BlogHer Food '09, San Francisco

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I had a great time at the first ever (and hopefully annual) BlogHer Food in San Francisco (September 26, 2009). Overall, a great one-day conference (minus the lunch fiasco). I'm a bit sleep deprived so here are some random thoughts and photos.

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.

BlogHerFood 09, San Francisco
Here is a photo of 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 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!

My shopping trip to Japantown, San Francisco
e. justJENN enables me.
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.

BlogHerFood 09, San Francisco
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!

BlogHerFood 09, San Francisco
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.

BlogHerFood 09, San Francisco
Made from scratch. At a food blog conference. I know, CRAZY. See below.

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.

BlogHerFood 09, San Francisco
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.

BlogHerFood 09, San Francisco
Elizabeth Faulkner of 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!

BlogHerFood 09, San Francisco
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!
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Audrie said... [Reply to comment]

Sounds like you had a really great time... Meeting other bloggers would be a total trip :) Btw I'm in love with your haul from Japantown!

Mary said... [Reply to comment]

Next year I want to go! Great post..I am still laughing about the Great Bertoli Incident of 2009...hee..hee...

Barbara Bakes said... [Reply to comment]

Sounds like I missed a great conference! I'm glad you could go!

Maria said... [Reply to comment]

Great recap of the conference. It was SO fun meeting you. I hope we can cross paths again. You are a sweetie!

Eliana said... [Reply to comment]

This sounds like so much fun. I hope something like this makes it's way to NYC.

Mary Jo said... [Reply to comment]

yes, i want to go next year as well. so much fun and a great excuse to go to "the city".

Anna said... [Reply to comment]

That's a great picture of Laurie!

Katie said... [Reply to comment]

I need to go to this next year its official!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I hope they have one next year and I hope that I can go!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Great recap of the conference and wonderful pictures. I tend to use my blackberry for around town type pictures so they are not good quality.

I really enjoyed meeting you and hope we can get together sometime in Los Angeles.

RecipeGirl said... [Reply to comment]

omg- I was the best part of lunch?? :) Too funny. It was so great to meet you. Let me know if you ever come down to San Diego. Have fun w/ your cookbook!

Michelle {Brown Eyed Baker} said... [Reply to comment]

Awesome recap and great pictures! I hope I'll be able to attend next year!

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said... [Reply to comment]

yeah lunch was pretty nasty...

It was fun meeting you too. I went to the last session about photography and I thought it was way over my head. I wish I had gone to the previous ones. I'll have to check out the blogher page and recap.

I think foodbuzz will be great. Let me know if you come.

Nutmeg Nanny said... [Reply to comment]

Wow sounds like a great trip! I love all that awesome swag you got:) Did you have to be invited to go or could any food blogger attend?

Susan from Food Blogga said... [Reply to comment]

You were at BlogHer and we didn't meet? Aw, I'm so bummed.

The Mushroom Channel (Jessi) said... [Reply to comment]

I can't believe we made the recap! SO honored and thank was such a blast getting to put names with faces with excellent taste over the weekend!

Welcome to our crazy blessed life said... [Reply to comment]

What a super fun trip. Man I miss California! Maybe I'll get to meet up with all of you next time. :) I can't believe they served frozen pasta...

Davery said... [Reply to comment]

Once you fly Virgin America it is so hard to go back to Southwest - I flew SW, VA, then SW back to back to back and that last SW flight was a challenge! Now we need a travel bloghim conference for me to attend.

luvlyloops said... [Reply to comment]

Hmm! The t-shirt "soy friendly" made think of it being in spanglish: I am friendly. LoL I wish it said that, but it doesn't, but nice try. I'm glad someone I know got to go.

Muneeba said... [Reply to comment]

JEALOUS! Pioneer Woman was there?? And David Lebovitz too?! Not to mention all the others u mentioned ... gosh, I'd be walking on a cloud the whole time. Is the next conference on the east coast by any chance?!

Jennifer said... [Reply to comment]

I'm SO jealous!!!! Looks like you had a fabulous time!!!!

Nanette said... [Reply to comment]

That is some awesome swag! And awesome photos! And an awesome recap! Just all-around awesome!

Carol Peterman/TableFare said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for sharing your experience for all of us that didn't attend. It sounds like quite an amazing and fun event!

Ingrid_3Bs said... [Reply to comment]

Now that looked like it was both informative and entertaining! Very cool that you got to go experience it.

Dolce said... [Reply to comment]

Looks like you had a great time... The frozen lunch apart :)

eatme_delicious said... [Reply to comment]

Great recap. Thanks for sharing!

2.46% said... [Reply to comment]

Great post! I really liked reading about your trip and seeing all the great pics. Looks like you had a great time.

Poor Rocco. Ever since that tv show, he seems to be making one misstep after another.

Janssen said... [Reply to comment]

Sounds amazing! What a blast.

Pamela said... [Reply to comment]

Sounds like a fantastic experience all around. Thanks for sharing!

Engineer Baker said... [Reply to comment]

I was so glad to finally meet you - love that you immediately introduced yourself as Mary the Food Librarian :) As for the cocktail & afterparties? Definitely go next time - they were LOADS of fun!

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

What a great recap Mary! I really wish I could have gone - hopefully next year!

Anniesartbook said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for sharing! Really interesting post! I wish I was there, but SF is toooo far for me :-)))

The Scootabaker said... [Reply to comment]

I have to say, I've been so out of the loop as a blogger lately. i guess moving and lack of internet access will do that to you.

Katrina said... [Reply to comment]

I'm so late getting around to all my marker blogs! Sigh! But great recap and so fun to meet you. Thanks for the lil' shout out!
Fun times. Hopefully see ya next year!

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