At the end of Day 1 of the Food Blogger Conference, I am exhausted. Actually, it wasn't even a day, but from 4:30 PM until about 9:00 PM. First, I went to the launch and book signing for A Taste of Washington - a beautiful cookbook featuring Washington ingredients and recipes by Chef and Sommelier Michele Morris. In addition to buying my own book and getting it signed, there was wine and new people to meet. Following this was conference registration and then the opening reception and gift suite. The reception had more wine, a variety of different preparations of salmon from salmon cakes, to stir fry, to teriyaki salmon. And to go with the salmon were mini-deserts including little cupcakes, little parfaits, apple turnovers, and chocolate by Theo.
And then there was the wonderful gift suite. It was in one of the large rooms, with tables all around the walls and a square section in the middle. All loaded with samples, recipes, and gifts. I haven't gone through all my swag yet, but I know I have a bib apron, hot pad, measuring cups, vanilla beans, brownie mix, olives, seaweed chips, teriyaki sauce, a variety of chips, nuts, and other snack items. I staggered out of there with 2 very full bags, glad that I live in the area and don't have to figure out how to get it all home on a plane.
As wonderful as all these goodies are, I think the very best part of today was meeting some very friendly and interesting people. Someone said that food bloggers don't tend to see themselves as competitors to each other, but rather tend to seek each other out, offer help, tips, wisdom, experience, and contacts. And that truly was my experience tonight - lots of fun, friendly, interesting people - wanting to hear my story as well as telling theirs.
Tomorrow is going to be much longer with breakfast starting at 7 and ending with a chef and vendor reception at about 9. I may not have energy left to post a blog Saturday night, so look for it on Sunday.