A few weeks ago, I made my first ever trip to Brisbane, Queensland, to attend Eat Drink Blog 2014, the Australian Food Bloggers Conference.
It was all pretty exciting, actually. Not only did I score 3 kid-free nights interstate, but I was also able to visit my brother, who has lived in Brisbane for the last couple of years.
And then, of course, there was the opportunity to meet other food bloggers. And learn some stuff. In short, it was good. Damn good.
Until then, I’d only met a couple of other food bloggers in the flesh, so it was great to meet people from all over Australia, whose blogs covered the range of food topics, including recipes, reviews, travel and yummy discoveries along the way.
Eat Drink Blog (EDB) is a conference organised by a committee of volunteer food bloggers, for food bloggers so it was an odds-on bet that the programme was going to be full of hot food blogging topics.
The conference kicked off on Friday evening 19 September with welcome drinks at The Kitty bar, in the stunning Treasury Casino in the city centre.
The Kitty, Treasury Casino
Then the following morning, we gathered at Wandering Cooks for the conference proper. An amazing breakfast of quiche, pastries, fruit and yoghurt and other delights was supplied by Flour & Chocolate Patisserie, Chester Street Bakery and Bar, and Emma & Toms Juices. And then there was the coffee. A coffee bar was set up on site, serving made-to-order coffees all day long, thanks to Merlo Coffee. Mmmmm latte. Mmmmm espresso. Mmmmm. Need I say more?
The keynote speaker was Singaporean blogger Nathaneal Ho, of Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow. His entertaining presentation was about restaurant review blogging, and bloggers, in Singapore.
Following a stunning morning tea of chocolate truffle cakes by Passiontree Velvet, a session on Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Guidelines for business and review platforms (including food blogs) was presented by Claire Davie of Melbourne Gastronome.
Damien Condon of Lucid Media spoke about the evolving media landscape and the important role of social media.
Then Lunch. Oh, lunch. A stunning spread, supplied by Wholesomeness, Stella May Fine Foods, and the Australian Mushroom Growers Association. And beautiful wines by Sirromet.
After lunch were two panel discussions on keeping motivated as bloggers, and Chef versus Blogger, with four of Brisbane’s finest chefs forming the panel: Brent Farrell from 85 Miskin St, Tony Percuoco from Tartufo, Philip Johnson from E’cco and Josh Okron from Prive 249.
Afternoon tea was supplied by Lick Icecreams and, sadly, Merlo Coffee announced last orders, but I guess all good things must come to an end!
Brenda Fawdon, owner and Chef at Mondo Organics gave a thought-provoking presentation about ethical food and the difference we can all make to our environment with our food choices.
And then finally, one of the best sessions of the day, Christina Soong of The Hungry Australian presented on blogger economy – how to earn an income from food blogging.
It was a day packed full of useful information and a fantastic experience for me. I’ve got plenty of notes about things I need to implement and change over the coming months. If only there was more time in the day!
That night, we gathered at 127 Bar and Bistro for a cocktail party with some fairly amazing canapés and drinks by De Bertoli Wines and Sofi wine spritzers.
Then, the following morning, we shook off our sore heads and gathered again for one of three workshops. I was lucky enough to be in the Food Styling Workshop, with Sarah Bazar of Emotive Light Photography. It was great to see the set-up of a food shoot, to see and discuss a huge range of props and backgrounds and to have a go at setting up my own shoot (although the results aren’t worthy of publishing here!). I picked up some great styling tips and it was also really useful to see how other bloggers were setting up their own shoots.
That was the end of the conference and it was indeed fantastic. I just hope I can make it to next year’s conference, wherever in Australia it may be. It was such a great learning experience.
And then, there was the goody bag. My goodness, all this gear, most of it gluten-free! Sirromet wine (yes, that’s an empty bottle you see, and it was lovely), Merlo Coffee voucher and thermo cup, Go Natural Bars, Roza’s Gourmet Sauces, a huge tube of Queen Vanilla Bean Paste, Mantle & Moon Spring Water (not pictured) and a clever “Supoon” by Dreamfarm.
And then another bag as we were leaving – A Chester Street Bakery and Bar Brownie, and Passiontree Velvet Chocolates. Wow!
On Sunday afternoon, I headed out to Ferny Grove to see my brother and his café, Poshamocha. It was impressively lovely, especially the selection of gluten-free cakes and treats. Seriously, there must have been about eight to choose from. And then there were all the other GF options on the menu. Fantastic!
Then on Monday, my brother and I wandered around the sites of Brisbane, enjoyed a beautiful seafood platter for lunch, and then finally I made my way to the airport to return home to my Husband and three excited kidlets who all missed me. It was great to have some time away, but even better to have such a warm homecoming!
Eat Drink Blog 2014 was a free event, thanks to the hard work of the organising committee and the generosity of the sponsors and presenters. I funded my own accommodation and air travel.