As I noted in a preview couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the International Food Bloggers Conference which was held on September 18th through the 20th here in Seattle so I thought I'd report back on my experiences.
The official conference activities didn't start until the evening of the 18th but I drove in early in the day to meet a bunch of attendees at Loulay for a mid-morning breakfast.
Later on that evening, a registration reception was held. At the beginning of it, sponsors gave away some swag.
It also provided an opportunity to network, not only with other attendees but with sponsors too. There were a couple who stood out. I was able to connect with Chef John Severson of Skillet Street Food. They served a kale Caesar salad with rockfish. Unfortunately, I failed to get a picture of it but the dish can be found on the recipes section on their website.
Another sponsor that stood out was Wild Ginger Asian Restaurant & Satay Bar primarily because they served samples of their seven element broth. It looked like nothing but it packed a flavor punch so well balanced between sweet, salt, savory, sour and spice that it took me by surprise.
Inspired by the sample, my friends who also attended the conference, Bobbi of Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen and Dionne of Try Anything Once, and I went over to the Seattle location for dinner. When we arrived, we were disappointed to learn that they only serve the seven element broth for lunch service so we ordered Buddha Rolls, Mediterranean Mussels with Rayong and Seven Flavor Beef
|Mediterranean Mussels with Rayong. Photo courtesy of Dionne of Try Anything Once|
|Seven Flavor Beef. Photo courtesy of Bobbi of Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen|
Probably the highlight of the meal was the mussels dish. Our server described it as a little spicy and I remembered telling Bobbi and Dionne that I didn't want to eat anything too spicy however when it was served, the broth did have a little spice to it but it was very well balanced by other flavors and was hardly noticeable. There was an issue with the beef served that evening, however I was impressed by their response: re-preparing not only that dish but the mussels too, then removing those items from our tab.
In addition to the informative sessions on Saturday, probably the highlight of my day taking a picture with Chef Thierry Rautureau, owner of Loulay and Luc who also competed on seasons 2 and 4 of Top Chef Masters in addition to other media appearances.
Chef Rautureau was able to affirm his position as a celebrity chef, as his hors d'oeuvres of braised short rib, parsnip and bacon foam was the best things I ate all evening.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend Sunday because I could barely move when I got home Saturday evening. Overall, International Food Blogger's Conference was well worth the time and energy I spend making new local contacts I didn't know existed.