NOTICE: My posting schedule has slowed down lately. Be sure to subscribe to the blog via RSS or via email so you won’t miss new posts when I do publish!

The International Food Bloggers Conference Recap

International Food Bloggers Conference 2010

I recently returned home from a fantastic weekend in Seattle, where I attended the International Food Bloggers Conference. The conference was co-hosted by Foodista and Zephyr Adventures, and while there were many great moments over the weekend, I will just share a few of my personal highlights today (sorry this is going up so late, I have been feeling a bit under the weather since returning home).

First, a funny story.  As Kim, (of Cook It Allergy Free) and I were checking in at the Hotel Monaco, in walked Diane (of The W.H.O.L.E. Gang) and Shirley (of Gluten Free Easily) from an afternoon of shopping.  Diane immediately queried, “Heidi?” to which I obviously responded and after a big round of group hugs, I asked Diane how she knew it was me.  Can you guess what gave me away?  Yep, my hair, LOL! ;-)

Anyhoo, on Friday afternoon, the gluten-free bloggers met up at the Flying Apron Bakery for a little “meet and greet” over some delicious gluten-free and vegan food.

I ordered the gluten-free and vegan vegetable pizza (below photo, far left) and it actually surprised me by how wonderful it was.  It is not the type of pizza that most Americans think of when it comes to pizza: those of the greasy, cheesy, pepperoni, artery-clogging variety.  Instead, this pizza was more like a tart; with a flaky crust filled with scrumptious organic, seasonal vegetables on top of organic tomato sauce and seasoned with just the right amount of sea salt to heighten the natural flavors of the vegetables.  No cheese necessary.  In fact, I think cheese would have taken away from the festival of flavors that my mouth was rejoicing over!

The middle photo (above) was Kim’s gluten-free and vegan macaroni and cheese (you can see a better photo on her blog).  I tried it and could not tell is was vegan (we were all sampling each others food…just because we could!).  :-D  I am not sure of the ingredients, but I would LOVE to find out so I can make something similar for Luke now that he is dairy/casein-free (sadly, the recipe is not in the Flying Apron cookbook).

The gluten-free and vegan cookies (above photo, far right) were Shirley’s (can I tell you a secret?  Each time Shirley turned her head, I stole a bite of her pumpkin chocolate chip cookie! Shhh…). ;-)

If you are gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free and plan on visiting the Seattle area, I definitely recommend the Flying Apron Bakery!

Before heading back to the hotel for the conference registration and opening reception, Shauna and Danny Ahern, (a.k.a. Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, not that they need an introduction), surprised us with a glimpse of their soon-to-be-released cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story Filled with 100 Tempting Recipes.  If you haven’t done so already, you simply have to watch the video promo for their cookbook, it still gives me goosebumps when I watch it!  You can also pre-order the cookbook on Amazon and trust me, you will want to add this to your collection, if only for their gluten-free bread recipe (which I will tell you about in a minute). ;-)

Friday evening at the opening reception, we were treated to a fantastic spread of food and drink (it was a “mom’s weekend off” afterall!) featuring products by conference sponsors such as Pom Wonderful (have you ever had a Pomtini?), Theo Chocolate, Tonnino Tuna, Chateau Ste Michelle and many more; you can read more about all the sponsors here.  All of the conference attendees received a generous gift bag filled with all sorts of cooking loot, courtesy of Sur La Table.  I will be sharing some of my trinkets in an upcoming giveaway, and will also be including a signed copy of Shauna Ahern’s book, Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found The Food That Loves Me Back…And How You Can Too. Be sure to subscribe to my blog, so you don’t miss the details! :-D

I also want to extend a BIG THANK YOU to Udi’s for providing us with their lip smacking gluten-free muffins for breakfast each day.   If it weren’t for Udi’s, there would have been a bunch of hungry GF Bloggers walking around!  I tweeted a thank you to Udi’s, using the conference hashtag, #IFBC, and as you can see below, all of our #IFBC Tweets were streaming onto the big screen (I hope Udi’s isn’t shy about a little PDA, I went a bit overboard with my affection)!

The featured speaker Friday evening was none other than Morgan Spurlock, the Academy Award Nominee for his documentary Supersize Me.  In case you are new to my blog, I went through a “she’s come undone” phase last winter, after watching Supersize Me and several other “do you really know what’s in your food” documentaries.

I will always be grateful for what Morgan Spurlock and Michael Pollan dared to show in their films.  Not only did those films make me take a good hard look at the way I personally viewed food, they released me from my once terribly obsessive “mommy guilt” for having passed on my gluten sensitivity genes to my children.

*Just in case you are wondering, no, I no longer feel that way.  I believe that celiac is a condition, not a disease.  I believe it is the condition of an amazing immune system that is screaming out for us to quit eating foods that our bodies were never designed to eat in the first place.

My greatest hope is that my children will now be able to live a much healthier and happier life than I have, all because we became aware so early in their young lives.  We caught it before the gluten-related chronic health problems set in, as well as the plethora of other health consequences that stem from eating the typical daily western diet, filled with highly processed, high fat, high sugar, high salt, artificially colored, artificially flavored, chemical preservative laden “faux” foods.

I still need to further refine our diets to exclude the gluten-free processed foods that we eat on occasion (and can be just as unhealthy as gluten-containing processed foods), but at least we are on the right path.  Anyhoo, I digress.

Morgan Spurlock really has a great way of catching one’s attention.  He shares his message with the appropriate amount  of frustration, softened with a healthy dose of laughter.  He doesn’t make you feel like an idiot (although it’s hard not to feel like one once you become painfully and personally aware of the consequences of eating a lifetime of crap), and his message does make you think!

Moving along…

Another gluten-free highlight from Friday evening was when it came time to announce the winners for the upcoming Foodista Best of Food Blogs CookbookCinde, from Gluten-Free Taste of Home was one of the winners and will have her recipe published in the cookbook which is due out in October.  WOO-HOO!!!  Congratulations Cinde, I’m absolutely THRILLED for you!! :-D  Be sure to visit Cinde’s blog and read all about it.

On Sunday, the gluten-free bloggers were treated to a scrumptious luncheon by Shauna and her husband, Danny!  They made several recipes from their new cookbook for us to try:

Arugula Fig Salad with Blue Cheese and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette (above).

Do you see this gluten-free bread? Did I get my camera close enough for you to visualize the perfectly chewy crust and the melt-in-your-mouth moist crumb?  Now close your eyes and imagine being in your grandmother’s kitchen, taking in the unmistakable aroma of fresh baked bread, can you imagine it?  Well my friends, go ahead and pull out the dairy-free buttery spread, because this is not a dream!  The recipe will be in Shauna and Danny’s cookbook! :-D

Corn/Quinoa Pasta with Anchovies, Olives, and Lemons, topped with Seared Prosciutto-Wrapped Salmon (above).

Blackberry and Peach Crumble (above).

The food was delectable and we all ate to our hearts delight.  Shauna and Danny’s bread was without a doubt the best gluten-free bread I have ever had.  I found myself shoving slices into my pockets (in addition to those that were already in my hands and mouth!), just so I could extend the joy for a few hours longer!  A little bonus for those of you who cannot eat rice…Shauna tweaked her bread recipe to be rice-free so another blogger could enjoy it too! :-D

I managed to snag a few photo ops with several of my favorite gluten-free bloggers, but darn it if I didn’t manage to get one with everybody!

Carol, from Simply…Gluten Free is just as sweet as can be, and she has a cookbook coming out too (did you know Carol’s sister is a steamy romance author?). ;-)

Melissa, from Gluten Free For Good, had me entranced with her knowledge of nutrition and exercise.  In fact, she’s convinced me to seek out a yoga class in hopes of helping me relax and reduce my stress levels (which will go a long way in helping my body fight all its ailments, and help me cope with my upcoming recurring phlebotomies, ick!).

Diane, from The W.H.O.L.E. Gang, knocked my socks off.  I’m really not convinced she’s human, but rather an iPhone in disguise (I really wanted to take her home with me so she can organize my crazy life)!

Dr. Jean Layton, of Gluten-Free Doctor Recipes, is a naturopathic physician and chef.  Jean shared packets of her gluten-free sourdough bread starter packets with all of us and I am looking forward to trying it soon.

Then of course there’s Kim, from Cook It Allergy Free. Can you believe this was my second time meeting her and my second time forgetting to get a picture with her?

I also met a few other amazing women and I am excited to get to know them better.

I met Emily while we were standing in line for the “Royal Restroom,” (a.k.a., a really nice port-a-potty, LOL!  I realize that was probably TMI, but you have to admit it’s kinda funny!).  Emily is a holistic health and nutrition counselor and her website is called CoreWisdomWellness.com.  Emily is also gluten-free and you can read more about her here.

Bernice is the author of Wheatless and Meatless, and I am looking forward to exploring her blog for more gluten-free and vegetarian meal ideas, especially now that I am on a low-iron diet and have drastically reduced my meat consumption!

I also met another food blogger, Susan, from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy. Susan was really nice and she has a clever wit about her that will leave you in stitches!  Although Susan’s blog is not gluten-free, she has a lot of wonderful looking recipes that can be easily tweaked to be gluten-free!  The first recipe I plan to do a gluten-free makeover on?  Susan’s Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes…WOW!

Shirley (Gluten Free Easily) and me (left). If you’ve been reading my blog for long, then I think you know how much I love me some Shirley!  Shirley really surprised me though, she is much more quiet in person than I had imagined she would be.  We always tease each other about who writes the longest blog posts, so I naturally assumed she was a jabberwocky like I am!  Nope, not at all…unless she was just too distracted by my hair to collect her thoughts! ;-)

Jeanne (Four Chickens) and me (right). While I was really excited to meet Jeanne, my 6 year old was beside himself that I was going to meet “THE Four Chickens gluten-free doughnut fairy!”  Yes, that is how Jeanne is referred to in our household after we discovered her recipe for gluten-free doughnuts! If you feel so inclined, you can read my post about Jeanne’s doughnuts here.

Alexa (Lexie’s Kitchen) and me (left). Lexie is super sweet (and really tall)!

Wendy (Celiacs in the House) and me (right). Wendy is hysterical, and she turned me on to a new hobby: photographing feet!  Do you ever think to look down when you are out and about?  There is a whole world of fascinating shoes that I never noticed before, LOL!  Can you guess which feet belong to which blogger in Wendy’s IFBC post?? :-D

Carrie (Ginger Lemon Girl), Shirley and me (above). Carrie is an absolute doll and I can’t wait to get to know her better in the blogiverse!

So glad I remained cool, calm and collected around Shauna…geesh, you really can’t take me anywhere, LOL! :-D

I’ve decided to take a time management shortcut and share the links to my blogger bud’s posts about the conference, which offer great detail on everything from the conference sessions (Melissa has a great breakdown in her post about the (life-altering) photography session featuring none other than Penny De Los Santos.  Penny is an award-winning documentary photographer and her work has been featured in National Geographic, Time, Saveur, and more).

Carrie from Ginger Lemon Girl shared her experience about the conference sessions, sightseeing around Seattle with her husband, Michael and gluten-free food and friends.

Melissa from Gluten Free For Good also wrote a great (and funny!) post about the conference (you have to check out Melissa’s picture of THE SHOES, they launched my new-found fascination with foot photography)! :-)

Kim from Cook IT Allergy Free, shared her experience at the conference in two posts Take 1 and Take 2.

Wendy from Celiacs in the House, shared her experience on the conference here and here.

Lexie from Lexie’s Kitchen shared here experience here.

Dr. Jean Layton from Gluten-Free Doctor Recipes shared hers here.

Stephanie from Wasabimon shared a brief bit here.  I did not get the chance to talk with Stephanie but I love her blog, especially her breath taking photographs (my soon-to-be 7 year old LOVES the photo titled, “Storm Troopers and Cupcake”).

Bernice from Wheatless and Meatless did a post highlighting Wheatless in Seattle, the Seattle bakery that made the delectable gluten-free meals for us.

Incoming search terms:

  • shauna ahern (22)
  • gluten free fairy bread (3)
  • gluten free mom and the chef (3)
  • gluten free not sticky bread (2)
  • core wisdom wellness (1)
  • flora t spurlock (1)
  • quinoa pasta salmon (1)
  • wheatless wisdom (1)

Comments

  1. Johnna says:

    I LOVE this paragraph:

    "*Just in case you are wondering, no, I no longer feel that way. I believe that celiac is a condition, not a disease…"

    Thank you for sharing that. I am not comfortable with the word *disease* and appreciate how eloquently you shared your thoughts on this very topic. I'm okay with having a condition and goodness, it's easier with all of the amazing gluten free bloggers like you! :)

  2. Awesome post Heidi! What a great recap! I loved meeting you!! I hate I didn't get to hang out with you more, you are just a gem!!

  3. Heidi, your post is wonderful!! I told Shirley that I did not even know how to begin talking about all of you. I figured if I started, I would never stop. Plus, I did not even know how to describe how wonderful each of you is. You did an awesome job of putting the whole weekend into one post!

    And yes, can you believe that again we did not get a picture of us together?? Yikes! What is wrong with us! hehe

    • Kim,

      I know, how funny is that? I think we were all just having too good of time. That's okay, we will just have to make sure there is a "next time!"

      It was hard writing this post and trying to condense my feelings about everyone into just a few lines each, I could seriously dedicate an entire blog post to each one of you!

      xo,
      Heidi

  4. Diane says:

    You crack me up!! This was great to read about! I am so jealous you got to eat at the Flying Apron! I found that book in the library and then bought it!! Looks like you had a lot of fun!! Thank you for sharing so those of us that could not go could still see what it was all about (looking forwar to the cookbook with the Arugula Fig Salad!!!)

  5. Wow, another amazing IFBC post! You girls who have your posts up already are seriously kicking my butt! Sorry you've been under the weather; hope you'll be completely recovered by the big holiday weekend. I'm still fighting jet lag and trying to get all my posts done for previous commitments. (Maybe Hurricane Earl will give us so much rain that we can't go camping and I'll get to stay home and catch up. Shhhh. Don't tell Mr. GFE I said that. LOL) Heidi, you did such a beautiful job on this post. And, I think the more you know me, the less you will label me as quiet. I'd have to say you were a bit reserved yourself at this conference, well, except for a few glutadoodle moments. ;-) Love that photo of you with Morgan. I was jealous until I got one with him, his wife, and their "little man" in the hotel lobby. ;-) Heidi, it was a true joy meeting you in person! When we get together next, it's going to be an event with more getting to know each other (I felt like we hardly got to chat at all) and letting one's hair down time. :-)

    Love and hugs,

    Shirley

    • Shirley,

      I have been thinking/worrying about you and everyone on the east coast, sending good thoughts!

      I think I just caught a bug on the flight home, I'm feeling a little bit better and like you, I've got to get rolling on my previous commitments!

      Did you really think I was reserved? I must have a completely different view of myself, I feel like I talk all the time (well, at least I do in my head!).

      I hope you share your photo with Morgan and his family, that was a great pic! And Shirley, I feel the same about you darlin' you are such a gem and a GREAT role model for all of us in the GF community, I just love you to pieces!!

      xo,
      Heidi

  6. I wish I was there! Missed a great conference and a good time meeting so many internet friends. Lovely pictures. Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. Jenny says:

    Looks and sounds like you had an amazing time. The food looks incredible and I'm so happy you got to try The Flying Apron. My friend lives in Seattle and loves that place. Hopefully I can make it next year. Thanks for taking the time to write and share your experiences with all of us.

  8. Heidi,

    Great post. You crack me up! I'm still wondering how you got home with all those peaches. Let us know when the herd of fish arrives.

    So glad you added in all these links as I couldn't remember some of the blog names (like stickygooeycreamychewy). There were so many wonderful people representing amazing blogs, you did a perfect job of summing it up and adding the resources. Plus, your knock-out photos are a joy to look at. Thank you!

    Loved getting to know you — wild hair, fun personality and all. You're a doll!

    Peace, love and gluten-free laughter!

    Melissa

    • Melissa,

      The peaches were a bad idea. My suitcase originally weighed 60 lbs with the peaches in it (over the 50 lb. limit). Luckily, the Swag only weighed 25 lbs., so I had to move half my clothes from my suitcase into my other bag! What was I thinking? Actually, they were REALLY Good Peaches, I am going to dedicate an entire post to them soon, LOL!

      Let's not even go there on my herd of fish. Actually, it all arrived perfectly…too bad I had forgotten that I had just filled my freezers with homemade tomato sauce! Talk about conundrum, LOL!

      Do you see why my husband does most of the grocery shopping (and why I have two deep freezers??)

      I loved meeting you too, just wish I had gotten a pic… next time!

      xo,
      Heidi

  9. kelly says:

    What a wonderful time! Awesome pictures and yes, that bread looks a-mazing. How fun to actually meet all these wonderful women. =0) So happy for you!!!!

  10. Maggie says:

    Perfect post Heidi! Thanks for the recap – definitely going next year! I loved the pictures of you and everyone. Can't wait to be in a pic with you! xo

    • Thanks Maggie! I think we all need to definitely meet up next year, that would be so cool!!

      And YES! We'll get that picture (shall we wear aprons and toast a glass of wine?). :0)

      xo,
      Heidi

  11. Cinde says:

    Great post Heidi! It was sweet of you to mention me and Gluten Free Taste of Home. Hope to chat soon. :)

    • Hi Cinde!

      Absolutely, I am always proud of my fellow gluten-free bloggers and love to highlight their awesome achievements!

      I owe you an email, but am trying to catch up on some reviews, so we will definitely chat soon!

  12. Victoria says:

    What a fun time at the conference! I'm going through the list of attendees to see who posted what because I just couldn't see it all. What a great post! I love Flying Apron's Apricot Thumb Prints (I think this is what they're called). They are giant, more like palm prints. I'm not gluten-free so I missed out on the GF-specific food but I did really like the Udi's lemon muffins.

    • Hi Victoria, thanks for stopping by!

      The conference was a lot of fun, hope to go again next year. Glad to hear you liked Udi's Lemon Muffins, the GF community is deeply appreciative (more like a cult followers) of Udi's for giving us our bread back! :0)

  13. Oh man!

    I don't consider myself a food blogger, but I would crash the party to hang out with ya'll! Looks like so much fun!

    Hope you're feeling better. E-Hugs!

  14. Great recap! It was SO wonderful to hang out with you and get to know you. You rock girl! My favorite part of the conferrence was getting to know all these amazing gluten-free women, you have all inspired me to try to be better at what I do. And it was just too much fun! Looking forward to many seafood posts in the near future from you :)

  15. Lexie says:

    Heidi! I could just give you a big hug right now. You are such a genuine person. I admire your spirit, sense of humor and the way you make everyone feel loved. The weekend was brief, but am glad we had the time we did to get to know our fellow gluten-free sisters. Wonderful recap of the event. I snagged that pic you have posted of the two of us. I hope you don't mind. Thanks for all your support.

    -Lexie

    • You are SO SWEET Lexie, you just make me smile! :mrgreen:

      I will carry the IFBC weekend in my heart forever. You all are amazing women, and meeting you was definitely one of my greatest joys.

      You are more than welcome to use any of my pictures, at any time!!

      xo,
      Heidi

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom – The International Food Bloggers Conference Recap [...]

  2. [...] Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom – The International Food Bloggers Conference Recap [...]

  3. [...] meeting her gluten-free blogger friends in person. as well as others prominent in the food world. (You must check out her photo with Morgan Spurlock!) We all worry before we attend that very first food blogging conference that we might not fit in [...]

  4. [...] awhile?  I never realized just how much I enjoy doing that until I couldn’t do it anymore (as evidenced by how I kept sneaking bites of Shirley’s (of Gluten Free Easily) pumpkin chocola……and I had JUST met her for the first time, LOL!). Candied Sweet [...]

Speak Your Mind

*