Wow, what a great time I had in San Francisco at BlogHer Food Conference. I met great people, toured the city, ate some great gluten free and dairy free food and learned more about food blogging.
Pictured above from left to right in the front row is Stephanie- A Year of Slow Cooking, Seamaiden- Book of Yum, Ali- The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen, Shirley- Gluten Free Easily, Diane(me). In the second row is Elana- Elana’s Pantry, Allison- Sure Foods Living, Karen- Cook4Seasons, and Jean- Gluten Free Organics and More!. We almost had everyone pictured here but Shauna- Gluten Free Girl was off with Little Bean.
First let me share with you the conference and great people I met there. As expected the gluten free bloggers gravitated towards each other. We were all trying to find out what we could eat. We were promised gluten free food at many of the events. Well, there was a gluten free lunch, but that was it. I think we were all glad we missed out on the frozen pasta meals Rocco DiSpirito was pushing. Instead the gluten free/vegan meal was a mushroom risotto. I guess gluten free and vegan just got lumped together. I however cannot eat rice, so they brought me sauteed vegetables. I think I actually had the best lunch there.
My afternoon hunger was satisfied with Elana’s Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. She had baked a box full and thankfully was sharing them. The glasses of water were just not filling me up. I’m going to have to bake these for every trip from now on. Only wish each batch came with Elana.
There were eleven main sponsors of the events and frankly I’m not sure why they had some of them. I did enjoy Cuisinart, Pur, Mushroom Channel and Scharffen Berger Chocolates and maybe Nature’s Path and Real California Milk (if I drank it). I however am not sure why they would have a room full of people passionate about food and have Campbell’s, Bertolli, Healthy Choice, Jello and Pillsbury. Maybe I’m just too much of a food snob?
I attended the three sessions on the vocation track. I loved the first session on How Blogging Best Practices Apply presented by Kalyn Denny, Elana Amsterdam, Michelle Lentz, Lauren Ulm with Alanna Kellogg moderating the panel. I took four pages of notes. The biggest takeaways from this session were micro verses macro formatting, how to title posts for search engine optimization, adding food photos in a useful manner, and when linking to another blog post don’t use words other than the title of that post. For example don’t say click here.
The second session after lunch was, Your Blog is Great…Now What with Amy Sherman, Jaden Hair and Helen Dujardin. Again a lot of great information including approaching the blog as a business and other opportunities to share my information in other media formats.
The last session was on Protecting Yourself and Your Work. Evidently there are people out there that copy and paste your recipes right into their blog. They don’t give you credit or link back to your original post or even ask permission. They shared many ways of tracking and dealing with the stealing of content.
There were two other tracks including Visual and Values with a lot of great information that I missed. I will need to go look at the notes on the BlogHer website.
The afternoon break was a demonstration given by Elizabeth Falkner. Foodies will recognize her name from Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America. Her restaurants Citizen Cake and Orson have been written up in every major food magazine and local media outlets. I need to travel back to the city just to eat at these restaurants. Warning, if you read their menu online, you may drool on your computer. By the end of the demonstration people were putting on plastic gloves and digging into large boxes made out of chocolate and filled with an amazing looking chocolate dessert. I wish I could have tasted it because it smelled like chocolate heaven.
I was excited to meet Chef Falkner and David Lebovitz at the wonderful after party at Tropisueño. Great party and great food at Tropisueño thanks to our hosts Jaden Hair, Elise Bauer and Ree Drummond. I actually went back for dinner and you can read my Tropisueño Gluten Free Restaurant Review on Gluten Free Food Critic.
The closing keynote on food blogging was presented by Lisa Stone, Elise Bauer, Ree Drummond and David Lebovitz. It was highly entertaining and informative. I love David Lebovitz’s sense of humor and attitude.
It was great to learn more about food blogging but my favorite part was getting to meet so many fun food bloggers. I especially loved meeting the great gluten free bloggers I read. They were all just like you would picture if you read their blogs. That was great.
I’m looking forward to BlogHer Food 10′. There are so many great foodie cities. I wonder where it will be?
Wow, I’m not use to writing such long blog posts. In order to keep this from totally going crazy, I’ll break this up into two posts. Stay tuned for part two over the weekend.