Last week I flew to Las Vegas and attended the Food Fight Write blogger conference. The conference is held in conjunction with the annual World Food Championship where chefs compete for up to $300,000. This was such a fun and unique opportunity to be a part of. I became a blog ambassador for Food Fight Write which means I helped promote the conference for a ticket. I was not too sure what to expect since it was the first year of the conference but I had a very memorable experience and met a lot of amazing people.
I couldn’t possibly go into every detail of everything I learned and experienced in these few days at the conference but I wanted to share a few photos and my most memorable moments. First of all, I must mention that I ended up traveling to Vegas on my own which wasn’t the initial plan but it turned out fine. I was a little nervous to fly and stay in a hotel alone (especially while preggo) but it was a good learning experience for me. I mean I am 30, I should know how to travel alone. And now I do. I ended up sleeping fabulously and enjoyed having a little quiet time to myself, a very rare thing these days.
– Chatting it up with Jennifer from Challenge Butter and attending the welcome party.
– Attending Patti Londre’s session. I loved her About page and how she calls herself a culinary consultant. She is very down to earth and had really good tips. She also recommends pitching ideas to local press to get better coverage of our own blogs.
– Hanging with Nick from Melissa’s Produce. It was nice to get to know him and learn more about how they work with bloggers. I have worked with Melissa’s on a few fun San Diego blogger challenges where they provide the produce. It is always a fun experience. Melissa’s Produce will also be sponsoring the next SD Mom’s Night Out event December 11th!
– I learned more about brand building. It got me thinking more about what my brand means to me. What does it mean to my readers and where do I want to take this thing.
– Food Media Professional, culinary media company – I heard several different foodie related titles that sound a little better than blogger. Something to consider changing…
– I went to Jay Ducote from Bite & Booze’s session. He seems like a super nice guy. He has a background in political science and ended up switching his career to write about food because he got burnt out and wanted to do something he loved. I think a lot of us can relate. He had great ideas about getting sponsors and working locally. He does not work with any large ad networks, he reaches out directly to local companies for sponsorships.
– I learned that press rates for princess cruises are only $50 / day. Time to start travel planning.
– There were sessions on pitching PR people and stories for magazines.
– I went to a session that was all about salt with Mark Bitterman. It was purely fascinating to learn about how salt is made and that there are so many different kinds to cook with. He said most sea salts go through a chemical process. Most chefs in the country use iodized or kosher salt for all dishes. He suggested a few standards for the kitchen: fleur de sel, sel gris and flake salt. We sampled a few different salts and they really do have a different taste.
– I met a lot of new friends and found some familiar faces from twitter and instagram. It is always so cool to meet someone in person after following their feed.
– I met the fun ladies from Saucy Mama.
Overall I really enjoyed the conference and hope to attend again. The ladies who put this show together were also incredibly nice and very welcoming. Here are a few images from my trip. Enjoy!
I am a blog ambassador for Food Fight Write. All opinions are my own.