20 (Plus) Thoughts on the International Food Bloggers Conference

 
Months have passed since I attended the International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC). There have been some excellent and often entertaining posts from other bloggers who attended—many of them from my gluten-free friends. But exactly what I wanted to say on IFBC did not come easily to me … and then life intervened, as it always does. Oh, I was tweeting away with the best of them at the event itself before and after sessions, and even during some sessions (for good and naughty reasons). Plus, I shared IFBC and Seattle photos on my gfe Facebook page right away. Still I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to share here. Sometimes words don’t do adequate justice to an event, so I just get overwhelmed trying. I also have a tendency to want to document such happenings chronologically, which can be both tedious and boring. So, still playing catch up as part of my 25 Days to Christmas, I’ve finally decided that I’m just going to share some thoughts here … in no particular order. They are not brief (no surprise there!), so you might want to grab a snack and a beverage, but I do think that they are a quick read.

1—If you could bottle the feeling of energy and camaraderie at a food bloggers’ conference, you’d have the ultimate “feel good—I can do anything!” elixir. Not unlike the VIP mint that was the equivalent of three martinis in the Rock Hudson/Doris Day Movie, Lover Come Back, but I digress. Everyone who attended IFBC and has attended these events in the past knows exactly what I mean. It’s quite the heady experience. Heidi (Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom) kept referring to herself as a groupie, because she was so smitten after meeting her gluten-free blogger friends in person. as well as others prominent in the food world. (You must check out her photo with Morgan Spurlock!) We all worry before we attend that very first food blogging conference that we might not fit in and that these people in the food world might walk on water—the food equivalents of Anna Wintour, so to speak. We wonder who we’ll talk to, if we’ll say the right things, if we’ll take the right clothes (okay, I worry about that for every event!), and more. But blogging can bring people together and more importantly food is common ground for everyone—blogger and non-blogger alike. The overall vibe and interaction at IFBC (and other food blogger conferences like BlogHer Food) was just so good that quite frankly we didn’t want the event to end. If you are a food blogger and can participate in such events, I recommend participating to experience #1 if nothing else.

2—Morgan Spurlock, noted documentary filmmaker and more, is extremely quick witted, and very motivating. After an highly entertaining tête-à-tête with his interviewer (whose name I cannot recall and I can find nowhere online, but who did a superb job), Morgan’s closing statement to do more than “preach to the choir” got everyone thinking. I’m still thinking about it and trying to act upon his advice daily. What else can I do to spread gluten-free awareness and, in general, an appreciation for real food for all and as part of my gfe approach for those who need to eat gluten free? I have some ideas percolating and so far have just tried to be out in the “world” as much as possible, but feel free to share any ideas you might have in comments.

3–Always have your camera with you. Because you might have missed out on a photo opportunity with said Morgan Spurlock at his actual presentation, but you just might catch him; his wife, the equally famous and wonderful Alexandra Jamieson; and their adorable son in the hotel lobby. This situation is exactly why a smaller camera stashed in your purse (even one that you use as backup) is ideal. (See photo at beginning of this post.)

4—Don’t be obsessed with taking every photo with the most high dollar camera out there. Wendy (Celiacs in the House) actually WON the photo contest at IFBC using her compact and fairly inexpensive Canon Elph. Yippee for Wendy! Yes, I’m still excited for her. The gluten-free bloggers did a great job of hooting and hollering when she took the stage to accept her prize—a beautiful chef’s knife.

5—The passion always shines through in presentations. Those are the ones that will stay with you long after you’ve unpacked your clothes and settled into your daily routine at home. I continue to hear Penny De Los Santos moving words and see her vivid images in my mind. I want to “make pictures” as Penny urges more than I want to take photographs. Pictures convey everything and move the viewer/reader. Penny’s advice is to trust your instincts and shop thrift shops for suitable props for your food pictures. However, she also urged all to give themselves specific assignments. She said that you have “to work for your pictures” and “push yourself.”

6—Sometimes the photos taken (and even published in most cases) by the professionals will surprise you. I’m not a great photographer and the camera I got as a replacement for my previous camera has let me down repeatedly. However, I still found myself looking at some of the photographs taken—oops, I mean pictures made—and thinking, “hmmm, I’ve discarded photos similar to those.” For one thing, I was surprised how many overhead shots were deemed worthy. I was also surprised at Penny’s guidance to not get too close to the food when making pictures … “let your food breathe.” She also advised that you should only use the hand shot once. Period. I thought that photos of a hand holding a scrumptious food, like a delectable muffin, were cool, so I know I’ve broken that rule!

7—It’s both a very encouraging thing and a shame when you have to fend off other folks to ensure an adequate supply of gluten-free food. If we had the Dr. Rodney Ford inspired Gluten-Free Planet, we wouldn’t have to worry about that. But, for this event, we ended up asking people if they had to eat gluten free, posting signs, and just guarding the table. Someone said in her family the gluten-free folks were called gf’ers as in “those gf’ers!” So we said yeah, we’re just a bunch of gf’ers. Then I added another similar, two-letter acronym as a prefix. We got a good laugh out of the irony that others were finding our food so appetizing, but in reality, it shouldn’t have surprised us. The gluten-free food served was real food, and real food is just incredibly beautiful and delicious (the forbidden adjective!).

8—Protein is always a must for breakfast. Udi’s gluten-free muffins taste great, but eat a few with no protein and you’ll be ready for a nap (no matter how riveting the speakers are). Stash some nuts or nut butter packages in your conference tote bag, just in case. (If you’re crashing daily after breakfast, be sure to add protein to your breakfast. Women typically do not get enough protein. Lean protein is a good thing!)

9—Group photos are so much fun, but there’s always one person who is not happy with their image and would like a “re-do.” Sometimes that person is me!

10—It’s fun to have company in one’s room at Hotel Monaco, especially if his name is Romeo. Oh, what a clever way to take care of your program members, Kimpton Hotels!

11—Always thinking ahead when it comes to food. This advice is not what you think. Don’t let great gluten-free food from the conference be carried off uneaten. Diane (The W.H.O.L.E. Gang) was smart enough to ask and get permission from Shauna and Danny to “stuff her pockets” with their amazing bread. So on the flight home she sat beside me and ate their amazingly good bread while I sucked one of the Justin Nut Butter packages dry. It was not one of my favorite moments. LOL However, Diane was the one who packed such a fantastic package of naturally gluten-free food for our flights—her homemade La Cecina, Justin Nut Butters, hummus, sliced cucumbers, and more. So, I really couldn’t be upset with her foresight. 

12—Kaili McIntrye, Wheatless in Seattle, who was one of the caterers at IFBC is a delightful person and a true gift to gluten-free folks. Her crostini and goat-cheese stuffed pastries were my favorites of all the beautiful and tasty items she served. As she shared on her Facebook page, everyone wanted her food, not just the gluten-free folks, so she had to keep increasing the servings she prepared. She, too, was quizzing folks if they had to eat gluten free and asking them to step away from the table and return after the gluten-free folks had been fed.

12—There truly are such a thing as super nice porta potties. The much talked about porta potties at IFBC were spacious and clean, with flush toilets, running water, flowers, framed pictures on the walls, and mints on the sink. When lines were long, I even resorted to one of the very basic porta potties, which were equally clean because nobody was using them. Although I’m not necessarily a fan of antibacterial hand cleaners, I did appreciate them being available after such visits.

13—Always quiz about a food’s gluten-free status until you find your comfort level. Patrolling servers at the Friday opening event stated that lamb “pops” (think lamb chops eaten Renaissance Faire style) were gluten free. However, when Melissa (Gluten Free for Good) inquired of the chef at his display booth and serving table; the chef stated that the lamb pops were not gluten free. I was glad I had not eaten any. But, I certainly enjoyed a host of other foods (and beverages) at that event.

14. It’s never much fun to eat standing up, but it’s always fun to break the rules. Melissa spied the two empty chairs on the small dais and decided we should sit down. People were chuckling at us because these chairs were clearly reserved for others … more important others. A short while later, Morgan Spurlock and his “mystery” interviewer settled into them. I still can’t understand why the POM Wonderful server (think of a young lass who could model for Victoria’s Secret and you’d have the right image) did not serve us non-stop POMtinis as she did later to Morgan Spurlock when he occupied the same seat.

15. Numerous articles about the gluten-free diet being a fad or a trend have made me dislike those words … a lot. There was a Q & A at the end of the Spurlock interview and the next trend in food was pondered. One of the answers was foraging. Foraging is a viable option in some areas and one enjoyed by quite a few whole food proponents. However, it’s not one I’d feel comfortable doing in my own neighborhood where I can’t control the use of my neighbor’s lawn care products, etc. Trends tend to be short-term, so even the best answers on returning to whole foods more and more just didn’t sit well with me. I don’t want to look at trends; I want to look at permanent changes and improvements. Finally, I was grateful that gluten-free food wasn’t mentioned as a trend. That might have gotten all of us gluten-free bloggers up off our “seats” on the floor!

16. Theo Chocolate is incredible!!! We received Theo Chocolate in our swag bag and after lunch each day. The only flavor that I did not like was a fennel variety. I was even more impressed when I heard the company’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Debra Music, speak and learned about how Theo Chocolate is a fair trade company and is actually changing the way the chocolate business is done. Read about their history and practices here and more here. Last, while historic chocolate factories are really beautiful and fascinating places, one is not necessarily the best place to hold a multi-day conference with several hundred people.

17. Even when you know that you are about to have a spectacular meal made by Shauna and Danny, using recipes from their brand new cookbook (Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef—now out, of course!), you will want to eat something tasty while you wait and you might even want to eat more when you are done. You know how talking about food and looking at photos of food can make you hungry? Well, imagine hearing about food and seeing food from some of the best in the world. You WILL be hungry! So the gluten-free bloggers still hit the food trucks, which were available for the bloggers for lunch that day. The top two visited by the gluten-free bloggers were the Mexican and Thai food trucks. Mexican food is often gluten free and the same holds true for Thai (love those rice noodles, but be sure to steer clear of gratuitous soy sauce).

18. Everyone says stupid things, especially if the “everyone” in question is me. Chances are good that a person, even a very famous, very busy person, can remember if he had an article published in another well-known magazine. (Yes, Diane, you were right on that!) I approached James Oseland, Editor in Chief of Saveur magazine, after his presentation. Oseland’s wealth of travel photos and narrative demonstrated—as De Los Santos’ presentation had also shown—that food is a common language. You may not be able to converse well with the local folks in another country, but you can share food and the joy that comes from sharing good food. Everyone clearly enjoyed his time on stage. Oseland also sent a lot of admiration and respect out to the blogger community for doing what we love. That was quite well received as you can imagine! So, I thanked him warmly for his presentation. Then I told him that I’d read one of his articles last month in magazine x. He replied nicely but quickly, “No, you didn’t.” Of course (being “Miss I’m So Sure”), I kept going. “I was sure that you wrote that article I read.” James Oseland, shaking his head while trying to be polite: “I haven’t written for magazine x in years.” Of course, I was sort of shaking my head (I hope that was only in my mind!) and wondering how I’d screwed that one up. But, Oseland kept smiling and being very gracious, and Wendy snapped a photo of us together. As you can see, he was holding Shauna and Danny’s new book. At the time (pre-publication), she had a total of two copies and she gave him one of them! After returning home, I was able to find the article I was referencing in magazine x. There was the author’s name, Colman Andrews, and his bio—former Editor in Chief of Saveur magazine. As Mr. GFE likes to say in such circumstances  … “Close, but no cigar.”

19. Presentations work best when the presenter is not ultimately trying to sell something. The presentations that felt like a sales pitch did not work. The ones where the speakers spoke passionately on their topic and/or offered more of a step-by-step guide/tutorial were much better received.

20. There was, and remains, a lot of guidance—as well as a lot of disagreement—on how much and what type of content bloggers should give away. From the IFBC presentation, specifically, I find one of the sanest, most reasonable voices in this area is Dianne Jacob. (FYI–The revision of Dianne’s well-respected book, Will Write for Food, was released in July.)  While I don’t always agree with Dianne, I love the spirit of discussion that she brings to the table. If you are a blogger, I also think you need to trust your gut on this topic. 

21. Even when you have an outstanding conference, the time you’ll treasure the most is the connections you make and the time you spend with friends away from the conference. I spotted Carrie (Ginger Lemon Girl) with her husband, Michael, as Diane and I walked to our table at the hotel restaurant, Rezas. Smiles and hugs all around! The day spent at Pikes Market with Diane and Wendy was truly treasured time. Diane and I are “old buds” now, but we had never met Wendy before. As you can imagine, we never stopped talking! The same was true when we met Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) and Heidi. We caught up to them in the hotel lobby and were pretty oblivious to the others who were also waiting in the packed area. There was the joy of meeting one another for the first time and getting to know someone new and terrific, but there was also the comfortable feeling that results from already knowing someone quite a bit through their blogs and other social media.

A kickoff outing to Flying Apron that afternoon brought so many of the gluten-free bloggers together. While many of us headed out from Hotel Monaco via bus,  Stephanie (Wasabimon); Emily (formerly Coconut Gal); Dr. Jean Layton (Gluten-Free Doctor Recipes) and her family; Jeanne (formerly Four Chickens, now the Art of Gluten-Free Baking) and her daughter; plus Shauna, Danny, and Lucy  met us there. We took up most of this vegan bakery moving furniture around and making ourselves at home, but the staff was non-plussed. And, who knew vegan pizza could be so good? All of us were talking excitedly with multiple conversations going on the majority of the time, so it was hard to take everything in. We were really all taking part in a “crash course” to get to know each other. The bus ride there and back was half the fun, especially when our group sat in the “extendo” part of the bus that did its own thing on the curves. Crazy, but fun!

When were able to get most of the gluten-free bloggers together for dinner on our last night; it was heavenly. That wasn’t just because of the food and service at Tom Douglas’ Palace Kitchen, although we all agreed that was divine, too. Kim, Carol (Simply … Gluten Free) Wendy, Heidi, Diane, and Melissa were at our table as well as non-gluten-free, but still very welcomed, Susan (Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy). Carrie and her husband were dining on their own. (It turned out their trip was also a pre-anniversary celebration, so they also sought out couple time on their trip.) But, as fate would have it, they ended up at Palace Kitchen and sat right beside us. Unfortunately, Lexie (Lexie’s Kitchen) had already headed home. As so many agreed, those few hours dining together at the Palace Kitchen was the time we’d been waiting for … time to just relax with a glass of wine (and even champagne—thank you, Diane!), share a fine meal, and chat. That evening was way too short, but it was a gift.

22. The gluten-free blogging community is outstanding in so many ways. Dedication, quest for excellence, compassion, understanding, and creativity are the main reasons that come to mind. In addition, every single gluten-free blogger I’ve met to date has been warm and welcoming. If that comes through to you on their blogs, it’s because it’s not superficial, it’s genuine. I’m so honored to be part of this group. And, we’re all so fortunate to have you guys as readers. You’re why we do what we do—sending you all a huge thanks!

If you want to read more about IFBC from the perspective of the other bloggers who are included in this post, click on the individual links within this post and once at their sites, search on IFBC. Tomorrow, I’ll be back with some more “current” stuff!

If you want to check out my previous posts for 25 Days of Christmas, just click on the links below:

Day 1 – Gluten-Free Holiday Giveaway Galore x 10—Giveaway of the new book, Mommy, What is Celiac Disease?, plus gluten-free treats and fun stuff. Open through Wednesday, December 15.

Day 2 — Guest Post from Debi Smith (Hunter’s Lyonesse)—My Journey Back to Healthy Living

Day 3 — Corn and Butter Bean (or Lima Bean) Casserole for A Gluten-Free Holiday (Cookbook and book giveaway ends Wednesday, December 8.)

Day 4 — Little Cayman Beach Resort Review

 

Shirley
Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.

Comments

41 Responses to “20 (Plus) Thoughts on the International Food Bloggers Conference”

  1. Wendy @ Celiacs in the House on December 6th, 2010 6:07 am

    Such good memories, Shirley. I’m so glad you did this post despite the delay. That was such a fun trip and meeting all of our GF blogging buddies was the highlight.

    • Shirley on December 7th, 2010 7:24 am

      Hi Wendy–I know re: the memories. Just editing this post (which I had in my Drafts folder for a while) and thinking back to IFBC and our time together, I got that warm, happy, invincible feeling all over again. It’s hard to explain to someone who hadn’t had the chance to attend one of these great events yet. Knowing all that makes it hard to turn any of them down IMHO. ;-) Connecting with you and our other friends was just incredibly special, and thankfully, the friendships continue in even deeper ways. :-)

      Shirley

  2. marla on December 6th, 2010 4:52 pm

    Romeo is soooo cute!! Thanks for sharing so much with us about IFBC. I would like to attend it someday too & it would be great to meet you :)

    • Shirley on December 7th, 2010 7:29 am

      Hi Marla–Welcome to gfe! :-) I know re: Romeo! Like I said, the big wigs at Kimpton Hotels are VERY smart. I would have tolerated any minor guest annoyances just because I had Romeo there to make me forget them all. ;-) There weren’t any, but I’m sure you know what I mean.

      So glad you enjoyed my write-up. I hope you do get to attend IFBC or one of the other terrific blogging conferences and that we get to meet up for sure! I’ll probably be thanking you again profusely for the stuffed mushrooms recipe, just in person. Mr. GFE is going to love it when I make them. ;-)

      Shirley

  3. Tia on December 6th, 2010 6:45 pm

    Shirley,

    This was great. I like your 25 days of Christmas posts. I feel like I’m in a time machine going back and forth. I love Chirstmas time, but I think this makes me appreciate it even more because I’m not getting too inundated.

    Still wish I had gone, but I loved meeting you at BlogHer Food. Now, I won’t feel so weird if I do my old posts that are sitting as unfinished drafts. Thanks!

    And thanks for clarifying about Jeanne and Stephanie. I had no idea that Jeanne changed her blog. I was saying to myself that I needed to check out that new blog, The Art of Gltuen-Free Baking. Funny! And, I had absolutely no idea that Stephanie (Wasabimon) was her daughter. No clue! Learn something new everyday.

    I really liked your take on things. It funny looking at these pictures now that I’ve actually met some of you. So I have a different context. Cool!

    xoxo,
    Tia :P

    PS – Can’t wait to see what’s next!

    • Shirley on December 6th, 2010 6:59 pm

      Hey Tia–You are such a doll! Thanks for all your kind words, but let me clarify immediately that Stephanie is not Jeanne’s daughter. Clearly I need to rewrite that part, Jeanne was there with her school-age daughter and Stephanie was there as well. So sorry about the confusion. It is true that Jeanne has a new blog though and per my understanding, only uses Four Chickens as her Twitter name now.

      I’m glad you liked the post and you know I was thrilled to meet you at BlogHer Food (yep, still got to do that post, too LOL). I wrote this post not too long after IFBC, but just went back and finished it up. I was tempted to change it knowing so many much better now and adoring them all, but felt I better stick with that point in time.

      Oh, and yeah, I can’t wait to see what’s next myself. Just know this … if you plan to blog daily, you will get sick (for days), your son will call with no heat in his apt and an unresponsive landlord when it’s 20 degrees outside, etc. It’s a challenge for sure!! LOL But stay tuned! Oh, and glad I am inspiring all of you to dust off those old posts. I definitely want to see them published!

      xoxo,
      Shirley

      • Tia on December 6th, 2010 7:19 pm

        LOL! I think I read it wrong, not you writing it wrong. I get confused with many commas and semi-colons. Glad I didn’t ask why she didn’t want to go to SFO to visit her “daughter”. ;)

        xoxo,
        Tia :P

        • Shirley on December 7th, 2010 7:44 am

          Hey Tia–Well, you know … now that you mention it, the semi-colon actually came up in the presentations at IFBC. I’m drawing a blank on who said it now, but one of the presenters said that semi-colons should be outlawed! LOL I’m of the school that likes semi-colons, but not if they cause confusion (they’re supposed to do the opposite!). Misunderstandings can be sooo funny sometimes … often they are the basis of great comedy skits. Wanna go on the road together? ;-)

          xo,
          Shirley

  4. Terry on December 6th, 2010 7:11 pm

    I have just put a linky up for gluten free bloggers. Hope you stop over and link up.

    http://myjourneywithcandida.blogspot.com/2010/01/gluten-free-blogs.html

    I am a new twitter follower. CandidaJourney

    • Shirley on December 7th, 2010 7:41 am

      Hi Terry–Welcome to gfe :-) … it’s nice to meet you. Happy to have another blogger sharing their health journey in the hopes of helping others! I was happy to link up—thank you for doing the listing.

      Hope you enjoyed my post. I look forward to chatting with you again in the near future!
      Shirley

  5. Maggie on December 6th, 2010 10:00 pm

    Wow Shirley, this is such a thorough post. Thank you for sharing it – you clearly have a stellar memory! I loved reading every little tidbit. When I was teaching, I used to have my students watch Supersize Me. I would’ve been so excited to meet him! Lucky you. I can’t wait to go out for dinner with you, hopefully at the GF Expo!

    • Shirley on December 7th, 2010 7:50 am

      Hi Maggie–Ah, you are one of my readers I can count on to always make me feel good, a gfe cheerleader. :-) I had this post mostly written for a while, but just had to polish it off a bit. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I originally planned to share more photos (and still may), but they ended up being on two different computers and I ran out of time to tweak them. ;-)

      I didn’t know a lot about Morgan Spurlock before IFBC, other than Supersize Me, but now I’m a true fan. I’d love to have his ability to respond to questions in an instant with intelligent, clever responses! That’s quite the gift, and that’s the difference between someone in media and the average person.

      Now I’m going to be wishing the time away until we can meet at the Expo … fingers crossed it will all work out for you to be there! :-) Hugsss,
      Shirley

  6. Erin Elberson on December 6th, 2010 10:22 pm

    Wonderful recap Shirley. Thank you for sharing those bullet points. And yes, we all say not so smart things sometimes, but eh-it’s the human condition.
    I do hope that I make it to a conference and get to meet the amazing people I have “met” online and in this community.

    • Shirley on December 7th, 2010 7:54 am

      Hi Erin–You are always the voice of reason. Next time I screw up, I’m citing the human condition! ;-) Love that … thank you!

      I’m sure you’ll make it to be with us one day. Hey, we have lots of common goals regarding gluten free … maybe we’ll lead our own gf conference with our rules! Hmmm, I really, really like that idea. We need to talk, girlie …

      Hugs,
      Shirley

      • Erin Elberson on December 7th, 2010 11:24 am

        Oh my. Now THERE’S an idea! That would be a wealth of fun, and learning in a fun way too. Yes, we need to chat ;)

        • Shirley on December 8th, 2010 11:54 pm

          Erin–The more I think about this idea, the more I like it. I mean … really, really like it. Yes, we’ll talk soon. :-)

          xo,
          Shirley

  7. Emily on December 7th, 2010 2:29 pm

    Beautiful recap Shirley! Gosh, it sounded like such a wonderful experience! And yes, I agree- everyone (me all the time) says stupid things!! Oh I hate that feeling… my hubby calls it “foot in mouth disease” ;-)
    This is a good reminder that I owe you that photo of us! So sorry! It is coming!
    Hugs :)

    • Shirley on December 8th, 2010 11:57 pm

      Oh, my dear friend, Emily–How are you? My hubby says the same thing as yours–”foot in mouth disease.” LOL I usually refer to it “open mouth, insert foot” syndrome. ;-) It’s good to know that we all do those things. Maybe James Oseland will remember me better because of that, huh? LOL

      Will look forward to the photo! We had such a short time together … would love to do it again, some way, some how, as the saying goes. :-)

      xo,
      Shirley

  8. Kim - Cook It Allergy Free on December 7th, 2010 3:04 pm

    Shirley, what a poignant and perfect recap of such a wonderful weekend. It makes me miss all of you so so much! You have done the best review yet out of any that I read. Thank you so much. I echo all of these sentiments completely! You are one amazing woman and I am grateful to have you (and all of our gals) in my life! And, when TIa thought that Stephanie was Jeanne’s daughter my first thought was, “Wait, did I totally miss something this whole time?” Then I started laughing.!! oxox

    • Shirley on December 9th, 2010 12:01 am

      Hi Kim–You’re always so very generous with your words–thank you so much! It is such a blessing that all of “us” have met on our blogging trips and stayed connected. Tia made us all laugh with that one (thanks, Tia!). I wish my post could have been longer and more detailed talking about all of you amazing women. Will go back and update it this weekend to include direct links to your posts.

      xoxo —> infinity,
      Shirley

  9. Karen@Cook4Seasons on December 8th, 2010 2:44 pm

    Shirley
    Such a thoughtful and well detailed post…I feel as if I were there (wish, wish.) I know there will never be another one like it…but let’s hope at least Romeo will make a cameo!
    Btw – what ever became of the GF conference we all buzzed about?

    • Shirley on December 9th, 2010 12:05 am

      Hey Karen–We wish you’d been with us, too. The next one will be even better with you along. :-) That Romeo is a charmer, isn’t he? ;-)

      There is still talk of a gf bloggers’ gathering … just not all figured out yet. Will let you know as it firms up some time after spring of 2011. :-)

      Thanks for the kind words on my post! Hugs,
      Shirleyb

  10. Alisa Cooks on December 8th, 2010 5:06 pm

    Per standard, I love your insight Shirley, and probably good timing since the IFBC sign-ups are probably just around the corner in the new year.

    • Shirley on December 9th, 2010 12:06 am

      Alisa–You’re so sweet! Ah, you mean my procrastination might have been a good thing! ;-) I love it when that happens!! :-)

      Shirley

  11. Ricki on December 13th, 2010 12:41 am

    At first I thought, “Wow, I am SO behind in my blog reading that I haven’t even read this yet!” ;) Thanks for the peek into the conference–helped me feel as if I’d been there! I am amazed that you can remember so many details this far away from it–but really interesting to read them. I recall “sitting in” on Dianne’s talk as well as the one on photography. And how cool that you snapped that photo of Morgan and his wife/child! Now I want to go next year more than ever. . . :D

    • Shirley on December 15th, 2010 8:00 pm

      LOL, Ricki, you can always expect to see me pull some things from the “posts in progress” archive on my desktop. ;-) As I was telling others, I wrote most of this not too long after the conference, but yes, IFBC is still pretty vivid in my memory. I remember you were sitting in … I was reading your tweets! And, really I need to give credit to Diane for actually taking the photo. Gosh, I should have done that maybe it’s a wash if she didn’t give me credit for the one I took of her with them. I think you’d really enjoy going to either IFBC or BlogHer Food. It expands one’s horizons and validates how big and wonderful the food blogging world is. :-)

      Hugs,
      Shirley

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