a. Putting a face to a blog
It was great meeting, in REAL life, several bloggers. The day was a whirlwind so I'm sure I'm missing people (sorry), but I really enjoyed meeting: (most of these links are to their recap of the conference): pinkstripes, two peas, engineer baker, baking and boys, joy the baker, cookie madness, baking bites, recipegirl, and met a bunch of other really nice bloggers.
Rocco DiSpirito's Tweetdeck with Wendy of Pink Stripes. She tweeted a question and won a Flip camera and copy of Rocco's book. She's giving the book away...check it out here.
b. Visual track was fantastic
BlogHerFood had three tracks running simultaneously - visuals, values and vocation. I went to the three visual talks of:
Matt Armendariz and Heidi Swanson
Todd Porter and Diane Cu (White on Rice)
Matt Armendariz and Lara Ferroni. Check out the slides from their talk here.
Each talk was really great and gave me lots of action plans: Practice, practice, practice! Shoot RAW. Learn to read and use the histogram. Talk to photographers you admire. Make a scrapbook of photos you love and try to recreate the image. Thanks to all the presenters for sharing their knowledge!
c. I heart Virgin America and the Westin
Flew Virgin for the first time. Loved it. Even enjoyed the little safety video. Once you go Virgin, it'll be hard to get back on Southwest. I always stay with friends when I visit the Bay Area, but this time JustJENN and I stayed at the Westin on 3rd in San Francisco. Sweet hotel and courteous staff all around. I recommend staying there.
d. Gift bag...read carefully
The gift bag/swag was quite nice. We received a Scharffen Berger Chocolate bag too...nothing like bringing home four bars of chocolate! And kudos to the BlogHerFood staff for setting up delivery to a local food bank of the items people couldn't bring home. Also, I almost missed the best ever swag! There is a little card in the bag to complete from Cuisinart and they will send me the Elite Collection 4-cup prudy chopper/grinder! Can't wait for that to arrive!
justJENN and I went to Japantown and spent too much time buying stuff at Ichiban Kan and eating mochi at Benkyodo. I couldn't pass this cool t-shirt that says Soy Friendly. Me love anything with a tofu and soy sauce character. Too cute.
e. justJENN enables me.
f. Foodbuzz is way cool
JustJenn and I ran off our 2 1/2 hour delayed flight and made it to Foodbuzz for lunch. The staff were all so friendly. JustJenn won the logo contest for the upcoming Foodbuzz blogger festival in November!
g. Top Chef Ryan is adorable
Ryan Scott from Top Chef Chicago (better known as the Fabio season) is way cute, charming and delicious. He demonstrated making a frittata before lunch.
h. Lunch was "interesting"
I think if you Google "blogherfood" and "bertolli" you'll know what happened. Basically, they served frozen food to food bloggers (yes, people who make their own pasta, tofu, frosting, and can taste the difference between salts found on the north or south shore). Frozen food. And poor Rocco tried really hard to convince us that heating frozen pasta for 8 minutes will bring joy to our lives. Rocco was charming and charismatic, and I do hope he is saving all the money he's getting for being the Bertolli spokesperson.
i. RecipeGirl was the best part of lunch!
RecipeGirl and I sat at the same table during the lunch. When she won a Rocco book for tweeting a question, she gave me her autographed copy because she received a copy of the book at an intimate dinner with Rocco the night before. Yes, let your imagination go on that one! ;)
j. Mushroom soup rocks. Chocolate box and gloves.
The one food item that was completely delicious was the Mushroom soup prepared by one of the exhibitors, Mushroom Channel . Here's the recipe.
Citizen Cake made her famous chocolate box. Guests throw on rubber gloves and grab a pile. Here's Nicole of Baking Bites with her dessert!
I skipped the cocktail party and unofficial after-party to visit with friends in the Bay Area. Both looked really fun, and will definitely try to attend next time!
Your blog should be your happy place.
The closing session with Pioneer Woman, David Lebovitz and Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes was really interesting. My favorite lines were David clapping his hands together and saying, "I love my blog" and Elise's "my blog is my happy place." Few will have as much commercial success as these three, but it reminds you that you should be true to yourself, and make your blog an expression of you.
If you want to read about the sessions, please check out the BlogHerFood Live Blogging site.
Overall, what a great conference! As soon as the next one is announced, I'm signing up and hope you will too!