A Southern Grace: food blogger (and coffee lover) mecca

September 25, 2014

food blogger (and coffee lover) mecca

Yum

I just spent 4 days in Seattle for the International Food Bloggers Conference, and it was amazing.


This was only my second trip to the West Coast and my first time in Seattle. After I checked in at my hotel, I made a beeline for Pike Place Market, and it was everything I hoped it would be--packed with people beautiful produce, flowers, and seafood, as well as crafts and paintings and photos. I could've spent so much money there; fortunately, I was reined in thinking about my tiny carry-on bag and its limited space.

The gum wall, simultaneously gross and awesome.

The next few events were spent with my fellow Krusteaz ambassadors. We had a fabulous get-to-know-you dinner at Cuoco, home of the most outstanding coconut cream pie I've ever eaten. The next morning, we were bused out to Krusteaz headquarters, where we learned a lot about the company and got to tinker around in their test kitchen. We even had a test-kitchen-made cookie exchange!


That night was the opening of the conference, which included a gift suite packed to the gills with goodies. Once again, I had to pick and choose, though I'll admit that I picked and chose more than I bypassed. Education sessions began the next morning, but not before I had some incredible granola and yogurt for breakfast at Lola. Tom Douglas really owns Seattle's dining scene! One of the sessions I attended was led by Todd Coleman, the executive food editor of Saveur magazine for seven years. He had many tips and tricks for creating beautiful and artistic pictures, and I soaked up every word--I need the help!

The afternoon session was my favorite--Malia from the Krusteaz test kitchen and Jenn from Hostess with the Mostess did a cooking demo, showing the audience how to make everything from pancake rosebuds to fiesta flatbreads. We had a lot of fun and even picked up a few pointers! The session I chose to attend next was about cooking backwards--taking your local produce and creating meals from what you have rather than buying what you need to make specific dishes. There was food, there was science, there was fun!

Andy Heily, SVP of Sales & Marketing at Continental Mills.  Great guy!

I went back to Pike Place Market, partly to buy some souvenirs and partly because I couldn't stay away. I ate a gyro at a nearby Middle Eastern restaurant, and it was scrumptious.


That night was the gourmet fair, which was a highlight of the entire event for me. There was something fancy and delicious everywhere you looked, including strawberry and corn salsa, tomato sorbet served in an orange peel, and vegetarian sushi. I schmoozed and ate until I could schmooze and eat no more.


This was my first blogger conference, and I had a blast. I met some fun, friendly, and fantastic ladies, made some potentially terrific connections, and learned how to be a more effective blogger. I also had time to explore Seattle and lots of opportunities to eat. This was a wonderful experience and I can't think Krusteaz enough for sending me!

19 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

For sure it has been a great experience for you. Those avocado rolls look awesome.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A wonderful experience and great places!

Cheers,

Rosa

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

How fun! I love Pike Place. I haven't been to a big blogger conference yet but I want to soon!

lisa is cooking said...

Sounds like so much fun! I'd love to take a food tour of Seattle. And, a coffee tour.

Kate said...

Seattle is wonderful! I can't believe I missed the conference....I am headed up the end of October. It sounds as though you enjoyed both the conference and the city!

Beth said...

Sounds like you had a great time! It must have been fun to meet some of the bloggers you've corresponded with. And that food looks amazing.

Memphis Eats said...

Gorgeous photos!

Pam said...

How fun! It looks like you had an amazing time. Seattle is an awesome place.

Pam said...

Fun, fun! How great to meet fellow food bloggers!

Anonymous said...

We live at the butt end of the state near Oregon, Portland specifically..I grew up in Portland and Washington state, we adore Seattle if one can find parking spots and actually keep one's car from being stolen or looted..It is a lovely city our only lived there for about 5 years most people cannot afford to live in Seattle proper homes going for over $500,000 built in the 40's and 50's taxes are the highest of any municipality in all of Washington state, you are not getting excellent light rail and transportation, seahawks stadium and mariner stadium for not paying enormous taxes, about 11 percent and higher in the city of seattle, we visit by day of friends who retired in burbs of Seattle take our Orca passes and ride the bus or light rails into the city and out to the burbs we go with our purchases a Foodie city par none though I use Kruzteas a lot, the mills and all the places in Seattle make the best foods anywhere, just too expensive to live in the city..ciao

dentistvschef said...

ow, you made me jealous my friend..
such a wonderfull conference you've get there...
really want this kind of conference

Barbara said...

What a super trip, Grace. I've never been to Seattle and would love to go. Looks like you took in everything and had a great time with other bloggers. Yummy food pics....I've read so often that Seattle has fab restaurants. (The sky looks exactly the way I thought it would. They do get lots of rain there for sure.)

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

Sounds like so much fun! That is great that you had time to hit some of the local fair, while having such a great conference! How in the world did you handle so much wonderful food in such a short time?!

Carolyn Jung said...

Looks like a fabulous time. But then it's hard not to have a good time in Seattle, no matter what you're doing. ;)

I Wilkerson said...

Sounds like a great experience. I have some friends who were disappointed by some of the food blogger conferences they have attended. Do you think it would have been as much fun without the Krusteaz connection?

Katerina said...

I wish I will be able to attend such an event one day! Looks like so much fun!

Joanne said...

WHOA. So much fun and sounds like an amazing time!

Caroline Taylor said...

Sounds like loads of fun, looks like you had a great time!

Chineka @ Savor The Baking said...

Thanks for taking us along with you to the conference. You were in my neck of the woods. I'm glad that you had a great experience. :-)