Food Travel

What going to a Food blogging conference means

July 1, 2014

A couple of months ago, somewhere along the twittosphere, I stumbled upon an announcement for early bird tickets to Food Blogger Connect. I clicked on the link out of sheer curiosity of what a food blogging conference entails. What I encountered a few minutes later in information sealed the deal for me. Having re-launched Pots & Patterns earlier this year after a long break, it made sense to attend, seek inspiration and learn from like-minded bloggers in the industry.

Also, I really wanted to rekindle my love with London, so if food was bringing us together, then FBC

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here I come!

We started off with a heart warming welcome from the founder of FBC and blogger of Dirty Kitchen Secrets, Bethany Kehde. The 3 day conference was packed with workshops, masterclasses, lectures, networking sessions that brought bloggers and brands together. It unfailingly also meant we had to endure lots and lots of mouthwatering food from providers who believe in the power of good produce, good flavours and good times. Not a bad life at all.

Bethany Kehdy from The Jewelled Kitchen and Co-founder of FBC giving a welcome speech

Bethany Kehdy from The Jewelled Kitchen and Co-founder of FBC giving a welcome speech

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Bloggers and industry professionals by the masses

A full house of attendees at the Battersea Art Centre

A full house of attendees at the Battersea Art Centre

DSC_2581 There were many interesting sessions that clashed with others, and that’s when I wish I had the power to clone myself to take it all in. Though such is life and you have to pick your battles wisely. My biggest takeaways from some of the lectures were:

  1. “When it comes to your media pack and securing a gig, you get what you negotiate, not what you are worth” – Monica Bhide
  2. “Protect your product. Understand how TV works. Insist on creative control and if it doesnt feel right don’t do it. ” Nichola Smith– Presenter of Food Network TV series “Red Hot & Yummy”
  3. “Get involved in things that are low risk. The street scene is very ideal. Think pop ups and always have the community in mind.” Nichola Smith
  4. “If you grow up being taught

    how to eat by fast food companies, your nation is going to be in trouble.” – Bee Wilson

  5. “Having bigger images on your blog is more powerful visually than small images.” Julie Falconer from A Lady in London
  6. My kids dont watch TV . You guys (bloggers) need to go digitally visual, start vlogging or your own youtube channel. Kelly Ralph
  7. “The mirror is a good light reflector to brighten up shadowy spots, use it ever so sparingly.”- Donal Skehan on food photography

donal

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Smokey Tails fuse food and music by serving up BBQ wings with beats to jam along to

Bubbling Paella

Bubbling Paella

<img
class=” wp-image-680 ” alt=”Chef Anna Olson from the Food Network passing out Canadian delicacies” src=”http://potsandpatterns.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/DSC_2466-e1403354394442-678×1024.jpg” width=”475″ height=”717″ />
Chef Anna Olson from the Food Network passing out Canadian delicacies like Grape Ice syrup on fresh grilled Salmon

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Moose Maple Butter A spread of this golden goodness on toast will transport you to another planet. Vowing to never return.

Tunisian Merquez sausage wraps by Flippin Nell

A British couple in their 50’s, both of whom have corporate day jobs, operate #FlippinNell over the weekends to show us their love for Tunisian street food. Merguez sausage wraps and freshly made harrisa paste is what transports you to ecstasy and back. They source their meats from tunisian butchers to support the local ethnic community. And you ask me what is love?

Korean bbq delights from the Galbi Bros

Korean bbq delights from the Galbi Bros who vow to trendify kimchi and bring the zing to your burgers

Scrumptious scotch eggs engulfed in crusty minced shrimp, topped with shredded coconut sambal. Divine

Scrumptious scotch eggs engulfed in minced shrimp, topped with shredded coconut sambal. Divine

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Some wise words to live by in fashion and in health

pulled brisket burger

Juicy slow roasted brisket burger with crunchy slaw for texture from “Pulled”

Martin Morales - Peruvian Food extraordinare and Owner of Andina

Martin Morales – Owner of Andina, demonstrates how to make sea bass ceviche with a genuine and heartfelt vision to spread Peruvian cuisine worldwide

Some cocktail making competition demonstrated by the funky Kelly Ralph

Some cocktail making competition demonstrated by the funky Kelly Ralph

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Dynamic duo Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi tell us more about running award winning restaurants and a sneak peak on “Plenty More”, Ottolenghi upcoming cook book

Why food writing matters. by the Historian Bee Wilson and Writer Monica Bhide

Why food writing matters. by the Historian Bee Wilson and Writer Monica Bhide

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Lovely Luisa Weiss – The Wednesday Chef Blogger turned cookbook author

What striked me the most was the obvious outspread of Middle Eastern cuisine throughout FBC, from the founder Bethany Kehdy who originates from lebanon, to the celebrity chefs we met Greg Maalouf, Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, and last but not least, the founders of Terra Rossa. Our cuisine is taking the world by storm, and it ain’t stopping anytime soon.

Besides networking with professionals from big brands and industry leaders. Food blogger connect was also a chance to meet fellow bloggers from around the world. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t so intimidated about going to a conference not knowing anyone beforehand. There wasn’t much to fear anyway, because if anything, most food bloggers are easy to talk to, fun and friendly. A few of the ones I enjoyed connecting with are:

Patricia Cochoni – a lovely Brazilian lady making use of her time while in London studying Culinary Arts

Nelson Carvalhiero – An award winning travel and food blogger from Portugal who passionately travels the world to bring you untold stories worth spreading.

Miss Foodwise – it’s hard not spot her walking around because she is fashionably donned in red from head to toe. Also, her blog is just beautiful

Magda’s Cauldron – my strEAT party buddy while we queued in hunger for food and swapped chit chat only bloggers talk about

Manjiri Chitnis & Tiffany my partners at the food writing lab where we all came up with a fake campaign to convince a fake CEO on how we were going to sell his product (apples) and influence our readers to buy them.

Jo YEE– one of the loveliest persons I met and enjoyed interacting with. A Bostonian in London.

Gemma Critchley – a licensed dietitian blogger with lots of interesting posts on healthy eating and lifestyle habits for people with different kinds of sensitivities.

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…..and then some seriously heavy FBC goody bags to take home. However, that isn’t the only thing I’m taking with me. I came back with a more defined perspective of the direction I want to take with Pots and Patterns, and fresher outlook on the diverse aspects of blogging. Meeting new people from the industry was an eye opener, and I definetly encourage going to such events. After all, there is much to gain and less to loose when travelling for food? (and no I ain’t talking about calories here)

Wishing you lots of love and yum

xx

  • So glad you enjoyed it. My three visits have resulted in so much knowledge, gaining confidence and so many friends throughout the world.

    • Totally agree, can’t wait to see how my blog develops over the coming months after applying the knowledge learned from FBC.

  • Geordie Armani

    one of these years I will get there 🙂

  • An invaluable experience for sure that will only add value to your blogging. I would love to attend the conference one of these years. Middle Eastern Cuisine is surely taking the world by storm… and I am super excited to be sitting in the middle of one!

    • true…. by the way, i went to e Bengali restaurant for lunch in Bricklane, simply because you made me want to try it 🙂 It was amazing

      • Oh my God!!! Did you really enjoy it because a lot of my Bengali friends complain about Brick lane – not Bengali enough, but yes, at least there are more options there, than here.

        • well…I can’t comment on the authenticity because i sadly wouldnt know. but im sure we were duped in that case, because the restaurant had a banner saying “winner of masterchef 2011” something like that.. haha.

  • Loved this overview of the conference through your eyes Shaima. You’ve got a knack for taking photos and writing pithy descriptions that bring the experience to life.