Friday night’s IFBC kick-off was nothing short of amazing. Between the incredible swag bag, the food, the wine, and those sexy little cocktail samples, the fine folks at Foodista & Zephyr Adventures really started off our conference experience with a bang.
We started off by getting our swag bag (approximately 17 metric tons of kitchen gadget & cookbook heaven) and visiting some of the other sponsors of the event at the reception held at Hotel Monaco in Downtown Seattle. Three large rooms were filled with food, beer, wine, and spirits just for us, making it nearly impossible to know what to try next! From wine to mini Banh Mi sandwiches, lovely endive hors d’oeuvres to seafood BLT’s, not to mention cheese and chocolate and billions of tasty little cupcakes, we were fed quite well.
Some of the food highlights for me:
- Roasted lamb “pops” (I’m sure their official name is far more euphonious but with the way we were eating them, this is a much more accurate description) – this fall-off-the-bone, tender, a perfectly seasoned lamb was a huge hit with most bloggers. Sadly, I was so immersed in their indulgent flavor that I forgot to take a picture. Bad food blogger, BAD!
- Bacon Peanut Brittle – Yes, you read that correctly. In a word? Amazing.
- Theo Chocolate‘s Burnt Sugar & Ghost Chile Caramel chocolates – Need I say more?
- Mini Banh Mi sandwiches with Mango Sriracha sauce (!!!!!)
- Tonnino Tuna and all their lovely little hors d’oeuvres
- Geoduck ceviche – Totally unexpected base for a very delicately flavored ceviche. Fantastic!
- POM Wonderful Cosmopolitans – It turns all the other cosmos green with envy!
- Lamb pops. LAMB POPS!!! – So good I had to mention them twice. I will get over them eventually. I think.
As if that wasn’t enough, we were also treated to some great moments with IFBC founders, notable chefs from the Seattle area and beyond, and the first key speaker of the weekend: Morgan Spurlock, Academy Award nominee for his film, Supersize Me.
Some of my oh-my-God-I’m-hanging-out-with-important-people moments:
- Chris & Max of Modernist Cuisine explaining their craft and indulging my fan-girl moment by signing my MC “teaser” (And if anyone reading this is rollin’ in it and feeling particularly generous this Christmas, Poor Girl would love, love, LOVE this 15lb set of cookbook perfection!)
- Morgan Spurlock. Morgan friggin’ Spurlock!!! He was every bit as cool and genuine as I’d imagined, not to mention super hilarious. I loved listening to his thoughts on how we as bloggers can continue to improve the food world by writing about our passions and connecting with our communities. Plus, he said he definitely wanted to try my Black Bean, Chicken & Mango Stew (which was on the front of the business card I gave him). Can’t go wrong with a food-loving movie director who wants to try your food! PS – Morgan, if you’re reading this and you do try it, please let me know how you liked it!
And then there was the Urbanspoon Seattle Scene after the grand reception, which was held at The Purple Café and Wine Bar. Though I was too full of lamb and chocolate to eat much more than a samosa and a Marcona almond with fig spread and cheese (thank you, Lynn, of Sacatomato for putting that little hour, d’oeuvre together!), there was just enough room in the upper left quadrant of my stomach for samples of the wine that flowed freely all evening. It was a great way to get to know fellow IFBC attendees before the full weekend of sessions and panel discussions. From fellow food bloggers to folks from Saveur Magazine, I chatted with some pretty amazing folks, some of whom I now feel fortunate enough to call my friends.
Good food, good wine, awesome convo, and great people – really, what more could a food blogger possibly ask for at such a shindig? The answer(s) to that question coming in IFBC Pt. III, so stay tuned!