Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Macaroons and more at IFBC Santa Monica

Last weekend, I attended the International Food Blogger Conference in Santa Monica.   Just hours into the weekend-long conference, I ended up behind the kitchen counter assisting Clemence, a teacher at the Gourmandise School of Cooking.  It only took one call for volunteers and my hand quickly shot up, much like an overly eager school kid unable to sit still in the audience of a magic show.  I was determined to get my hands in that macaroon recipe.  
Thanks to Garlic Girl for snapping this photo of me in action at IFBC!  This cooking class took place at the after hours event at Santa Monica Place's Gourmandise School of Cooking.

Best of all, I could wear my enthusiasm proudly because I was in a room full of food fanatics.  When Clemence warned me she would put me to work, I was thrilled.  (I've been not so secretly obsessing about staging in a bakery for way too long. I haven't made it happen just yet, unless you count a short post-college stint selling a local baker's cakes at the Laguna Beach Farmer's Market.)  With such a busy work schedule lately, this opportunity for macaroon making was a golden one.

This was my third time attending an IFBC conference, so the experience of transitioning from informative sessions tapping away at my laptop to an activity like sifting flour seemed normal.  Perhaps it takes a crowd of bloggers to fully appreciate this dance of thinking and writing about food, then getting into the kitchen.  We spend a lot of time transitioning between the virtual space and our kitchen base.  As much as we're addicted to internet gastronomy, we're not afraid to get our hands dirty: we follow food editors on Twitter and we peruse recipe sites, but we also willingly and bravely jump into the kitchen ready to try to gain another and then another morsel of knowledge or skill.  

At the conference, the crowd is an interesting mix, with terms like search engine optimization and fois gras peppering the conversation in equal measure-- and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I am thankful I had the chance to go to IFBC, and felt at home surrounded by a huge group of people, hungry for food and for the opportunity to learn about this delicious niche.  Thanks to the folks at Foodista for a great conference, and thanks to Clemence for letting me lend a hand in the kitchen!
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