I’ve popped my EatDrinkBlog cherry!!! At long last, I have finally attended my first Eat Drink Blog conference this year, and it’s been awesome.
After all, how else would you describe an entire weekend of non-stop eating with like minded people?
So the deal with EatDrinkBlog is this: it is (or always has been) free to attend, and all you have to do is to get your butt down to wherever the conference is being held. Perfect excuse for a holiday right?
This year, whole weekend kicked off on the Friday night with welcome drinks at the Treasury Casino.
This is where we first get to meet the organising committee, as well as the other bloggers who are attending the conference. It was really cool to be able to put faces to names, and ooh I was surrounded by so much fabulousness!!
Lots of food came rolling out, and business cards and cameras soon followed suit.
Then it was just one sleepiness night away from conference day!
Clockwise from top left: Nathaniel Ho (Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow), Eat Drink Blog Conference Banner, Panel discussion with Angela Hirst (Wandering Cooks) Nathaniel Ho (Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow) and Tracy (Eat See Meet), Damien Condon (Lucid Media), Christina Soong (The Hungry Australian), Brenda Fawdon (Mondo Organics), Claire (Melbourne Gastronome), Chef panel discussion with Josh Orkorn, Brent Farrell, Tony Percuoco, Philip Johnson, (Middle) Sponsored gifts to take home
As much as I sometimes pretend it’s all about stuffing my face, the organising committee actually put together a great lineup of speakers to talk about everything from the blogosphere outside of Australia, to the legalities around blogger disclosure, to how chefs feel about bloggers – which was the most entertaining bunch given that chefs aren’t exactly known for their, uh, subtlety.
But all learning aside, there was also great sponsored food!!
Clockwise from top left: Salami Basil Focaccia (Chester St Bakery), Chocolate Gateau (Passiontree Velvet), Blueberry pastries (Chester St Bakery), Terrines and Pate platter (Stella May Fine Foods), Ice Cream Sandwich (Lick! Ice Cream), Carrot and herb salad (Wholesomeness), Industrial Fish Sandwich (Mondo Organics), Mushroom and Bacon bites (Power of Mushrooms), (Middle) Me holding an Emma and Tom’s Apple juice!
This my friend, is the secret to a great conference. If you feed people every two hours, you are guaranteed engagement, attention, and a fully awake audience! Or you know, you can just fry mushrooms just outside the conference room and tempt everyone to distraction.
Power of Mushrooms indeed!
Then just when you think that you can’t eat anymore, well, we eat some more! Celebration dinner, this time at 127 Bar and Bistro.
Clockwise from top left: Chickpea fondant, Pickled Walnut with goats’ cheese and beetroot, Crab Bisque, Pork Terrine with pickled red onion, Smoked Salmon mousse with yuzu jelly, served on a rice wafer, Seared Wagyu on Rosti with Horseradish Creme Fraiche, Masterstock Hen’s Egg with dehydrated kimchi, Mini cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pizzas, (Middle) Beer Battered Barramundi Brandade with tartare sauce
Holy crap these canapés were tasty. Located in the ground floor of a hotel, this little bistro really seemed to me like a blink and you’ll miss it sorta place. But it features a powerhouse staff – an insanely creative chef who really nicely answered all my questions and gave me some insight to his creative process, and waitstaff who were very careful to explain each canapé and were clearly used to food bloggers getting them to turn the platter every which way – and really quality food.
Oh, and did I mention the flaming dessert?
This dessert is on firreeeeeeeee. Alicia Keys ain’t got nuthin’ on this.
Then it was time for us to roll off to bed, and ready ourselves for our final activity on the Sunday morning.
Clockwise from top left: Bee resting on Jack’s (Bee One Third) finger, Honey served three ways: Mousse, Jelly, Honeycomb (Gerard’s Bar and Bistro), Bee’s pollen stockpile, Jack (Bee One Third) pointing out a bee carrying pollen, Honey Mint Iced Tea, 100% Pollen, Honey Friands (Gerard’s Bar and Bistro), Sopressa Salami on crackers with honey, (Middle) Me in my Apiarist outfit
We got to go to one of three different activities – a food styling workshop, a rooftop honey experience, and a beer tasting session. I got to go see rooftop beehives, and it brought out the nerd in me. Jack from Bee One Third was extremely patient in answering all of our questions, and he told us really cool facts about the bees. Did you know that male bees have no stingers? It’s the girl bees that you gotta be worried about!
Then of course, you gotta eat the honey, and we were treated to a bee-tastic morning tea prepared by Gerard’s Bar and Bistro.
But all amazing food aside – which I will be reviewing in individual blog posts – I am truly glad that I got to attend the conference this year. The organisers worked hard to put together the best of what Brisbane has to offer, and it’s been great to be able to put faces to all the blogs I’ve been following!
If you’d like to know more, I was also live-instagramming the whole weekend! You can check out my Instagram page here, or you can look up #EDB14 to see pictures from the other bloggers!