clip of Jaden speaking from the second panel discussion. It was too long to include in the post, but is certainly worth listening to.
Of course, Diane and Todd’s presentation on food styling and photography was outstanding. Many of us struggle with taking photos of our food and their step-by-step demonstration on lighting and staging really made a difference in how I will approach this in the future. They are really wonderful people and I feel blessed to have met them!
Finally, many bloggers want to learn how to make money while doing something we love, which is cooking and writing our blogs. I thought the ideas that were shared by Jaden in the session on Business Strategies were incredibly helpful. There were suggestions that I had not thought about. Now that I will not be swamped with event planning, I can refocus on my own brand and website!
Thanks to Showcase Camera and Video, the morning session was live-streamed. I hope that those of you that were not able to attend in person were at least able to take part in the event via the internet.
We wrapped up the day with an after-party at Spice Market, which is located in the W Hotel in Midtown Atlanta. Thank you so much to Melissa Libby and Associates for arranging this venue! The Passion Fruit Whiskey Fizz drinks (and several of them!) were a perfect way to end the day! We also had more incredible appetizers than we could possibly eat! As Debra from SmithBites said, this place was uber hip and very swanky!
Since we were having so much fun wrapping everything up, we did not take many pictures, so all you get is a photo of us
party animals girls on the steps on the way out of the hotel!
Thank you again to everyone that made this event a huge success! When are we gonna do it again Atlanta?!
Here are some other posts about Food Blog Forum Atlanta:
* Steamy Kitchen – Food Blog Forum Atlanta
* Bakerella – Food Blog Forum and New Friends
* Culinary Historians of Atlanta– Steppin’ Out
* White on Rice Couple – Food Blog Forum Atlanta- Great new friends, Awesome event
* Frantastic Food – Food Blog Forum Lights a Fire!
* Holzerian Nation – Food Blog Forum Atlanta
* Indian Simmer – A weekend full of food, food talk and foodies!
* The Local Cook – 10 Things I learned at The Food Blog Forum Seminar
* Mommie Cooks – Food Blog Forum Conference!
* My Sweet Things – Food Blog Forum- Part One- Atlanta Friday Social!
* What Megan’s Making – Food Blog Forum Re-Cap
Thank you again to all of our sponsors, including the ones who provided giveaways and amazing swag goodies for all of the attendees!