Note to my readers: This is a subsidized post, as detailed below. In exchange for a reduced conference fee, I agreed to write three posts about the event: this is the second of those posts. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
Traveling is not my strong suit.
It used to be something I longed for and adored. When I was a girl, my ideas about travel were decidedly romantic. As a kid on a steady diet of soap operas and “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous,” I dreamed of jetting off at a moment’s notice to exotic places like Paris and Rome. There was no need to worry about a language barrier – somehow, my travel would magically make me a sophisticate able to communicate wherever I went.
As a young woman, responsible for fewer things and people than now, I might have swapped Paris for Manhattan and Rome for, say, Phoenix, but spontaneity was possible.
Nowadays, with children in school and a husband who has a regular career, my reality is more structured. We just don’t do spontaneous trips. Yet, when I learned about the International Food Bloggers Conference, just about two weeks before the event, I knew I had to try to make it. So I moved a few things around, booked a kennel for the dog, convinced the husband to take a day off, and the family piled into the minivan to cruise up I-5 to gorgeous, gloriously sunny Seattle, WA.**
I am so very glad we did. While no event could be perfect, the highlights of this one were quite close to perfection for me. They include:
- The keynote with Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg: these folks have written a slew of brilliant books about the fine food world. Becoming a Chef*, their first, nearly sent me to culinary school. Culinary Artistry*, with its food and flavor pairings, was sheer genius. I am excited to check out their next book, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible*. I am certain it will be just as amazing as their previous books.
- Editor Dianne Jacob’s presentation on writing. Ironically, I was actually in another session, but the students in Dianne’s class kept sending tweets that made me laugh out loud. I had no choice — I had to come hear this clever lady for myself. Very glad that I did so. She really emphasized that we experience food with all of our senses, not just taste, and that we should use those senses to give our readers the most complete experience of whatever we talk about and taste.
- Shauna James Ahern, known as The Gluten Free Girl, gave the final presentation I attended on Sunday. Ostensibly, her talk was about recipe development, but the heart of her session was really about finding and being your own, authentic, warm self.
Shauna is a phenomenal writer. Her writing always touches me: she makes me laugh, think, cry — if I can be half as good I will be more than satisfied.
Those are my top three sessions from IFBC. If you were there, give a shout in the comments with a link to your blog — I’d love to virtually “meet” you.
* = Affiliate link.
** Seriously: this was the most beautiful weather I’ve ever seen in Seattle. We had two perfect, hot, sunny days in the Evergreen State.