Day two started off bright and early! Up and at em at 6 and we were lucky to catch the first bus to the Theo Chocolate Factory, where all of our seminars will be held this weekend. I must say, for a factory - it is gorgeous! Breakfast included some amazing treats from local bakeries, gorgeous fresh fruits, and good coffee from Caffe Vita. Perfect start to what should be an incredible day!
First session of the day
Diane Jacob, Kristine Kidd, Amy Sherman, all three published authors, spoke to us about the fine art of recipe writing. This hit home for me, as I am far as I could be from the traditional way to write recipes. My style is to write them as my mind works. I have always cooked by my feeling, my preference, and by experimentation. Unless I'm baking, I don't use recipes. I write my posts as a way to remember what I did, and as inspiration. However, I'm not sure I'm really helping you, my audience. So I'm making a pledge to you all to write more actual recipes- with measurements (crazy I know) and more specific descriptions of my process. I can't promise that I won't lapse from time to time, but I am going to make a concerted effort.
What do you think, dear readers? Yay? Nay?
Our second session was on Search Engine Optimization, which was awesome for the geek in me, but I won't bore you with the details.
Our third session before lunch concentrated on really using our senses to describe our food. One of my favorite authors, Kathleen Flinn, who wrote The Sharper Your Knife The Less You Cry, led this session and had us examine a lemon and describe it, without, of course, using the typical words that we all use for them. I really enjoyed taxing my mind during this and really searching for new words to explain the lovely cheerful skin, and juicy tart interior. Of course a few minutes before lunch, the room got a bit punchy towards the end of this session, and Twitter became an outlet of snarky responses. It actually provided a lot of funny quips- if you have Twitter check out the comments under #IFBC for a running conversation of the fun at the conference.
Lunch was amazing, but I've already posted tons about that- so in wont wax on again today.
After lunch we explored the legal side of blogging, again, I was all ears, but I won't bore you all :-)
Finally we explored the idea of local foods, fair trade, and even foraging (truffles in the Pacific Northwest....whoa). If you are at all interested in food, these are topics that are not new to you, however, if you haven't heard of these ideas, I urge you to look into them. I think that each idea presents it's own ideas, and, well if you ask me, aside from Free Trade which I very strongly about, I think that we all need to really form our own opinions on how we want to deal with them. I'll be talking about this in more detail, but right now my brain is spinning.
Our day wrapped with a Sherry tasting cocktail party, and the listening to the amazing James Oseland fro Saveur Magazine who may be my new hero. He spoke to every feeling I have ever had, from childhood when I had to be trying all new things, to today as he urged us to write because we love to write, and because we love food and the two combined are a match made in heaven. He urged us to remember that those are the reasons for our blogs, they are not popularity contests. The applause in the room was deafening for his thoughts, and he further enraptured us with his photos from his trip to Singapore and India a few years back. Let me tell you- captivating 200 food bloggers who are ravenously hungry, with photos of gorgeous food, and not inciting a riot....that takes a LOT of credit.
Dinner was beyond amazing. Tender beef cheeks with stuffed squash blossoms, Marscapone polenta with a tomato corn salad, grits with collard greens and tomato jus, beef carpaccio with watercress and cauliflower, and pureed chick peas from East Washington. Amazing, amazing, amazing food, wonderful chefs, gorgeous presentations...the photos will need to complete the journey of food from last night.
It was a beautiful day, and now here I am, back for Day Three, breakfast done and ready to learn!!