Thursday morning I woke up, after a night of very little sleep, surprisingly alert and eager to get going. So eager, in fact, that I was out the door a full half hour before I needed to be. That’s so unlike me, right?
The drive from Portland to Seattle seems to have flown by — the sun was shining, I was bopping to music, and traffic (believe it or not) was very cooperative. I arrived at my hotel a full hour early, which left me with enough time to unpack and settle into my new, temporary digs. Okay, this is REALLY unlike me!
I’m in Seattle for the International Food Blogger’s Conference, a weekend of workshops, networking, and lots and lots of great food. The conference doesn’t technically begin until Friday 9/20, but I had signed up for a pre-conference excursion and was also invited to a cocktail social on Thursday.
After settling into my hotel, I wandered to the designated meeting place at 2:15. Again, I was so eager that I was the first one on the scene. Wow, seriously, where did the fashionably late Colleen go? Luckily, I was soon joined by other equally eager bloggers and, after much self-encouragement over the past few weeks, I channeled my inner-extrovert and engaged. Yep, you read that right. Extrovert Colleen is taking over.
The funny thing is that I have discovered that most other food bloggers are just as introverted as I am. I guess it makes sense, after all cooking, writing, and sitting behind a computer are all fairly solitary activities. But I had so much fun meeting other people and, best of all talking about food and recipes. What are your favorites? Where do you get your inspiration? How do you develop a recipe? What’s your focus? What do you want to get out of your blog? These are all great conversations that none of my friends or family have any interest in, they just politely smile and nod when I get all gushy about my latest creation. But here, amongst my fellow foodies, when I say something like “I hate it when I nail a recipe on the first try but forget to write it down,” I get hearty laughs from people who have shared in my frustration.
After introducing myself to several bloggers, and making some instant friends, we boarded the bus and headed for Chateau Ste Michelle, a well-renowned Washington winery. The estate and grounds are beautiful, and, in the golden rays of the northwestern sun, it was a perfect day to be met outside on the patio with a glass of brut rose sparkling wine. I sipped my bubbly, snapped some photos, and strolled through a hosted tour of their bottling plant.
We then were seated at tables in a room set up with glasses of their Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and served plates with small bites of king salmon, chanterelle quiche, crab cakes, and lamb over hummus. Chef John Sarich led us through a discussion over what we were tasting while talking about his approach to food and cooking. Bottom line, seasonal and local food is the way to go for any quality food. And isn’t this what a healthy lifestyle is all about?
Of course, in Disneyland style, we were escorted through the winery’s gift shop.
Following a bus ride back through typical snarly Seattle traffic, I hiked over to the 1927 event center and a #FreshBloggers cocktail social sponsored by Stemilt and CalGiant Berries. The food was amazing and I loved hearing from Cupcake Royale owner Jody Hall and Chef Tom Douglass. Not only do they embrace the same quality, local food philosophy that I do, but their business model is one that all those in the food industry should embrace.
Aside from meeting so many new friends, and lovely rep from Stemilt, I sincerely enjoyed the cupcake tasting from Cupcake Royale. I am normally not a cake fan but these were divine. We had to select from Blackberry Creme Brulee, Salted Caramel Granny Smith Apple, and Roasted Bosc Pear Crisp. They were all good, but I have to say the pear was my favorite. It had this wonderfully unexpected crispy top. I may have to pick up a box of cupcakes to bring home. Not for this healthy foodie – especially after a weekend of indulging! – but perhaps for some deserving coworkers, friends and family back home. Yes, you know who you are!
And now on to day 1 of the conference. Stay tuned!
Latest posts by Colleen (see all)
- Lapostolle 2010 Canto de Apalta - December 4, 2013
- Buffalo Chicken Chili - December 3, 2013
- Maple Bacon Chicken and Roasted Chipotle Bourbon Carrots - December 1, 2013
- Banfi 2010 Chianti Classico - November 27, 2013
- Budget Roasted Sweet Potato and Rosemary Soup - November 26, 2013