Highlights: Getting to be the ultimate Ottolenghi & Tamimi fan, getting my Jerusalem book signed.
Take Home: in Styling & photography look for [Form|Texture| Colour]
This week was an exceptional weekend, one that doesn’t happen often. The trek out to London was made oh-so-long via the nauseating Dublin air coach and the delayed midnight return flight; but I’m sure everyone is thoroughly spent and tuckered out. I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the sixth annual Food Bloggers Connect conference held at the charmingly beautiful Battersea Arts Centre (some history in the link there). You can feel its neo-classical styled building with mini tiled mosaics on the floor and a coloured glass ceiling.
The one thing I really noted off the bat was that it was very well-organised and well-stocked; with water at each session and fantastic street food in between. I can't believe I haven't considered going to one of these events before! In short here are my pros and cons of the weekend. Overall glad to have met so many new friends in the online community and to see such positive people taking amazing risks to pursue their passions and share their stories. Blogging is truly about building your own story.
[ + ] There’s a great sense of community, people are all very warm. It’s nice to share the enjoyment of food with others. The event causes you to think outside of your individual blog and challenge yourself to see what others are doing. There was definitely something for everyone from how to get a TV production company interested in you, to using crowdfunding for pop-ups, and of course can’t forget to mention Dah Suh (@koreanfoods) who spoke about the up and coming Korean food trend as the next asian food alternative to Japanese & Chinese.
In keeping with the recent romanticism that surrounds street food, there was an eclectic selection on different food vendors providing a big street eat party - at one point even had a car pass through the street unexpectedly, you know, just for the realness of it.
[ - ] I didn’t eat one morsel of healthy food, and that is my very own choice - not that there weren't any vegan or vegetarian options, and that doesn’t define it as healthy either. I think I just ate incredibly imbalance. A weekend consisting of mostly Patron drinks, dark Guatemalan & Ethiopian Yirgacheffe cold brews, and various types of slow cooked meats pulled, sauced, and on buns or tacos. Well, I can’t forget to mention the Paella!
The downside to a conference and events is you need sponsors. The sponsored foods were mostly snack, convenience foods & fringe health food products. There was Oatly, for example, a dairy-free milk alternative produced and packed in Sweeden. Definitely a favourite. I was impressed with its palatable flavour and mouthfeel. I learned to appreciate that each writer or blogger has individual topics that validate how they relate to food. (for more funny stories, give me a shout... we should definitely chat)
Food bloggers are sometimes self-acclaimed experts, [we] occupy a very interesting space between enthusiast, hobbyist, industry, and specialist. I’m thankful the weekend stirred in me a consciousness of interdependence between them all.
Did i mention, the loot bag for the conference is A-MAZING?!
Big shoutout to the organisers and volunteers that spend countless hours in and behind the scenes making this run smoothly.
[Always easy to get the shot when someone styles it for you - and sets it up with all their props]