I’m a social bug and plan frequent gatherings. I also try to reach out and meet new people when I have the chance. At the same time, I’m a dedicated home body. Depending on my mood, traveling and experiencing new things will recharge my batteries, but so will sitting on my patooski and doing nothing at all. I’m sure there are other food bloggers out there like that. Sometimes we like to hide behind our keyboards.
Perhaps that’s the reason it took over 5 years before flapping my wings and meeting other food bloggers through more than social media. It’s about time. This was my first year at the International Food Bloggers Conference, and it won’t be my last.
So Let’s Meet the Food Bloggers!
While at IFBC, I met some pretty cool people. Lots of them, actually. Some of them have blogs that date back further than this one, while others are just getting started. But that didn’t seem to matter. People were there to share ideas, network, and enjoy the community.
It would be neat to introduce you to everyone I met (maybe in time), but alas, it’s not to be. However, there were three food bloggers (or groups of food bloggers) that I spent more time with than others. Let’s take a moment and introduce you to them. Check out their websites and see what they’re up to! All three of them are doing some pretty great things.
Cooking Outdoors, Gary House
I’ve known about Gary for a while and have listened to his and Sara’s Food Blog Radio podcast off and on for the past year. I met him in person while descending a dimly lit stairwell in the Hyatt hotel. It’s not as creepy as it sounds. Or is it?
He was flying down the stairs behind me, and I recognized his face. “Gary!” I said with much exuberance. I think it surprised him a bit because he gave me a surprised, who-are-you look. At least he was kind to the weirdo in the stairwell, and didn’t mistake me for a murderer. Hard to do, I’m sure.
Later, we attended the same cricket eating class and also had lunch with some other bloggers at Coconuts Fish Café a couple blocks down the street from IFBC. Gary is a really pleasant guy and great conversationalist. Here’s what I asked, and what he had to say.
What is it that attracts you to the outdoor cooking style?
This goes way back to my step-dad when I was 13. He used to take me camping and he always cooked the camp meals, sometime over a campfire, sometimes on a camp stove. One of the other memories I have, is of him cooking in his homemade brick barbecue pit, he was a spit cooker and loved to marinade beef to grill on his spits. I got hooked then, but didn’t get involved in outdoor cooking until I moved out on my own and bought my first Weber kettle, it was game on from that point.
Do you have a life motto, if not, do you have a cooking/kitchen motto?
My life motto has been “Be nice, it could save your life.” I don’t believe you have to be mean, mad, tough, hateful, crazy or spiteful to get your message out. I live by the “No worries” concept now, everything will be just fine as long as you approach it with a positive perspective.
Is there a particular post or recipe that is your favorite, or one that you’re most proud of?
I can’t think of just one specific recipe that is a favorite, but there are several that I am very proud of: Worlds Best Dutch oven Ribs, New England Clam Bake in a Weber Kettle, Lasagna in a Cedar Box, Homemade BBQ Sauce, and all of my Outdoor Cooking Tips videos.
Love and Risotto
I didn’t have as much time to meet and mingle with Allie and Dan of Love and Risotto as I would have liked. We met towards the end of the conference when Allie and I attended a couple of the same sessions and sat at the same table a couple times.
They’re a fun couple who live in Sacramento and recently began as a team. It’s awesome when a couple shares a passion and hobby. Extra points because it’s food! Take a look at their creative website and great photography at loveandrisotto.com.
Here are the three questions I asked and their answers:
I love your food blog’s name! How did it come about?
Dan and I love making Italian food with a twist. When we were searching for a name, we knew we wanted to include an Italian dish. Dan loves risotto and I had never tried it before. Before we started the food blog, it seemed like every week Dan would suggest that we have risotto for dinner, but it never appealed to me.
The day we were trying to figure out our blog name, once again he suggested risotto for dinner. This time I was out of excuses and gave in. After the first bite, I realized what I had been missing out on! We instantly looked at each other over our forks, laughed, and knew it was fate. The love portion symbolizes the fun and excitement we have while trying to create delicious meals together in the kitchen!
If you dropped everything and started traveling the world today, where would you go and why?
Florence! Living in Sacramento, we have grown a deep appreciation for living in the heart of the Farm-to-Fork-Capital of the world. When we traveled to Italy, everything we ate tasted so incredibly fresh.
The city of Florence incorporates our two favorite things we look for when traveling, food and culture. While traveling we often find our favorite memories are with great company and a delicious meal. Florence treated us well and we felt like we were at home.
What’s your favorite post or recipe on your blog?
Our favorite post was our Hash Brown Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Mac and cheese was a staple for the both of us growing up, so the opportunity to put an adult twist on a childhood favorite was a welcoming challenge!
We have always loved having friends and family over, so we knew we wanted to share this dish with our siblings. We love the experience that food can bring to any occasion, and sharing this memory with family was truly rewarding.
Great Eight Friends
I met these cheerful ladies on the morning of the Clarksburg Wine Tour. It’s easy to tell that they’re close friends, as they’re at ease with each other and shooting the breeze like seasoned pros at 8:00 a.m. I was still trying to wake up.
Over the course of the IFBC conference, we kept running into each other and chatting here and there. They’re full of fun ideas and it’s impossible to not have some of their happiness rub off on you.
Here are my three questions and their answers.
What is Great Eight Friends all about?
Great Eight Friends is about Great Food, Great Friends and Great Fun. We started the blog after 17 years of friendship and dinner parties. Our kids and friends kept telling us we should blog. Blogging is a Gr8 way to keep a journal of our parties, field trips, restaurants visited and our shenanigans. You can read about how we met on our website: http://www.greateightfriends.com/who-we-are/.
What are you passionate about?
We are all passionate about gathering people together to have a Gr8 time and deepen friendships or create new ones. Food and drink always bring people to a happy place.
What is your favorite post on your website?
Our favorite posts are the ones about our Gr8 Dinners. If you go to our website, under “Party Ideas” you can see all of them.