> hey what's for dinner mom?: BlogHer Food 09

9.29.2009

BlogHer Food 09

Here's the thing about conferences; I'm not really sure of the point. This one was no exception. I think the point was to make me a better blogger. Or maybe it was to network and meet all kinds of great people who will then read my blog and I'll read theirs and we'll live a little through each others blogs. Or maybe the point is to escape the normal work-a-day life and have a kick ass time eating drinking and collecting sweet swag. IF the point of a conference are ANY/ALL of those 3 options then by all means BlogHer food 09 was a rip roaring success.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself. How could I not? I was in a beautiful city hanging with my peeps. People who talk passionately about food, A LOT. I was anxious about this event because I was basically going in knowing one person. But I met 2 more before the conference and they were so wonderful they completely set me at ease. Thanks Heather for going to the SF MoMA with me. Thanks Susan for dragging me all over Chinatown or was it the other way around? I don't know and I don't care! These 2 wonderful women made me feel funny, hip, knowledgeable and secure. I needed that to get me TO the conference.

I'm shy. Did you know that? I get terrible nerves and decide I am not worthy and try to skip out on stuff. I couldn't talk on the phone until I was 8. Scared the daylights out of me.

I went early to register and of course you read the fiasco with my name tag so I was pretty much petrified. Then I met my friend Janet(pretty green girl) who is a blog buddy. She set me right at ease and boom shyness gone. From there on out I was cool with networking, handing out my card and giving my blog lowdown. We breakfasted and were joined by Heather. Another lady asked to join us and pretty soon our table was almost full. I was talking Alaska when one of the ladies asked if I new a blogger named Christo. When I said yes it was a hilarious moment realizing that he had told her to look out for me and we found each other boom right away. Diva on a Diet is her name and she writes Beach Eats, great blog and blogger!

Off to session one. I chose the values track which was on the politics of food and food blogs. Interesting track and lots of good things were said. Greg Massa, a local organic brown rice farmer, was on the panel and he had a lot to say about blogging and spreading the word about his rice via blogs and social media. I will be including links to transcripts if I can find them.

Lunch. Oy. So much has been said about the LUNCH FAIL. I feel I need to add my 2 cents here. Lunch was a fail because many of the sponsors for this event were promoting pre-made food. Food bloggers make their own food and we rarely use frozen pasta dishes. I do not want to bite the hand that feeds me but I think the sponsorship was all wrong. There were no high end products, no local, no organic, no real food products. Not that we don't occasionally eat frozen pasta or healthy choice entrees but they were completely wrong for a foodie event. Period. I think it was the big fail on the part of BlogHer rather than Bertolli who many are blaming. Why were there hardly any real foods included? Was it a lack of ability to see who the main focus was? They should have had a foodie advisory panel that gave them a little direction. All that being said; we got wine with lunch so who gives a rip?!? No seriously I think this was the first year and if I know one thing about the BlogHer ladies they learn from their mistakes and this will only happen once. And really the pasta dishes? Edible. For a food conference? No. The fact that they were served up while listening to Rocco Dispirto flirting with the ladies made them a little better.

Christina? The Pioneer Woman slipped in late and sat at our table for dessert. She was very sweet and shy. I liked her but the girl next to us almost wet her pants in excitement. Scary.

The second panel I skipped because it was so full. Yikes no sitting on the floor for me! The other choices were not interesting so I drug my huge bag of swag home to the hotel and because the day was 90˚ out I changed my shirt and pulled my hair up. Ahh better.

The third session was about finding your voice. It talked a lot about kind of setting the tone and staying the course. Staying true to yourself. But also about how your blog should change and grow with you. It to was very interesting.

After this session we received a Scharffen Berger Chocolate gift bag. YUM! We watched an unfortunate dessert idea where people scooped chocolate and toppings out a huge chocolate box with a gloved hand. Um no eating chocolate from an exam glove is not pretty nor does it inspire the desire to eat. I overcame that though to try some of the Mushroom Council's Portabellas Stuffed with Sprouted Quinoa. Yum although it needed a bit of salt. I'll live.

The rest of the evening was pretty much spent in a chocolate induced coma while I watched David Lebovitz, The Pioneer Woman and Simply Recipes answer questions on stage. An odd way to end if you ask me.

Then I spent the rest of the time in a pink champagne induced haze at the cocktail party where I'm pretty sure I spit on several people (accidentally). I hung with Heather, Janet and Diva on a Diet and Jeremy(who fit in how? I'm not quite sure) We snickered at some of the annoying attendees (we are perfect!) and noshed on yummy eats. And more drinks. Repeat.

Then at 7:40 I marched everyone I could round up right over to the after party ( I knew where it was and no one else did another case where amazing anal retentiveness is awesome!)where the real fun began with free flowing margaritas, chocolates, White Russians, taco bars and ceviche. Whoa. I didn't eat out of 'the fear' of well never mind. So I drank more. And more because screw it I have to leave in the morning. I remember dancing to brick house and trying to smoke a cigarette(what??). Then we poured out into the night collected our swag bags (2 more!!) and stumbled off to collect Pretty Green Girl's bags at the ST. Regis where I was bowed to like royalty by the whoever collected our bags.

Gah I figured it was about 3 in the morning uh yeah damn I'm old it was only 9:30 at night. After that I staggered off to buy a new suitcase to put my clothes in so I could use the other to pack ALL THE AWESOME GOODIES IN. Thankfully I fit everything in except 2 cans of soup and a truffle I bought. It was a feat of engineering and packing marvel.

I took only about 3 pictures the whole conference I was too busy networking, eating or drinking. All good to do when all else fails and the shy in me wants to jump out.

Must sleep, I'm almost recovered.


Peace and Love,


17 comments :

  1. So much fun hanging out! Don't know what I would have done w/o you to hang and gossip with! I actually wouldn't have known you're shy if you hadn't said it! I had a blast... can't wait for you to come back for the Eat-a-thon...um, I mean Foodbuzz. ;)

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  2. Now I'm really jealous that I did not know about this until you were gearing up to leave! Not that I have a) the money or b) the guts to go!!!

    haha Did you say my name to make sure I was paying attention!? I don't think I'd wet my pants in excitement, but I'd definitely be jumping inside if Ree sat at my table! She's coming to Chicago for her book tour but it's when I'm going to DC! Booo!

    This honestly sounds so much freaking fun. I'm glad you had a fantastic time and recapped it so I can live vicariously through you!!!

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  3. Wow even though you are shy you found the after party and had a great time.

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  4. So bummed that I had to miss out on that third panel ... it was the one I was most looking forward too ... but I couldn't get in the room! I was mashed near the door and left after about 10 minutes. Boo!

    Great recap though, Laura! I'm having a blast reading everyone's interpretation of the conference. :)

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  5. Just found your blog and your post really made me laugh (literally LOL). I am so bummed I did not got to BlogHer Food. I let life get in the way. Next year, I am so there!
    PS: Did you leave those two cans of soup behind?

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  6. I did leave the soup, truffle, travel deodorant and some snackens mix :( only to find out that sealed food CAN go on the plane-Ah well :) Thanks for coming by your blog looks fantastic!

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  7. Thank you so much for your kind words...and your constructive feedback...about our first BlogHer Food event.

    You are exactly right that your feedback is essential to us, and that we always listen and adjust. Which is why we're sending out a post-conference survey link to every attendee in the next couple of days. In addition to this post, I hope you will take 15 minutes to help us quantify your responses (they can be anonymous btw :) 

    We'll send you the survey link in our final BlogHer Food '09 email newsletter. We're excited to read your suggestions to make BlogHer Food '10 even better! (And yes, that means there will indeed be a next year!)

    Thank you again -- 

    Best, 
    Elisa, for the BlogHer Team

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  8. A cigarette!?!?!?!?

    Great recap...and it sounds like you had a great time overall. I hope I find time to visit some of your new foodie friends' blogs...

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  9. You don't sound like a shy one :-) I'm glad everyone made you feel comfortable and free. or was that the alcohol?

    tee hee.

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  10. yes a cigarette-GAK I kind gagged on it
    I am shy seriously! I have a mental block when it comes to social situations.

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  11. What a great recap, my feelings entirely are echoed by your writing. The best funnest part was hanging out with you, Janet and our Diva! Instant fast friends is how I call it. I'm trying to get into the November gig too ;-)

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  12. oh I hope you do Heather! if not wwe will pilgrimage to the castro for cookies!

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  13. I am still nibbling on that big boy! Hee hee

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  14. Agree on the quinoa but did you try the soup?? I can't remember if I handed you one or both. Anyhow, it was lovely to meet you and I'm looking through to find a mushroom recipe of yours I can link to on the Channel!

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  15. Sounds like you had a fun time! I love hearing everyone's personal take on the conference.

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  16. Bummer on the food. We had ummm not the greatest food at BlogHer for some of it (the lunch by Ragu was particularly inedible and overcooked but that's ok!). I'm glad you had a blast, and it sounds like fun... did they announce a location for next year or say any more on their plans for it?

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  17. it was so much fun to meet you, I love your site

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