This weekend I had the privilege of attending my first ever blogging conference and I have to say, it was most definitely worth the trip. Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen is the co-creator of Food Blog Forum along with Diane Cu and Todd Porter of White on Rice Couple. With the help of Gwen Pratesi of Bunky Cooks they put together a day long conference chocked full of more knowledge, networking, and amazing food than I could have ever imagined.
The experience started with a Friday night party at the Viking Store in Atlanta. I was blown away by the amazing spread and set up Viking had put together for us. The food was incredible. We ate everything from homemade pasta (here she is making it as we grab a plate; now that is what I call fresh!)….
To healthy 34 calorie turkey dumplings (these were absolutely incredible!) that she let the conference goers put together and cook up….
To a dessert spread that was impossible to resist (the basil whipped cream was to die for!).
The highlight of the evening was Chef Kevin Rathbun’s cooking presentation. You can read more on Kevin’s background through Gwen’s interview with him, but let’s just say he’s known for beating Bobby Flay on the Iron Chef!
Now THAT’s a chef who knows his food. And know it he did. He made us some of the best pork belly I’ve ever put my mouth to. We had a spicy homecured bacon bite with watermelon and a pork belly taco that was to.die.for.
The next day was the conference over at The Shed in Glenwood. I didn’t get a ton of pictures here because I was too busy learning everything they were sharing with us! I did snap a quick picture looking back before it started though. Notice the amazing swag sitting on the chairs. I couldn’t believe all the incredible goodies they shared with us!
Lunch at the shed was three different types of sliders, pasta salad, and deviled eggs. Everything was delicious, but take note of that little beauty on the left there. That, my friends, is the fried tomato and goat cheese slider and it was clearly the best thing on the lunch plate. Yum, yum and yum.
We finished up the conference with an after party at the Spice Market in midtown Atlanta. Let me just say, they provided us with some of the best food I have ever put my mouth on. We had everything from Passion Fruit Whiskey Fizzes to black pepper shrimp with sundried pineapple to charred chili rubbed beef skewers with thai basil dipping sauce.
Once of the best parts of attending a conference like this are the incredible people you meet. Everyone was so friendly and gracious. I just wanted to throw a shout out to a few of the awesome bloggers that I had the opportunity to really get to know better; three of them as we were driving through a torrential downpour with a fritzy GPS! Memories for sure!
I also want to extend a huge thank you to Jaden, Diane, Todd, and Gwen for putting this conference together. And, as a food blogger, if you ever have the opportunity to attend a food blog forum conference, do it! I promise you won’t regret it!