Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hanging Out with Food Bloggers for the Weekend

Last weekend I attended BlogHer Food in Atlanta.  It was my first blogging conference and I was thrilled to meet a bunch of women and a few men who share my passion for food and food writing.  The bloggers at the conference ran the spectrum.   There were some very well-known established bloggers, newbies who had written only a couple of posts and everything in between.  There were professional chefs and new cooks; food activist and food connoisseurs; the diet conscious and those who savored more indulgent kinds of food.  It was a glorious experience. 
first day at the conference

I sat in on many great break out discussions.  Two of the ones I found most relevant to me were about getting your family to eat healthier.  (I’ll talk about that more in a future blog post.) 

One break out discussion I wished I had attended was Food Blogging for Change.  This one featured “Mrs Q” who writes Fed Up with School Lunch.  Mrs Q apparently works in a school and is simultaneously doing a little undercover reporting on the state of school lunches while advocating for change.  I like her already!  Her latest triumph was reforming the daily lunch menu at her son’s daycare.  Go Mrs Q!
Mary Eva indulging my need for between session chocolate

At the conference I learned about many great new food blogs like Devil and Egg by Caroline Campion and Black America Cooks by Donna Pierce.  In fact I learned about so many great blogs that I could make this post just one long list of yummy food blogs.  Instead though, I am going to savor them slowly and then making individual postings about the interesting food I find along the way.

Katie and Jenna at dinner at the Terrace

Of course it was not all work and discussion groups while I was in Atlanta.  There was also some pretty good food to be had too.  On my free night I went with a friend to The Terrace, a farm to table concept restaurant in the Ellis Hotel.  It was awesome.  From the scrumptious mushroom pate with a hint of garlic to the perfectly cooked lamb with smashed potatoes and mint Greek yogurt, the meal was excellent!  If you are ever in Atlanta, I highly recommend it.
the menu with food sources listed to the right
my fabulous lamb and smashed potato dinner

The last day of the conference we took a field trip to Sweet Auburn Curb Market as a group.  The market, which had its origins in the 1920’s, was a bevy of fresh greens and freshly cut meat.  
Loved the sign - "Buy your whole pig here"!

bins and bins of fresh veggies

one more look at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market

It was a shame I couldn’t do more shopping since I was flying out later that day.  At least I had a delicious lunch at Afro Dish while I was there.  This restaurant serves up authentic Caribbean and African cuisine.   I had the jerk chicken with plantains and rice served up to me by the owner himself, Ralph Sarpong. 
a great find at the market
Not a great picture, but my lunch was delicious!

So that was my first food blogging conference.  A big thanks to Katie Williamson and MaryEva Tredway for palling around with me in Atlanta.  It was a great experience. Now that I am back, I am looking forward to trying out some new ideas in the kitchen and checking into some new-to-me blogs on line. 

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