Here I am, sitting at the International Food Bloggers Conference, listening to the amazing creators behind Modernist Cuisine (via Intellectual Ventures) and I can't stop thinking about how bad I've been about doing daily recaps of the daily events. So please, please ignore the ambitious comment I made a few days prior. I was young and adventurous then. Now I'm old and coffee deprived (yes, it is possible even in Seattle). Simply put, the conference has been so amazing that after I drag my body through the front door my the tips of my fingers, I turn into a pumpkin until my cell phone wakes me in the morning.
Ok, recap. Day 1.
The weekend started at Hotel Monaco in downtown Seattle, kitty corner from the library. I only live 5 miles away. FIVE MILES. You know how long it took me to get downtown, park and walk (uphill in high heels)? 1 hour. ONE HOUR. Apparently there was also a Mariners game on the same night, so there was a lot of traffic trying to go south through Seattle. Being the savvy woman that I am, I left my condo at 4 pm and arrived just as the clock stuck 5. Even then I was one of the first attendees to arrive.
Dear International Food Bloggers Conference, The Ginger Cook has arrived… but without her camera. Oh snap.
Oh well, my intense onset of disappointment was soon quelled by the table of local Washington wines. And a cup of the best Chai I have ever had. And some Oregon microbrew. And a cookie. Annnnd I was in heaven. This was all in the first little room!
I bet you can assume what comes next. A lot more food. I jumped in with a Cherry Tomato Salad by Chef Lisa Dupar. It was a bright salad with subtle citrus flavors hitting the palate first. Twirling my fork around the mozzarella I was able to scrape up a taste of the watermelon sorbet. The smoothness of the mozzarella contrasted perfectly with the clean and fresh taste of the watermelon. I would never before have thought this combination would have worked well together… you showed me IFBC!
While everyone else went gaga over the caveman lamb pops, I gravitated towards the cupcakes (provided by Cupcake Royale) and Spanish Olive Oils. I also struck up a conversation with wine-genius Robert Larsen and a food photographer Alan Campbell.
The conference part of the night concluded with a Q&A interview with Morgan Spurlock, creator of Super Size Me. Looking back to my handy dandy notebook, here are a few points that struck me enough to write them down.
- Us food bloggers who emphasize local food are preaching to the choir. Locavores listen to other locavores. How do we reach the people who, I quote, "don't give a shit." I personally think the best way to do this is give them some local food, but how can we feasibly do this?
- There needs to be more emphasis on sit-down family meals; it is a lost art. I completely agree. I grew up eating dinner with my family 6 nights a week and I think I'm a better person because of it. Thanks Mom and Dad!
- We should use our blogs to start a movement, organize events and spread the word.
- I was pretty shocked to learn that his 3 ½ year old son is vegan!
- He really inspired me to research and learn about CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture). Here they are in Seattle, WA.
- What can we do about labeling on foods? "All Natural" on healthy foods segregates them and gives them a negative stigma. How about writing "All Chemicals" or "All Poison" on GMO's?
- We need to change the price of a bag of apples to match the price of a bag of Oreo's. Here here!
- Three words: GOURMET FOOD TRUCKS
- We need to get away from preaching to people, we need to make it sound like we're having a good time!
I left a little bit early so I could run back home. One, I needed to drop off my gigantic swag bag (more on that later). Two, I wanted to change my shoes. Three, I was able to bring my roommate Rachel (per the blessing of the Urban Spoon guys) to the after party at the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar.
While the after party was packed, it was nice to be able to interact with the bloggers and chefs in a much more relaxed (and wine filled) atmosphere. I spoke at length to Robert Larsen and Alan Campbell and all the guys at Urban Spoon, particularly Mani and Phil. My favorite wine I tried that night was a Pinot Noir by Elk Cove Vineyards. Luckily, it is produced close by in the Willamette Valley. I hope it's in my price range…
Well, the Dr. Nathan Myhrvold, the genius behind the Modernist Cuisine, is wrapping up his panel. Next up is a panel on food photography by Pennt De Los Santos… so excited!
I'll get the (few) photos I took Friday night as soon as I get home!