BlogHer Food ’10: Overview

by Wendy on October 12, 2010

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I’m back from BlogHer Food — an incredible weekend of food, bloggers, education, inspiration, networking, and friend-making — held in San Francisco last Friday and Saturday and it was an incredible experience I won’t soon forget. I came away from this conference extremely inspired, invigorated, smarter and completely stuffed with delicious food.

I went to the main BlogHer conference in New York this summer and it was really interesting to compare the two events. I had a good time overall in New York, but my experience at BlogHer Food blew that conference completely out of the water. With 2000 attendees, BlogHer felt really big and overwhelming, but the 300 person size of this event was almost intimate. I felt like it was much easier to meet and form connections with people because everyone shared a common interest. The sessions offered at the conference were all fantastic too. I had a very hard time choosing which talks I wanted to attend because there were so many topics that were of interest to me. (I started writing about the sessions here, but I found I had so much to say that I’m going to break that discussion out into a separate post later in the week.) While there were a lot of aspects to the big conference that left me wanting more, I am having a hard time coming up with anything about BlogHer Food that was not positive.

So, pardon me while I gush a little bit!

The People

The people I met at BlogHer were by far the best part of my experience there! With only a couple of exceptions, everyone I talked to was friendly, kind and happy to chat about themselves and their blogs. Based on the number of business cards I brought home, I estimate that I spoke to about 15% of the people attending the conference! Considering that I only knew one person at the conference before I arrived and that I often feel shy in big social situations that just seems crazy to me!

I liked everyone I met, but I particularly enjoyed hanging out with the canning posse: Shae from Hitchhiking to Heaven (she was the person I knew before), Audra from Doris and Jilly Cook and Marisa from Food in Jars. Our spirited conversations about canning “elitism”, eating local, and blogging politics were some of the high points of my weekend. And don’t you just love that there is a place on earth you can go where there is a canning posse?

I also really enjoyed talking with Mrs. Q from Fed Up with Lunch. She is passionate about her cause and a real inspiration to me.

And then, of course, there was the time I got to spend with my new best friend Elizabeth Falkner.

Elizabeth Falkner and Wendy

OK, it was only about 3 minutes and I spent most of the time telling her how much I like her s’mores brownie recipe but we bonded, people!

The Food

As you can imagine, there was also a lot of good food. The sampling stations has all sorts of yumminess going on:  chipotle chocolate cupcakes, clementine martinis, and mini salads on skewers just to name a few. My very favorite though was this Cuties bruscetta. I’m buying the ingredients for it today so I can make some later this afternoon:

Cuties Bruscetta

Saturday I visited the Ferry Plaza Market and practiced my food photography with tips I picked up in one of the sessions.

Loverly Tomatoes

Tomatoes!

Greens

Greens!

Lemongrass Pork

I also got some lunch at Out the Door: lemongrass pork over vermicelli noodles and a Vietnamese iced coffee.

Chocolate Macaron

And a chocolate macaron from Miette.

The Swag

I feel a little shallow talking about the swag but I also know a lot of people are interested to know what goodies were given out at the conference. Between our conference tote, the freebies from the sponsors and the lovely gifts that were handed out at the parties, we were showered with swag non-stop. Here’s a quick run-down of what was handed out.

BlogHer Food Swag: Food

These are most of the edibles I received (my kids ate some stuff while I was at the second day of the conference so it’s not pictured). I was particularly happy with the huge amount of Scharffen Berger chocolate I brought home, but I’m also a new convert to Nature’s Path granola bars.

BlogHer Food Swag: Stuff

And here are the cooking gadgets.

Parties

The parties at the conference were also terrific and felt very inclusive. One of my big complaints about the BlogHer conference in NYC was that the private parties introduced a feeling of social stratification. I only heard of one private party at BlogHer Food and I didn’t even know about it until after the fact, so that feeling wasn’t nearly as pronounced.

The Food Fete the first night was enjoyable, but I really had fun at the closing night party hosted by little known bloggers Ree Drummond, Elise Bauer and Jaden Hair. One of the party sponsors was the Pork Board and — my God! — there was a lot of bacon there!

Bacon Martini

When presented with a free bacon martini, would you turn it down?

Bacon Martini!

Me neither! It apparently had bacon vodka in it, but the only bacon I could taste was the garnish. It was good enough to finish, but not good enough for a second.

Chocolate covered bacon

There was also a whole bacon room where you could sample bacon-y treats. The bacon popcorn and bacon ice cream were surprisingly good, but the chocolate-covered bacon (above) didn’t do much for me. There was more to this party than bacon, of course, but it kind of was the over-arching theme.

It really was a wonderful time! And I’m already plotting how to get to next year’s conference.

Coming soon: The Sessions!

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  • http://www.flavorstitch.com Flavorstitch

    And now I’m hungry for bacon all over again. It was so lovely to meet you at BlogHer. I really appreciated hearing your comparison of the main conference to the food one. I was all set to go to San Diego but I may not now. I’m the kind of gal that likes small crowds.

  • Marisa

    I had SUCH a good time hanging out with you this weekend! Hooray for the canning posse!

  • http://hitchhikingtoheaven.blogspot.com Shae

    Long live the canning posse! Wendy, this is an awesome summary. I’m still tired from the weekend, but reading this makes me want to turn around and go right back. It was truly fun hanging with you.

  • Anonymous

    Yay! Shae is lovely. I saw your picture on her blog this morning, and I’m so glad you two got to meet.

  • Doris the Goat

    Canning posses rule! You’ll have to come out to Philadelphia so you, me, and Marisa can talk canning smack at the local watering holes. Um. I mean we can go berry picking together.

  • http://helpamotherout.org/ LT

    Wendy, I’m so glad you had a blast at the conference. A bacon martini?!?!?!

  • Pingback: BlogHer Food ’10: Sessions | Wendolonia

  • http://www.momfoodproject.com Serene

    I’m spending the day catching up on reading and commenting; sorry I’m so late with this. I *love* your photos, and now I’m wanting more chocolate bacon. :-)

    (That martini, however, looks so unappetizing to me. When someone asked me at the party if I was going to try one, all I could think of to say was “WHY???”)

    “And don’t you just love that there is a place on earth you can go where there is a canning posse?” YES. I really, really do.

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  • Pingback: Nice Bacon Martini photos | MyBacon

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