If you follow my Instagram account then you were well aware that I was whooping it up a few weekends ago with my fanatic food tribe at the Food and Wine Conference in Orlando. If this is your first time hearing about the conference, the idea was conceived 3 years ago by a community of bloggers called Sunday Supper with our fearless leader Isabel Laessig of Family Foodie at the helm.
This is my third year attending the conference and this time around it felt more like a reunion than a conference. Obviously, there were many who I’ve met before, met for the first time after chatting online, and of course many more who were totally new! I followed Andrew Wilder’s advice and met at least 3 new people.
Tribe, family, call it what you want. It was awesome to be completely surrounded by those who share the same passion. And I’m not just talking about us bloggers. The sponsors, speakers and brands truly impressed me with their devotion to their job and their passion and willingness to share. We often assume that big businesses and organizations are faceless cold entities, but the sponsors who were represented at the conference mixed and mingled. The atmosphere was completely collegial – we were all striving for excellence by bettering ourselves and supporting others.
When I look back at my experiences regarding my career, especially in the last 10 years, I felt directionless. Since high school, it’s been ingrained in me to be on a journey toward some nebulous career goal. Go to the right schools, get the right degrees, work for the right firms and you’ll attain happiness and sucess. I was on that path, but was miserable. Throw in a few cross-country moves and a couple of kids and I was a jumbled mess, but it was what I needed. At some point along the way, I sought joy and solace in the two things that I love and that is design and food. I pursued anything that had to do with those two things. A couple of ventures flopped, but others have thrived. I have been working behind the scenes with Sunday Supper since early this year and this year’s conference affirmed that I am in the right place with the right people at this moment in my personal journey. Needless to say, I really connected with Monica Bhide and Andrew Wilder’s message of “Everything is Subject to Change” which you can watch here.
What can I say about the sessions…there was something for everyone! The caliber of the speakers were excellent. The information and advice that was shared was practical and applicable. Personally, the sessions that were most helpful for me were Liz Latham’s and Stephanie Parker’s Blog Your Way to Business Success, the Brands and Bloggers panel, the Cookbook workshop with Laura Bashar, Krayl Funch, and Stephanie Manley, and last but not least Denise Woodward’s and Lenny Ferraira’s workshop Be the Next Video Sensation.
And I have to note that the food this year was fantastic – from the snacks served at break time to all the meals. My favorite meals were both on Saturday – the Poutine Bar Lunch sponsored by Idaho® Potato and Wisconsin Cheese and the Around the Sunday Supper Table Celebration sponsored by Certified Angus Beef® and The Hess Collection Wines.
There were 4 to 5 different variations on poutine and I tried almost all of them. I also have to add that we were given a mini French language lesson by Tammi’s husband, Andrew Forcier. Poutine is pronounced pu-tin’, like the Russian president’s last name, and not pu-teen’ or pu-tahn’. C’est ça. Je vous en prie!
Dinner was served family-style. Simplicity of the menu certainly does not equate with banality, but with elegance. Kudos to Chef Michael Ollier of Certified Angus Beef and to the kitchen staff at Rosen Shingle Creek for the excellent execution.
By the way, remember the Crispy Gorgonzola and Fig Dumplings that I entered into the Wisconsin Cheese recipe contest? I took second place! Woo hoo! I shared the cheesy podium with Carrie Robinson of Frugal Foodie Mama who took third place with her Grilled Beer Cheese Fondue, and Kaitlin Flannery of Whisk Kid who took top honors with her S’meeses Mascarpone Custard Ice Cream.
If you are looking for a more detailed recap of the conference, below are links to more perspectives on the conference by my friends and fellow attendees. If you are a blogger or have a passion for food and cooking, please consider joining us next year at the Food and Wine Conference! We will welcome you with open arms!
- Inspiration from the 2015 Food and Wine Conference by Robin King of Out of the Weeds
- Food and Wine Conference 2015 by Shea Goldstein of Dixie Chik Cooks
- 2015 Food & Wine Conference by Candace Karu of Cabot Cheese
- Food, Wine and Winning Recipes by Jennifer Kiko of Go Rare
- Food & Wine Conference 2015 Recap…All That (and a Bottle of Hot Sauce)!! by Wendy Wofford-Garcia of The Weekend Gourmet
- Food & Wine Conference 2015 #FWCon by Robin Wilson of Simply Southern Baking
- Friday Coffee Talk Traveled to Mystic CT by Kelly Pugliano of Eat Picks
- 2015 Food and Wine Conference Recap #FWCON Food, Friends, Fun! #ad by Cindy Kershner of Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- FOOD AND WINE CONFERENCE RE-CAP PART 1 by Heather King of Hezzi D’s Cooks and Books
- Food + Wine Conference 2015 – A Content Filled Weekend! #FWCon by Krayl Funch of An Appealing Plan
- Have Condiments, Will Travel! by Christina Thomas of Go Epicurista
- Food and Wine Conference 2015 Recap – #FWCon by Brianne Izzo of Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Food and Wine Conference Recap #FWCON by Marlene Baird of Nosh My Way
- Food and Wine Conference Recap #FWCon by Cynthia Rusincovitch of Whole Food Real Families
- The Heart of the Food and Wine Conference 2015 by Jenni Field of Pastry Chef
- A Weekend of Food, Friends and Learning at #FWCon 2015 by Sarah Ozimek of Curious Cuisiniere
- FOOD AND WINE CONFERENCE RE-CAP PART 2 by Heather King of Hezzi D’s Cooks and Books
I’ll end this post with a quote that Andrew Wilder shared in his keynote speech that rang true with me 200% and will continue to do so.