Monday, August 30, 2010

I Attended the Opening Party at the 2010 International Food Blogger Conference AND My Special Announcement!

International Food Bloggers Conference 2010

I received an invitation to attend the the Opening Party at the 2010 International Food Blogger Conference held in Seattle last weekend.  They were going to announce the winners of the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest, and much to my delight I was informed I was a finalist.  Because I am local to the Seattle area, Barnaby Dorfmann, the founder of Foodista (The Cooking Encyclopedia Everyone Can Edit)  thought I might like join in the fun.  He was right, and join in the fun is precisely what I did!!

From The Pomegranate Bistro in Redmond Washington
The 2010 International Food Blogger Conference was a whirl-wind 3 hour experience that I will not soon forget.  Multiple rooms at the lovely Hotel Monaco in downtown Seattle were peppered with vendors from many different aspects of the culinary world.  Restaurant owners, such as the kind people from The Pomegranate Bistro offered up tiny plates piled high with tempting delights for the nearly 300 food bloggers from around the world in attendance.  I sampled the phenomenally delicious grape tomato salad over watermelon ice with handmade mozzarella strings; the cool sweet flavors of the watermelon paired beautifully with the acidity of the juicy ripe tomato and the mild undertone of cayenne pepper (photo above).  The Pomegranate Bistro informed me that although they do not have a formal gluten free menu in print, they do make several dishes in their restaurant that are naturally gluten free.  I told them I would be happy to come and sample the menu to review it for my readers!

Beecher's Handmade Cheese from Seattle
Roaming from room to room I was continually tempted by platters of artisan delights such as handcrafted cheese from Beecher's Handmade Cheese in Pike Place Market (Seattle), and handmade fair trade chocolates from Seattle's own Theo Chocolate.  I sampled a salted caramel with a little chili powder on it named  "Ghost Chile Caramel", and it was fabulous!  Theo Chocolate offers tours of their Seattle chocolate factory 7 days a week; I would love to take my kids there sometime and share our tour experience with all of you!  You don't live near Seattle?  No worries! Theo Chocolate can ship your favorite chocolates to your home (these would make super Christmas gifts).  Both varieties of Theo Chocolates I sampled were gluten free, and one was dairy free as well. Delicious!

Ghost Chile Caramels from Theo Choclate in Seattle
I learned how endive is grown (quite more involved than I could have imagined), sampled delectable gourmet olive oils from Spain (did you know Spain is the world's #1 olive oil producer?), and sipped wines from the Columbia WineryChateau Ste. Michelle, and several wineries in Walla Walla Washington (we have fantastic wines in Washington)!  The POM company sampled its ant-oxidant rich 100% Pomegranate juice by serving it up in the form of POM Cocktails, which I must say were extremely easy going down!  As you can imagine, my belly was very happy visiting all of the different food and beverage tables!

I had the chance to meet several amazingly talented cookbook authors, and have a review lined up for one of them which I particularly loved ( I will post the review very soon, so stay tuned)!  The theme for most of the cookbooks at the conference focused on fresh, regional, organic ingredients which I was very pleased to see.

Heidi Kelly (Adventures of a Gluten free Mom) and me.
One of the highlights of my evening was getting to meet one of my favorite gluten free bloggers face-to-face: The beautiful, warm-hearted Heidi Kelly, author of the inspiring Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom blog (photo above).  Heidi was nicer in real life than I could have imagined, which really made me wish she didn't live in a different state (I would love to hang out and bake up gluten free delights with her!).  What fun!

Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook 
The next biggest highlight of my evening was finding out that I was actually a winner in the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook Contest!  Woo Hoo! :)  For all of you who voted for my Gluten Free Pumpkin Doughnuts and Vegetarian Spring Roll Recipes in the contest last spring, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!  It is a huge honor for me to have a recipe published in this unique cookbook; I look forward to handing down a copy to each of my kids so someday when I am getting older they can share it with my grandchildren and great grandchildren (you get the idea).  The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook goes on sale this October; I will definitely be reviewing it and hosting a giveaway for it as well.  Chances are that most of the recipes in the book are not gluten free (although like any recipe, you can adapt them by substituting GF ingredients to make them gluten free), so I will run the giveaway on my Freebie Fairy website as opposed to on Gluten Free Taste of Home.  If you are interested in entering, be sure to sign up via e-mail for my Freebie Fairy blog so you don't miss out on the announcement.

Film Maker & Food Activist Morgan Spurlock (L)
The evening ended with great big goody bags full of cool kitchen gadgets and bakeware courtesy of Sur la Table, and an interview with guest speaker Morgan Spurlock, food activist and filmmaker (Best known for his film Super Size Me).  Morgan was on of the funniest people I have ever listened to, he had the crowded room full of bloggers laughing at his jokes, but also managed to keep us all engaged in a conversation about what food bloggers can do to help spread the word about eating the right foods.

My only regret?  That I didn't know about the 2010 International Food Blogger Conference earlier!  I would have loved to stay for the full weekend long conference to take all of the interesting blogging workshops being offered (and eat some delicious chef prepared meals with a lot of super nice food bloggers!)  Oh well, there's always next year!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was not compensated for this post; all bloggers in attendance at the IFBC received a complimentary goody bag containing a selection of kitchen gadgets from Sur la Table as a conference gift.  I received a bottle of Olive Oil courtesy of Olive Oils from Spain, as well as a sample pack of chocolates from Theo Chocolate, and a cookbook courtesy of Chateau Ste Michelle Winery; all were conference gifts available to every attendee. The opinions I have expressed are solely my own; I was not required to post a review for any gifts received. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. You are so sweet Cinde, you've made me blush! It was such a pleasure to meet you too, and it was a joy to watch you win the Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest, yipee!!

    I will definitely be entering that giveaway!


  2. Congratulations again for making it into the Foodista book! It was great meeting you on Friday night, the crowd was so dense that we lost each other at some point! I hope we'll get the chance to meet again.

  3. Thank you Marie... maybe we will see each other at next years conference! :)


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