Monday, June 18, 2012

BlogHer Food 2012

This is potato salad.  Marinated onion, little ball of blue cheese, pickle, bacon, disks of potato and a little pipette of mayo.  Potato salad.

Even a week after BlogHer, I'm still talking about the food.

I was blown away.  I'm a nutritionist, so I go to nutrition conferences constantly, but we've never had anything like this.  Our conferences seem to specialize is trays of green beans drowning in butter and sad little chicken cutlets floating in an unknowable sauce.  Not so at BlogHer Food 2012, because ladies and gentlemen, these are food people!

Gazpacho, marinated tomatoes with caviar, spinach salad, curry chicken salad and a fruit cup for dessert

I don't think I've been to a better conference.  Every session was fascinating, even those I wouldn't have chosen for myself.  I volunteered as a mic wrangler for the event, meaning I ran around with a microphone for people who wanted to ask questions of the presenters.  I love being involved behind the scenes of any event and as a mic wrangler, I could pretend I was a key player, though truthfully I was just a volunteer that showed up for a couple of days.

So, why did we need every single person to speak into a mic?  Was the conference really that big?  Yes, there were a respectable number of participants and staff (I heard one estimate around 500 attendees) but the true reason for the mics is that they were recording every session so we can all listen to sessions that we missed!  I'm not sure how to access the audio yet, but the live blogs of all the sessions have been posted in the BlogHer Food '12 Virtual Conference.

Janet Helm speaking alongside Amelia Winslow and Kath Younger on Friday morning

A highlight for me was meeting Janet Helm during my first session as mic wrangler in a session titled "Separate Food Fact from Fiction and Enhance Your Credibility." I'll admit, the topic of this session didn't thrill me.  I'm an RD.  I spend all my time looking at research and shooting down food myths, but Janet Helm is a force to be reckoned with in the nutrition world and I enjoyed the opportunity to hear her speak.  Janet is the great mind behind the Nutrition Blog Network and Healthy Aperture, both excellent resources for nutrition and healthy eating.  And, full disclosure, yours truly is a contributor. 

I met so many fabulous people that I have a stack of business cards an inch thick.  I'll have to go back through and renew the tenuous connections we made at the conference.  I will say that I've never met a nicer bunch--not one crochety old lady in the mix!  I'm particularly excited to have met hometown girl Adina of Gluten Free Travelette, Polly, BlogHer conference programmer extraordinnaire and writer of Lesbian Dad, and Singrit of Craving Something Good.  For the rest, I will slowly go back through my cards, putting faces to names, reading blogs, connecting on Twitter, and slowly building the friendships we started in a short two days.

Tangerine juice with honey foam on Saturday morning

On Friday afternoon I attended "How to Shoot a Video on a Budget" with the creators of Weelicious and I honestly could have stayed there all day.  I'm so excited to use some of their tips and tricks to shoot some fabulous (and short) videos for FoodWise Nutrition.

Lunch at Thoa's Restaurant after my photography session

Another session I got to attend and not work was "Taking your Food Photography Outdoors" with Taylor Mathis.  This man has inspired me to continue to lug my camera and a diffuser or two out to dinner, much to Ben's chagrin.  I'm not strange, just part of a minority that wants a perfect photo of every meal.  What's strange about that?

There's so much more I could write.  I could tell you about recipe copyrights (lists of ingredients aren't copywriter, and methods only are if they contain "substantial literary expression") or how Bryant Terry re-energized me to advocate for sustainable food.  I could tell you how thrilled I was to have gluten-free choices at every meal or how much fun it was to talk to the reps for Bob's Red Mill and All Recipes.  I could bore you to tears with details.  Truthfully, I'm still looking over my notes and digesting everything I learned and remembering fondly everyone I met.  I hope that someday you, too, can attend a conference that you enjoy every part of.  

On to BlogHer Food 2013 in Austin!


  1. looks like fun maybe I should think about going :-)

  2. Oh it was Rebecca! Maybe I'll see you in Austin next year?

  3. The food looks amazing. Did you get to sample a whole bunch of it? Or was it just the main meals? I'd have a hard time trying to resist sneaking bites of various things!