I’d never been to The Emerald City before except for airport layovers. For all of the travelling I’ve done, this is one metropolis I never had the opportunity to visit. This past weekend I attended the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC), and ended up having a love affair with Seattle.
There’s nothing more inspiring and invigorating than getting out of one’s comfort zone, diving in to a new cultural experience. As was the case when I had the incredible opportunity to attend the IFBC. My registration fee was partially sponsored by the some of the best food, wine, and culinary supply companies in the business. When you add up airfare, hotel, and transportation costs to shell out for one of these events, I appreciated getting a break on the price of admission.
There’s a vibe in Seattle that screams trendy, multi-cultural, a feast for the senses. Yet it’s a city that is established and sophisticated, if that makes sense.
Take for instance Pike Place Market on the waterfront. It’s an institution that dates back to 1907. Here you’ll get wide-eyed by the abundance of fresh flowers, produce, and seafood. The key word here is fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. 7 days a week, 363 days a year. Could you imagine stopping in each day to pick up fixin’s for supper or a dinner party? This place is foodie heaven!
Let’s stroll through, shall we?
When I saw the plethora of fresh fish and seafood, I immediately thought of my late father. He loved fresh seafood. In his honor, I purchased a crab cocktail and savored it for both of us.
The fresh produce went on forever. There was not one wilting leaf or piece of mold or rotting fruit. If I had this at my disposal each and every day, I would eat so much healthier. It’s truly a feast for the eyes.
I don’t know how one decides which cheese to purchase. It would take several trips just to sample them to really understand the aging process and how it affects the flavors. The staging of the displays was outstanding.
A farmer’s market wouldn’t be complete without fresh flowers. The rainbow of colors, stunning shapes and textures, and perfumey scents went on forever. Absolutely breathtaking!
While meandering about the cobbled streets, there were the sounds of musical instruments and harmonies from local street bands. They are so passionate about their art, and this is how they make their living. There’s talent like this sprinkled all throughout the city. It’s absolutely amazing and uplifting to see these young people sharing their gifts with passer-bys.
There are also many artisan vendors that sell their wares, too. With time constraints, I was only able to touch the tip of the iceberg when it came to taking in all there is to see in this bustling city.
So what is an International Food Blogger Conference, you ask? Like, they really have conferences for food bloggers? Absolutely! First, let me clue you all in as to how big this business of food blogging really is.
Food bloggers are enthusiastic when it comes to food. We come from all corners of the globe. As bloggers we develop recipes, craft and style images of food, and write about all things food. Some bloggers are more specialized in certain aspects than others. We’re social media influencers. We’re food trend influencers. We’re educators. Name brand products love us. But at the end of the day, we’re building communities where food is the common denominator. We’re telling our readers about our personal stories, and how food is intertwined through the ebb and flow of life. A food blogger can strike a chord in the reader, evoke memories, and touch the lives of many through pictures and narrative.
This was my first time at the IFBC. It was so exciting! Everyone networked, sharing their expertise through educational sessions, food and wine sampling. There are ethics to adhere to. Technical issues. The polishing of our craft. We learned about these things, and much, much more.
The sponsors were numerous, and generously shared samples of their products and services. It’s called “swag.” And there was a lot of it! A big thanks to Foodista and Zephyr Adventures for pulling this all together.
It felt good to be in the company of like-minded people. We shared our stories as to how we came about the business of food blogging. I felt like I was with my tribe. A group of caring, talented individuals that are dedicating their lives by sharing experiences and expertise, finding their voice and living authentically. We love what we do. I love what I do.
I’ll definitely be attending the IFBC in 2016, where it will be held in Sacramento, California, considered to be the Farm-to-Fork Capital of this nation. As for Seattle, I’ll definitely be back again.
I’ve returned to The Log Home Kitchen and am getting ready to prepare autumnal foods of the season, so stay tuned. Next week I’ll be in southern Idaho for the potato harvest. There is so much to learn about famous Idaho® potatoes! I’m looking forward to sharing the experience and some of my favorite recipes with you using the mighty spud.
It’s officially Fall. I hope you’re enjoying the warm days and crisp, cooler nights. Do you change the way you cook at this time of year? If so, I’d love to hear about it.
Thanks so much for stopping in!
Disclosure: In exchange for a reduced registration fee, I have agreed to write about my experiences at the International Food Blogger Conference.