Aug 1, 2014

Food and Wine Conference #FWCon

Join me as I recount my experiences and share with you the inspirational speakers, empowering quotes, wonderful new friends and, of course, the delicious food and wine that makes up the Food and Wine Conference #FWCon
I recently attended the Food and Wine Conference in Orlando, FL. The conference was founded by, Isabel Reis Laessig, the inspiring woman behind the Family Foodie website and the Sunday Supper Movement.

The Food and Wine Conference was 3 days of inspiration, empowerment, and great food and wine, of course! I met so many wonderful folks! I honestly don't know where to begin this post, but I can tell you I am already looking forward to next year's conference! If you are only able to attend one conference, make it this one! You'll be so glad you did!!

Join me as I recount my experiences and share with you the inspirational speakers, empowering quotes, wonderful new friends and, of course, the delicious food and wine. I hope you are able to feel some of the warmth, inspiration, and empowerment that I did while attending, and I look forward to meeting you at next year's conference to be held in July at the same stunning location!

The event was held at the beautiful Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, FL

Before I go any further I need to say a great big THANK YOU to Ashlee Hamon Photography!! You see I took lots of horrible pictures at the Food and Wine Conference! It's like horrible picture taking was my job!! Sad, but true! Note to self - don't use the cell phone camera! Just don't!

All of the photos in this post were taken by the talented Ashlee Hamon, and I am ever so grateful to this kind soul for allowing me to share her beautiful pictures with you!! Please take a moment to visit Ashlee's website, Ashlee Hamon Photography, and show her some love on Facebook! After all, she did save your eyes from some really terrible shots!

After checking in on Friday afternoon, I headed down to the Spud Soiree hosted by the Idaho Potato Commission. The potato folks greeted us in a BIG way with the ginormous Idaho Potato Truck!

And yummy potato treats!

The night was just getting started! After the Spud Soiree, we made our way over to the Blogger Blend hosted by Gallo Family Vineyards where they unveiled their latest Riesling. It was delicious! Light bodied and sweet! A must try for sure!

Look at this gorgeous group!!

That sounds like enough for one night, right?! Oh no, my friends! We weren't done yet! The Rosen Shingle Creek treated us to their Taste of Rosen event where we sampled gourmet selections from the various dining options at the resort, along with the Rosen Recipe Contest's winning recipe by my new friend, DB of Crazy Foodie Stunts. DB's Filet Mignon with Red Wine Reduction and Polenta was out of this world! I can't wait to recreate this at home! Congrats Stuntman!! Very well deserved!! 

Once I ate my way through the resort, I headed up to my room. Madison joined me for the weekend, so I wanted to spend some time with her and get some rest for the next day! 

Saturday was filled with lots of learning from some pretty amazing folks! Yep! That is Emily Ellyn of the Food Network Star and Whitney Miller of MasterChef giving the keynote speech! These girls were a treat!

Here are a few of my tweets from Saturday!
The Social Media Ferris Wheel is where I tweeted a quote by Brianne of Cupcakes and Kale Chips. I know many bloggers who can relate to this one!

and one of my favorite quotes by Lora of Cake Duchess
One of my favorite sessions was presented by Dan Cristo, the founder of and Nicole Cook of Daily Dish Recipes. Dan asked for a volunteer to offer up their blog for him to dissect. He walked us through how he would evaluate a website to help improve its Search Engine Optimization. My friend, Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake volunteered. She has a wonderful website, and Dan had a difficult time finding any problems with it, but it was fascinating to me watching Dan work. I definitely need to learn more about the inside of my website!

After a delicious break hosted by Duda Farms, I was completely inspired by two phenomenal women - Erika Kerekes of Not Ketchup and Michelle Northrup of Intensity Academy. These two ladies have successfully created their own products and brought them to market. I am in awe of their spirit and appreciate all of the knowledge they shared with us at the conference. I hope to follow in their footsteps someday!

The theme of this conference was definitely 'be authentic'! It resonated from everyone who presented, but the most inspirational presentation on this subject was Branding Bites by Coryanne Ettiene of Kitchen Living with Coryanne and Jackie Gordon The Singing Chef. Here are a couple of my most favorite quotes from these exceptional women!

Lunch on Saturday was hosted by Fields Auto Group and let me tell you it was AH-maaaaaa-zing!! I loved the Banh Mi Pork Sandwich. Don't tell anyone, but I had two <gasp>!! They were small....ish ;o)

Saturday night was a fantastic event that brought us all around the dinner table - family style! We enjoyed a sumptuous spread with Gallo wine pairings for each course. Yes, I drank them all and yes, I felt it. Nuff said on that! I am determined to learn more about wine and wine pairings as they really did enhance the experience of the meal. Even the dessert wine made the chocolate that much better! Hard to believe, but it's true!

Sunday was full of food demos and these four ladies talked to us about how to make our own food demo videos! From left to right is Krayl Funch of An Appealing Plan, Bess Auer of FlBlogCon, Stephanie Manley of CopyKat Recipes, and Leslie Wasson Green of The Hungry Housewife 

Thank you ladies for inspiring me to make my first food demo video! It's short but it's a start! Check out my video demonstrating The Incredible Hull by Oxo

Click here to see the video on Youtube
I know! I know! I sound like I'm 12 years old. What can I say?! I'm young at heart :) Soooo....what do you think? Is video blogging, or vlogging as they call it, in my future??

Loved this presentation by Giuliano Hazan and Davidson's Safest Choice Eggs. Giuliano's wonderful wife Lael is a friend I met at my first food blog conference this past May. I was so happy to reunite with her at the Food and Wine Conference and so fortunate to meet the lucky man in her life. What a treat to watch Giuliano work his culinary magic!

I love this photo! This is Nikki Miller-Ka of Nik Snacks demonstrating how to core a pineapple with the Oxo representative, Veronica Chan, and Katie of Katie's Cucina. What a fun demo this was!

There was so much more to this fantabulous weekend, but I feel like this post is long enough already! Thanks for hanging in there with me to the end, and a huge THANK YOU to everyone who worked so hard to make this conference happen! It was truly inspirational and empowering! I still feel energized and can't wait for 2015!!

See you next year!! Same time and place!!

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  1. wow. What an amazing time it looks like you had!!! And those photos are really spectacular! You did a great job on your gadget video. I hope one day to get to attend one of these amazing events too!

  2. Love you video and enjoyed reading the article. I knew I should of gone to this! Right in my back yard too!

    1. Thanks, Mary Ellen! I sure do hope you join me in 2015! It will be a blast. Same time and place!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Nora! It definitely was! I highly recommend this one over the other one attended! It has such a good vibe, and I came away with so much more!

  4. Great idea to embed your tweets into your post! I just might do that in my second post! :)

    1. Thanks, Krystal! It was the first time I tried it, so I was happy it worked haha

  5. Yeah! Good job on your first video!

    1. Thanks, Leslie! You girls were so inspiring! I'm going to play around with it some more. So glad I got to see y'alls presentation!


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