Sunday, August 2, 2015

Things I Learned at the 2015 Food and Wine Conference #FWCon

Used with Permission by Amy of Kimchi Mom

Alrighty folks, it's been 2 weeks since the start of the 2015 Food and Wine Conference and to be honest with you, it's been a difficult post to write because I can't seem to organize my thoughts. I have started this post numerous times which is one of the reasons why it took so long to publish. So I thought I'd structure this post differently by utilizing bullet points in the disorganized mess that it is.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is huge!

When I attended the conference last year, I flew on a direct flight from SFO. This time around, I had a layover at DFW and, having never flown into/out of there in the past, I didn't realize the shear size of the place. To top it all off, going there I had a 40 minute layover which means that when my plane was pulling into the gate, my connecting flight at a gate in the next terminal was already boarding. Thankfully, I made it but I must apologize to the staff on American Airlines Flight 2407 on July 16 because I may or may not have bitten off their head when I was delayed deplaning. To give you an idea, when I was coming home, my layover was a couple of hours and I had time to look around and saw a sign outside a McDonalds in the terminal that gave the locations of the four other McDonalds restaurants there at the airport. I wish I took a picture of it but by then, I was tired and just wanted to get home.

Thank you Dixie Crystals for teaching me something new.

Let me say, first off that I appreciate all of the Food and Wine Conference sponsors, but I must single out Dixie Crystals. The first event after registration on Friday evening was a sugar scrub hosted by them. Before I proceed, I must explain that women who write food blogs far outnumber men who write food blogs. It is for this reason why I understand what Dixie Crystals was doing with this event, however I'm a guy. I spent the first half of the event a little clueless because it was unclear to me what a sugar scrub is and what to do with it. I even had to pull Cindy of Cindy's Recipes and Writings aside to explain it all. Thankfully, she explained that I was doing this for Mrs. Stuntman and she would appreciate the scrubs.

The learning is real.

Maybe I was overwhelmed last year with just the experience of attending but I found the sessions to be more informative this year. As opposed to one or two presentations sticking with me like last year, it seemed like I took something away from each. Last year, I dismissed the cooking demonstrations but I was able to take something away from them this year as I've already illustrated.

Let's discuss the food.

Before the official conference activities began, I got talked into going to lunch with a lovely group of ladies at Shubee's Coastal Grill & Bar. There was an open invitation on facebook but I was initially reluctant to reply due to a potential schedule conflict but I'm sure glad I went. During the lunch, the owner's made a presentation and we got to tour the commercial kitchen. I was told that they were known for their crab cakes and they lived up to their reputation!

The food at the conference also did not disappoint. Throughout the weekend, I was continually impressed by food presented. Of particular note was the poutine bar for Saturday's lunch sponsored by Idaho Potato Commission and Wisconsin Cheese in addition to Saturday evening's family style dinner sponsored by Certified Angus Beef and the Hess Collection Wines.

Final Thoughts

One of the other differences between this year and last for me personally is that I was carrying around a lot less equipment this year. In 2014, I had my flip phone, my daughter's old iPhone that couldn't make or receive calls (but could connect to WiFi so I could tweet) and my point-and-shoot camera. This year, I was able to consolidate everything to a single smartphone however I found myself taking less pictures than I did last year. The picture I did take can be found on my instragram page by doing a search for the #FWCon hashtag.

One other aspect I have yet to address is the supportive and positive family atmosphere there at the conference which separates itself from other food blogger conferences. I came home with another huge stack of business cards--all of them I consider friends.

Lastly, I recommend checking out these other reviews of the 2015 Food and Wine Conference for other perspectives. In addition, they were able to document the festivities with far more beautiful photography than I am capable at this time. They are, in no particular order:


  1. DB it was GREAT meeting you and boy oh boy wasn't Shubee's Coastal Grill an unexpected treat! Look forward to seeing you next year!

  2. It was great to see you again this year!

  3. Great re-cap! My husband and I were so glad to meet you and have dinner with you the first night!

  4. DB, this was a great recap! You highlighted all the important points you wanted me make, which in my opinion included the three most important ones anyways: food, friends and learning. For me, F&W last year felt like a family reunion. I'm terribly sorry that I missed it this year because it sounded amazing. And thank you for compiling all the other recaps! Now I can just go through your list and live vicariously through all of you!

  5. You were definitely outnumbered! But everyone loves ya, so it's all good. I'm so glad we had more time to hang this year. Great recap!

  6. Great recap DB! It's so hard to put this weekend into words I know that for sure! I'm also glad your wife liked the scrubs!! You crack me up......until next year my friend!

  7. Awesome recap - I'm already excited about next year!!

  8. DB - this is beautifully written! I love that you rounded up all the recaps to include! Great idea😊


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