We rushed into Seattle from spending only 24 hours in Portland with Non-GFBF’s family (and our usual tour of gluten-free bakeries and carbo loading). I was starved and full of anxiety when I checked into the W to start my International Food Bloggers experience (aka #IFBC).
While the server at Chipotle told me that I couldn’t have the rice because it has gluten (it doesn’t, I promise), I really liked having a safe meal as soon as I got into the city. Thanks, Chipotle! PS extra thanks for hooking up bloggers with free burrito bowl coupons. I will be VERY happy to redeem those soon! #ChipotleLove
I went straight into the introduction to IFBC by Dorie Greenspan. I spent the whole time doodling some key quotes of my favorite moments.
She was a really inspirational speaker – from her times (before the internet) building a community and then hanging out with Julia Child (oh you know no big deal).
After the intro was the Live Food Blogging by Amazon.com Grocery. You can see some of the great products that I got to sample here!
After the Amazon.com Grocery liveblogging, I went in and out of a few sessions, but I was most excited about the Taste of Seattle vendor fair and gifting suite. Because, c’mon, who doesn’t like sponsored gifts that I can give to you guys for rockin’ giveaways?
We kicked ass in the gifting suite. There were SO many gluten-free brands there including Attune Foods with their new cereal, Sahale snacks, and Happy Family squeeze packs!
Then Charissa and I got to explore the Taste of Seattle vendor fair! It was a ton of amazing cooking equipment vendors, wine vendors, and then a lot of local Seattle vendors showcasing their amazing food.
Each vendor was required to have a gluten-free option – this is MY KIND OF CONFERENCE! Seriously, it was amazing to eat whatever I wanted to. I overloaded on sushi and gluten-free yummies. And wine. Always wine.
You can see my video from the Taste of Seattle here. The end of the video has a slideshow of some of my favorite items!
The rest of the time at IFBC was full of sessions that helped increase my love and admiration of food, and (hopefully) helped me become better a better blogger. To really get the full feel of my #IFBC experience, check out my twitter feed from the event here.
- Pastry Smart presented the American Humane Association. They talked about the 5 tenants of animal welfare: Freedom from hunger/thirst, freedom from discomfort/pain/injury & disease, freedom to express normal behaviors, and freedom from fear/distress. I never thought about a bakery like Pastry Smart considering humane treatment of animals when they were not outright slaughtering a cow for their products. But they talked about humanely getting eggs (including replacing any eggs they take with plastic eggs), and milk, etc. That’s awesome. I wish every bakery (on top of every place serving animal products, period) could tout this.
- Food photography sessions ran rampant at IFBC. Now, I take all my pictures on an iPhone. My shots look like a third-grader took them. However, I’m pretty okay with that because by nature I am not a baker or a chef by any means. I am terrible in the kitchen so even if I had awesome skills, I’m not sure you’d want to see my photos. However, I really enjoyed learning about this from Andrew Scrivini from The New York Times, and others throughout the conference. It was very inspirational, and ever since then, I’ve really been trying to think about my photos of food before posting them. No worries, I’ll still take photos of me without makeup though…
- Wine and Writing: Live Blogging with Bordeaux Wines was amazing – truly one of the best sessions. I loved the hosts – Ward (@drXeNo) and Sam (@brokewino). After wine came more wine, the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery from Washington. I really dig their Ethos Late Harvest Riesling from 2011. Although I also liked their cab and syrah. Okay, so I liked most all of their wine. Seriously, I didn’t know that I could drink more wine – but I did. Again, I am not a super taster. I have a lot to learn when it comes to wine tasting and wine blogging. In fact, one of my FAVORITE tweets from my Bordeaux wine tasting experiences goes as follows: @CELIACBEAST: “Someone was like “I taste cilantro” and I’m like “I taste alcohol.” –> story of my wine blogging life.” Seriously, my wine tasting notes are pretty much always like this:
- The final session, Tech: Google Plus, Author Rank, Google Search with Ian Lurie (aka “I for one welcome our Google overlords“) was way over my head, but that’s why I have people like Non-GFBF and Mary Fran at Frannycakes to help me out. Web nerds, every blogger should have a few readily available. All I know is that from now on, I will really attempt to be a badass with my G+ profile. Please find me there.
I also had a chance to check out a Seattle gluten-free bakery/cafe below Pike Place market with my #GFFs Adina & Charissa!
The last night of the event, Urbanspoon treated us all to “surprise” dinners all around Seattle. The interesting part of this event, was 1) it was a secret and 2) you were placed into a group of people you don’t know and 3) a dinner full of gluten-free people you don’t know. You can read about my night at Stumbling Goat here.
Overall, I LOVED #IFBC so much. They were very accommodating to my food issues. Even though I’m not a food blogger per say (I’m more of a lifestyle about food blogger), I LOVED learning about food photography, food and wine paring, and most of all – being at a conference where everyone has a love affair with food. Unlike most gluten-free/celiac conferences, when you talk about food at IFBC, it’s always about “the most amazing blank I ever ate” and the love and appreciation for food. At celiac conferences it’s all about how food is our enemy – it can literally kill us. It was refreshing to be at a conference that reminded me that you can love food, even if a small part of it can and will kill you slowly.
HOW TO WIN AN IFBC PRIZE PACK
Enter to win 1 (one) of two IFBC 2013 Prize Packs – for US residents only.
A prize pack will include random swag and gluten-free goodies from the 2013 International Food Bloggers Conference
WINNERS WILL APPEAR BELOW WHEN CHOSEN:
2 winners, picked randomly (via Rafflecopter) based on valid entries.
HOW IT WORKS:
Each person can be entered into this contest FOUR TIMES via Rafflecopter.
CONTEST ENDS: FRIDAY OCTOBER 11th 2013 at 11:59pm EST