Wow. I can’t believe this has been our 8th Food Blog Forum event! Add that to the additional 6 overseas food blogging events in Ixtapa, Dominican Republic, Bahamas and Cancun that I’ve organized — that makes me a professional event coordinator!
What is Food Blog Forum? A not-for-profit company that Scott, myself, Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple created to host events for food bloggers – to teach things like photography, food styling, business of blogging and social media. Our intention has always been to give back to the food community, encourage & mentor bloggers and celebrate our love of food.
Our 3-time host was Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Having kids, and one big kid (Scott has been a regular to Disney World since 1973), it’s one of our very favorite spots to host an event.
Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes, Kenji Lopez Alt of Serious Eats // Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple
Our 120 attendees had an experience of a lifetime — 3 nights at the Grand Floridian Resort, a welcome party at the brand new Four Seasons Resort and an amazing lineup of speakers:
- Victoria, the Director of Creative, Inc. at Walt Disney World – she’s in charge of inspiring creativity for all of Disney’s employees! When the cast members and magic makers at Disney need a little dose of inspiration – they call Victoria’s team.
- Lindsay and Bjork Ostrom of Pinch of Yum, Scott and myself taught all about business and blogging.
- Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple showed us how to create stories through our food photography and styling.
- Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes and Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats helped with with strategies on blogger burnout.
- Enid, #4 employee of Pinterest taught us impactful Pinterest strategies for our blogs.
Scott and I were so happy to FINALLY meet in person our friends Lindsay and Bjork of Pinch of Yum.
I think our biggest thrill (along with the 10 Disney Fast Passes per person per day!!) was a once in a lifetime luncheon with Walt Disney World at the California Grill restaurant above the Contemporary Resort.
They closed off the entire restaurant, just for us.
Ten of the Walt Disney World Executive Chefs took off from their regular duties at their respective restaurants to come cook and meet with us.
If you think amusement park food is all hot dogs and fries, you’re not at Disney World!
It was such a treat to be the guests of honor, sampling some of Disney World’s finest fare from:
The Be Our Guest Restaurant (located in MAGIC KINGDOM Park), California Grill (Disney’s Contemporary Resort), Disney’s Contemporary Resort Bakery, Flying Fish Cafe (Disney’s BoarkWalk), Le Cellier Steakhouse (Epcot), Narcoossee’s (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa), Sanaa (Disney’s Kingdom Lodge), Sunshine Seasons (Epcot), The Hollywood Brown Derby (Disney’s Hollywood Studios),Trattoria al Forno (Disney’s BoardWalk).
A Food Blog Forum event is never complete without a local food experience. Visit Orlando and the wonderful shop owners of East End Market graciously suprised us with a delicious food event.
My favorite was Kappa, a Japanese omakase bar with only 7 seats. “Omakase” means chef’s choice, so the menu is different every day, based on what’s fresh and what’s on the chef’s mind. That day, we were treated with Salmon “Oyaokon” which translates to “parent and child.”
In this case, the rice was topped with salmon and salmon eggs (parent and child.) I haven’t had this particular dish since a visit to Japan 18 years ago!
But what is a trip to Disney, without fun?! Disney sent all of us on a scavenger hunt, and the boys loved it! Uncle Todd and Auntie Diane helped us find each and every clue.
With the 10 fast passes per day, person – we rode rides over and over and over again. Have you ever been on Everest at Animal Kingdom? It scared the eyelashes off me!
Big, big thanks to our friends Julie of The Little Kitchen and Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil for helping coordinate the event. Without the dynamic duo, Pam Brandon and Karen McClintock of Walt Disney World Dining, this event would have never happened! Pam and Karen have always been big supporters of Food Blog Forum. Many of these photos were shot by our photographer, the one and only Guy Michelier of Simply Recipes – thank you!
Food Blog Forum also must give a giant thank you to our sponsors, Walt Disney World for hosting our conference and providing magical moments for all of us, PB&G at Four Seasons Resort for the lovely opening party, Visit Orlando andEast End Market vendors for their hospitality.
KitchenAid, Florida Dairy Farmers, Oxoand Sabra provided such amazing prizes for our attendees! We love our sponsors for being so passionate about food bloggers and for being our partners!