Hello Friday Favoriters and welcome to the weekend, almost. After spending the last two weekends away at food conferences, I am happy to be back home and spending a few quiet days at home….with hardly no agenda other than catch up on my TV shows and hang out with Mr. Beet and the kittens. However, before the weekend can officially begin, let’s talk about Friday Favorites.
So last weekend I flew out to Salt Lake City, Utah for the Everything Food Conference and let me tell you….it was a blast. Incredible food, amazing scenery, rock star speakers and the highlight for me – Cupcake Wars. My Friday Favs this week are the my top picks for why I loved this conference (in no particular order)
My mountain pictures cannot do the scenery justice. But if you have ever been to Utah you know what I am talking about. Mountains, mountains, mountains. In every direction.
2. Swag Bag.
What’s a conference without a swag bag? This is a picture of only a portion of the swag. I literally packed an extra suitcase within a suitcase just to bring back all the swag. No swag left behind.
3. The Food.
Some serious eats were guzzled into my guzzle all weekend. One of my favorites was the waffle breakfast provided by Waffle Love, a local Salt Lake City institution.
4. The speakers.
I got to see the best of the best. One of my favorite speakers was Phil Pallen, a branding specialist out in the Los Angeles area. In his session he had us break off into pairs, then pitch our brands to each other. First we had 60 seconds to tell our partner what our blog/brand was about, then our partner had 10 seconds to summarize our brand back to us in only one sentence. I fumbled my way through my 60 seconds pitch and realized that I have a lot of work to do in narrowing down exactly what my blog/brand is about. So be expecting changes around here. My partner was Julie from Kimchi Chick and she was awesome.
5. More speakers.
Our opening keynote was Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income and he was hilarious as well as incredibly informative. There were too many takeaways from his talk but it was eye-opening and inspiring. And in our swag bags we all received a copy of his latest book Will It Fly – I am looking forward to delving into it. (Look at my chipmunk cheeks- it’s all the fooooooood we ate!!!!)
6. Did I mention the speakers?
We learned about food photography from one of the best – Lindsay from Pinch of Yum. I learned a lot of about food photography, I really need to start stepping up my game.
Speaking of food photography, I had my eye on this incredible setup from Shotbox – a portable food photography studio- so this has been added to my Christmas wish list.
8. The venue.
We had sessions at both The Depot and The Megaplex in downtown Salt Lake City. The Depot is a music venue while the Megaplex are the movie theatres all within The Gateway shopping complex.
9. More mazing food.
Every meal was pretty amazing. From chocolate covered strawberries by Café Zupas to roasted cauliflower and potatoes from Urban Pioneer– everything was incredible. It was, after all, a food conference.
One of my favorites was when a group of us went out for dinner on Friday night, we went to an all Vegetarian restaurant called Zest. I loved these deviled avocados. I am planning to make these at home.
10. Incredible network and friends.
After the conference was said and done, before the dust had time to settle, there was a meetup of Food Blogger Pro members in a hotel right near the venue where we all gathered to discuss our takeaways from the conference. Food Blogger Pro is an incredible resource for all things blogging related including forums and videos, and is brought to you by Lindsay and Bjork from Pinch of Yum. I finally got to meet many of the people I have interacted with online for a few years which was pretty amazing. And if you are not a member of FBP, membership is only open twice a year and it just so happens that the time is now to join. Open enrollment ends June 2 so do not miss out!! One of the best investments I have made in my blogging career.
I even won a cookbook from Sally.
10. Cupcake Wars.
So Chloe, (as pictured above with Sally) was also my partner for Cupcake Wars. Four teams participated in a competition, just like the show on TV (even with Justin Willman as our host). How did that turn out? Well, I am going to save that for another post, as there are a few funny stories to tell!!
So now I am back in Orlando, fat and happy. Wondering who is going to cook for me as I became spoiled out there with all the amazing food. I usually spend the first few days home from a food conference eating cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’ve all done that, right?
I will see you on Sunday with a special recipe and let’s keep the Friday Favorites party rolling on as I join up with Heather from Life in Leggings, Andrea from MomfessionalsAngela from Happy Fit Mama.