I wanted to write this as soon as FBC’5 was done, didn’t want to wait a whole year to write a ”this week last year” piece like I did for last years blogger connect;) Well that’s one of the things that happens when you meet so many like minded foodies, they inspire you! Am going to try and add some snippets of each day here, hope they take you on a journey of sorts.
High on excitement and anticipation we all meet What better way to kick start the foodie bloggy weekend than with a Food Photography Workshop with Penny De Los Santos, an award wining internationally photographer (to quote from her website) from across the pond. Pennys workshop really gave me insight on how to use light and I loved the way we could go clickety click and try our hand at different angels and all the while resist the temptation to eat the food beautifully styled by the gorgeous Emily Jonzen. I had a mini shock after the photography session was done as there was a large crowd of all the lovely bloggers who had assembled in the beautiful venue Battersea Arts Centre and were already well connecting. One thing that really came out strongly at this years Food Blogger Connect was the feeling of community , after all FOOD is a great conversation starter! Other highlights of the Day 1 were the panel discussions with David Lebovitz and Niam of food and travel blog Eat Like a Girl. Niamh took us through a virtual tour of Canada alongwith Nim from the Canadian Travel Commission, am certainly hoping I can go there someday soon just to have the beers which have some very shall we say ”creative” names,Sparkling Ice Wine and of course Poutine.
- Aoife Cox of The Daily Spud gave a an entertaining insight into how to create a niche blog by thinking creative .
- My Takeaway from the speakers of Day1 #FBC5
- David Lebovitz – ”Explore your Flaws”
- Karen Burns Booth on getting Published in magazines ” Develop a niche and make your recipes stand apart from the rest”
Ate sushi with a twist from Dorshi Sushi who use pearl barley , now my mum would love to hear that, she’s been big on the benefits of Pearl Barley for years now! love how they use unusual ingredients and create Asian flavours, the horseradish dip was packed a powerfull punch high on taste.
Absolutely drool worthy cheese counter from La Fromagerie had one exotic cheese called Picos de Europa (Valdeon) ,described by their team as: ”Cow’s milk blue cheese covered in vine leaves, with Goat’s milk added at times of year when it is more readily available. A rich and creamy cheese with well spread blue moulds and a tangy taste similar to Roquefort.”
(Penny De Los Santos at her Photography Workshop and Emily Jonzen of Leiths School of Food and Wine dressing up plates of food)
(In the pic above – Day 1 FBC 5 Street Food – Clockwise from Top Left -@LaFromagerieUK cheese to die for , @eatdorshi – Sushi made using pearl barley @Luchito_mexico loved their chilli honey,@pigahic Thai Street Food)
Day 2 #FBC5 :
Power-packed with great speakers, rooms charged with electricity as bloggers ”connect” and Bethany’s book launch – The Jewelled Kitchen Souk. Penny De Los Santos’s session about Food and culture was delight to begin Day 2 with. Listening to Penny speak it took me on a journey through all her many exciting and some dangerous adventure assignments. I loved her pictures with Madhur Jaffery the most. Emily Jonzen’s session on food styling gave us so many valuable useful tips for food styling and presentation.
David Lebovitz’S Speed Blog session created quite a stir! Kerstin @MrsMarmiteLover was a powerhouse speaker, she really has done it all – from Underground farmers market, to working at as a chef at an ”anarchist vegan restaurant” , successfully starting a supper club when it was unheard of and ofcourse writing a blog and a book!The most important she said was how we women need to empower ourselves by ensuring we make a living,she is such a fine example of entrepreneurial spirit ,hats off you ye gutsy lady!
Felt I was back in college with the session of recipe writing by @AlisonBolus, so much to learn! There was very sound advice on Gluten free recipes from Holly of @PureTastePopUp and Adriana of Gluten Free 4 kids.
Some of the food bloggers who have published their own books came forward to share their experiences, I especially loved watching the video created by Juls Kitchen it took me on a Food Journey through Toscana!
On the STReat Party front
The saviour from the hot hot sun was definitely the peppery ice cream by The Peppermongers , I went back for seconds at Luchito Mexico their Honey dip was irresistable! @eddiechillijam thank you for the cute sample bottle am waiting to use in some fresh fish recipe that’s stuck in my head.
@PetitGateau_UK had the most lovely pop up stall and generously shared their sweet treats with us hungry bloggers.
(In the pic above Clockwise from top left to right – @RenBehan put together her Polish Pop Up Stall called My Polish kitchen, Adriama Rabinovitch’s Book Gluten-free 4 kids is displayed with some gluten-free cookies – they were really tasty , the food bloggers mingle during break time, @TerraRossaUK had a pop-up stall for their exquisite Exquisite Arabian products)
(In the pic above Clockwise from top left to right -@PetitGateau_UK , @peppermongers regale us with their wares , @ lidgates Butchery Demo in progress , @eddiechillijam what a superb chillie jame umm! , @Chobani_uk kept us going even in the hot sun with their fat free delights)
The evening was a sparkling event with @Bethanykd and the launch of her first cook book – ” The Jewelled Kitchen”, mega feast with a massive barbecue and lots of wine, it set the mood for a relaxed evening where everyone mingled shared their life and the whole conference like feel of day 1 melted into this big happy college fest kind of gathering.
The mood on an upswing, swing in my step I walked to the station with my new found friends.
Tumbling into Day 3: Back to Battersea arts centre, I felt I was going to meet a bunch of pals for a Sunday brunch
- Dana who sells Virgin Argan Oil has really helped fan the tiny flame of ideas that sits deep inside and looks for an open window where it can sit and feed it’s desire for oxygen, if I ever turn into an entrepreneur I will never forget all of Dana’s valuable advice!
- Dana of @Arganic_UK ”Take a crazy holiday wid fellow foodies,put urself out there, research ur golden business idea”
- Regula or @missfoodwise to the world walked us through her world of perfect branding and creating well researched identity
- Regula speak: ”If an AD is UGLY, don’t put it on your blog!
On the STReat Party front
@Africanvolcano is the real deal with a tasty filling burger dripping with a mind blowing spicy sauce , I am glad I took bits of chicken and pork in mine!
@FunkyChickenVan loved the van, so vintage.
(David Lebovitz and Bethany share a laugh while they announce the lucky winners of the giveaways)
A blog post about Food Blogger connect would be incomplete with a mention of the bloggers I connected with. It was great catching up with Grace of ‘Alifeunhurried’ again this year, I am glad we are friends, just one day together at FBC last year, you are such a warm person. I have made some really cool buddies, sharing our experiences of creating our food blogs understanding what drew us to blogging and what is it that keeps us going.
- Renne of ‘Kitchen Conundrum’ who flew in from NY
- Sadia from ‘Baking Elements’ who is a techie geek,a baker , a mum and a part time GP- PHEW !
- Morgan from Atlanta,Georgia who blogs at ‘Peaches Please’ (Morgan and her mum flew down from across the pond to be at FBC 5, cool!)
- The very sweet Eleni of ‘On Top of Spaghetti’
- The lovely blogger from Montreal Andree Ann who blogs at ‘lavoiealabouche’ and like me is a food and travel blogger – Ann you must do that post we talked about – husshh am not mentioning it here!
- Petra who blogs at ‘Food Eat Love’
- Kelly was another blogger who was very warm and was great meeting her again this year at FBC, I love her blog ‘Kellies Food To Glow’
- Jackie Lee thank you so much for the brownies, hubby is still raving about them! Jackie is a Private Caterer and a Pastry Chef and blogs at ‘I am a feeder’. I loved how Jackie has used her logo as a sticker label for branding, good job girl!
- Artemis Tsipi who blogs at ‘Wonder Food Land in English’
- Carla who blogs at ‘Can be bribed with Food’
- Marica it was great talking about Indian Cuisine with you, her blog Cooking with Marica is in Italian , I like her Instagram feed!
- Elena the Greek Food Blogger shared her interesting foodie adventures with us, she blogs at ‘Elenas Cooking’
- Janie who blogs at ‘Hedgecombers’ has also published her first e-book called Project Egg
- It was great fun chatting with Karen who’s blog I’ve been reading for a long time, love her photographs and writing style, her blog if you don’t already know is called ‘Lavendar and Lovage’
- Fiona who Blogs at ‘London Unattached’
- Danni who blogs at ‘Hungry Healthy Happy’ has an incredible personal journey to share, I am so looking to her for inspiration for weight loss!
- The lovely Bintu who blogs at ‘Recipes from a pantry’. She is a mum, works and blogs, how do you do it girl?!
- Vanesther’s blog ‘Bangers and Mash’ has great pictures and even better recipes!
- Helen who a baker since she was 10 blogs at ‘The Diary of a Cake Maker’
- Nayna the veggie blogger who blogs at ‘Simply Food’
- Jacqueline, the Scottish vegetarian as she’s called on her blog ‘Tinned Tomatoes’
- Louisa who currently blogs at ‘Chez Foti’ soon to become ‘Eat your Veg’
- Sylvia who blogs at ‘Happiness is homemade’
- Tina’s blog is called The Spicy Pear, how cute a name!
3 whole days of meeting and chatting with food bloggers from all over the world, eating some really tasty food at the street stalls like all good things had to come to an end. Have new personal favourites on the food front – Chobani’s delicious thick strained yogurt which is TOTALLY fat free! Moose’s Maple butter which is super smooth , tasty and spreadable ummm
Some of us bloggers just happened to stroll into this beautiful pub on it’s very first day of business ,it’s just opposite the venue,go check it out someday folks, we were treated to some handmade pasta!
A special Thank you to @JaxCocoUK your coconut water kept me hydrated over the hot summery weekend , to @LavazzaUK for helping me kick start my days with much needed caffeine, I am so NOT a morning person , Grace and Sadia am sure will grin ear to ear when they read this bit ! Also @Tyrells crisps and @Joeandseph posh popcorn for providing munchies for all those in between main meal hunger times 😉 Ofcourse @Chobani_UK made all the sessions just that much more interesting!