All the bloggers met at the Viking Store on Friday evening just to kickoff the conference with loads of food, wine and a few surprises.. Well, good ones!
Environment was relaxed, people were cooking together in the kitchen, sharing their travel experiences over a glass of wine, taking photographs and before we knew we all had made some new friends!
Jaden then spiced things up by introducing us to Chef Kevin Rathburn (from Rathbuns Restaurant) and he was actually going to cook for us!
And do I even need to tell you how insanely good his pork chops were? He gave us a few cooking demos but I can tell you, people were mostly thinking how fast that food was going into their mouths. We were stuffed when we finally said a goodbye to everyone before going back home. It was a great start to a great event.
Next day began with a few more surprises. Again some good ones!
Foodies can't even think of doing something without a belly full of good food so first things first!
And then began a day full of some really useful info which a new blogger like me who is still trying to wrap her arms around the blogging world really appreciated.
Diane and Todd from whiteonricecouple shared some really cool insights into food photography. Scott Hair of steamykitchen shared with us ways to design a food career, John Kessler from Atlanta Journal-Constitution and James Andrews and Lauren Thomas from Everywhere helped us understand how to work with media outlets and brands.
Then there were two beautiful ladies Virginia Willis, renowned chef and cookbook author and Alisa Barry of Bella Cucina who joined Jaden and talked to us about ways to stand out in a crowd and how to build a personal brand.
Now everyone thinks about how to make some money and if you can do it while doing something you are passionate about nothing beats that! So Jaden spent some time discussing blogging bussiness stratergies.
All in all it was a great wholesome conference!
But you know what the best part of this whole weekend was? No, not the wine or food! It was the people we met and the friends we made in these mere two days.
I want to say this to all my new friends if you are reading this post (you better be!) that I loved spending time with you and knowing each and every one of you! Megan of What's Megan Cooking, Wendy of The Local Cook and Julie of Mommie Cooks thanks for spending so much time with me and being so kind! Alison Lewis of Ingredients, Inc what can I say? I just wanna be you! Loved talking with you and learning so much from you. Tori of Food Victorian, Melisa of My McDonald Meal and Julie of The Little Kitchen thank you so much for being so warm and friendly. It was great to see your interest in knowing more about Indian food and Tori please forgive me if you don't like your photograph up here! And finally a BIG shout-out to Jodie of Eating on The Cheap, Amy of She Wears Many Hats, Robyn of Add a Pinch, Debra of Smith Bites, Dana of One Haute Plate and Andrea of Off Her Cork you guys rock! Love to you all and I really hope we get to meet again soon.