This past weekend, I attended a conference for food bloggers in San Francisco, capital of good food (if not the capital, then one of the original 13 colonies). Even though blogging is a great activity and I have connected with loads of interesting folks, meeting people face-to-face is still very important.
I went this weekend with two things in mind – I was looking for my peeps, i.e. other food bloggers who write about topics that I care about, and for information on how to make printable recipe pages (that’s for you Sue!).
The peeps issue turned out to be the easiest. At breakfast, I met two out-of-town food bloggers, Diane of The W.H.O.L.E. Gang and Shirley of Gluten Free Easily. No processed foods for these two, already I am off to a good start!
At the first break-out session I attended (The Politics of Food…and Food Blogs), I heard from interesting panelists, including Jennifer Maiser (Eat Local Challenge), Bonnie Powell (Ethicurean), Elizabeth Castoria (Cafe Veg News), Kim O’Donnel (Washington Post and True/Slant) and Greg Massa of Massa Organics (organic brown rice farmer, follow him on Twitter, @MassaOrganics. He Twitters on his Twactor!). Here was a group of bloggers I could identify with – writers who care about food, sustainability, eating local, organic, all that good stuff. I was fortunate enough to sit next to Genie of The Inadvertent Gardener, always one of my favorites, and Sean from Hedonia, another local blogger who loves canning tomatoes as much as I do.
When the session broke up, luck again intervened and I ended up with a group of bloggers who decided to skip lunch (no hard feelings Rocco) and hit the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. Primavera was the food shack of choice, and they did not disappoint, with my favorite, Chilaquiles! Joining me on this adventure was Anita from Married With Dinner, Jen from Eat Local Challenge, Laura from (not so) Urban Hennery, Jennifer, Vanessa from Chefdruck Musings, Katy from Simply Yummy Goodness, and OH NO! I think I am forgetting someone! Please help….
After my big lunch, staying awake through the afternoon was a little tricky, but I managed. Listened to another panel on How Food Blogs Can Save the World, which included Lydia of Drop In and Decorate, a program I have participated in a few times in the last year. In the last session of the day, I heard about the Meaning of Identity and the Value of Voice in a Crowded Foodblogging World.
I am struggling with the title of my blog vs. what I really write about. As you may have noticed, I don’t blog as much about kitchen gadgets as I do about feeding my family using local, seasonal and organic foods. But changing the name of my blog would be difficult at this point, plus Kitchen Gadget Girl is really easy to remember! Much to ponder….
If you are keeping track, I have met loads of similarly minded food folks (which begs the question, why so much processed food at the conference. Yes, I know why, those companies have the marketing $$, but really?), but still have not found the answer to my question about printable recipes. Fortunately, I ran into Alanna from Kitchen Parade who gave me the quick synopsis – Alanna has a suggestion on her site about how to print recipes. She also mentioned an article on the Food Blog Alliance about how to set up recipe print pages. And finally, she suggested looking into a CMS version through my blog back-end. Ah, so many things to follow up on, and you wondered what I did during the day!
After the closing keynote with Elise Bauer, Ree Drummond and David Lebovitz (that last one was for you Suzy!) where I was inspired to continue blogging, even if someone calls me a Hillbilly, the day was wrapped up with a party on the outside patio on the 4th floor of the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco. It was a glorious night and the cocktails were generous, and I was fortunate enough to meet Pamela from SFBayStyle, who I had not seen in years, along with Hank from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook and Amy from Sunset Magazine and Dr. Jean from Gluten Free Organics.
Oh, and the biggest surprise encounter of the day? I reconnected with Dr. Ruth (no, not that one, another one), the OB who delivered my daughter! You can even follow her on Twitter – she is working on a documentary film, Catch the Baby.
So, how was your weekend?