South African Food Bloggers Conference 2010

When doors  for the first South African Bloggers Conference opened at the Cook’s Playground here in Cape Town, history was made and I believe this dream of my good friend and fellow blogger, Browniegirl will now become an annual event. The anticipation and excitement was almost tangible as the bloggers arrived in heaps to share in this glorious day.

I met Jeanne, the Cooksister, for the first time in real life even though we both come from Port Elizabeth and we have become good friends online.
 Jeanne, Jan Tripepe, Nina, Cathy from The Nut Vendor

It was wonderful to see old friends, new friends and even meet people who normally have an avatar as an identity. Foodies are such wonderful people, the atmosphere was amazing.The venue was absolutely perfect. I mean, for foodies to have a conference at another foodie’s cooking school, it just doesn’t get any better than that. Jenny, the Giggling Gourmet was a perfect host, seeing to everyone’s needs with drinks and a joke or two when a break was needed. Thank you Jenny. Our first speaker of the day was Jeanne Horak-Druiff or better known to us as the Cooksister.

I have learned that there is a  difference between a foodie who loves to write or a writer who loves to cook. I have also learned that if my strength is cooking , it is ok and that I should embrace that and make it work for me on my blog.  Our second speaker of the day was Juno from Scrumptious South Africa. Juno’s topic was ‘Effective Recipe Writing & Editorial Techniques and to me all the advice was invaluable and  hopefully my writing skills will improve from now on. I will definitely read every blog post over and over again before I push that publish button. I have also learned that it is up to me to record recipes in such a clear and attractive way that it will still be available for generations to come. By now it was time for a break and some lucky draws. We had Le Creuset pots up for crabs,Cookbooks form the Caviar Group, Hair make-overs from the Paladium, chocolates from Soulicious .
Throughout the day we treated on fruit and nuts form the Nutvendor as well as Orangina fruit Juice.
Next in line was me to talk about “Getting to know your camera”.

 Nina studying her notes!

At first I thought it was too obvious, I mean who doesn’t know their camera? So many people came to me afterwards with questions that I have to assume that it was not as obvious as I thought. I have learned though that cooking comes to me far more naturally than public speaking, but it is necessary sometimes that we step out of our comfort zone. After all this information, we needed something substantial to nourish our minds and tummies and trust me, we were nourished. First up we had platters and platters of the most divine sushi.

It was made right there in front of our very own eyes, so it does not get any fresher that that. Little did we know of the spread that was coming.

Jenny, the Giggling Gourmet pulled out all the stops with a huge oven roasted salmon, oven-roasted chicken, salads to die for and heavenly quiches to mention but a few. It was impossible to choose and even if you took just a little piece of everything, you walked away with a plate piled with food.

I was ready for my bed by now but still the end was not in sight. After lunch Jeanne and I had two more slots each and Sam from Food24 spoke about social networking. Jeanne covered “How to be a better Blogger” and the ‘The Legalities & Ethics of Blogging and I spoke about “Foodstyling and “Monetizing your site.” I am not going into all the detail now, but I trust that everybody left the conference a little more enlightened and a lot more inspired. Oops, I forgot to mention dessert which consisted of numerous tarte tatins and cheesecake as well as a cheese platter, courtesy Simonsberg. By now, I was bursting, not only from food, but bursting with inspiration to make my blog even better and enjoyable for you my loyal readers.

Every delegate left the conference with a bumper-packed goodiebag, filled with the most amazing gifts from our generous sponsors.

To everybody who made this conference a success, thank you! I look forward to 2011.
Brownieboy, little brownie and Browniegirl!
Photos of this event can be seen here!