This past weekend I attended the second annual St. Louis Food Media Forum. It was a weekend packed with networking opportunities, writing workshops and social media seminars, along with hands-on photography and knife-skills sessions. Appropriate to a food media conference, the food was show-stopping.
The Culinary Institute of St. Louis housed the conference, and their students planned, cooked and served breakfasts, lunches and snacks over the weekend. They pulled out all the stops, preparing salmon in buerre blanc, salmon corn chowder, duck sliders, mini angel cakes with lemon curd, chocolate dipped almond macaroons and lemon ricotta pancakes, to single out just a few of my favorites. The weekend was an exercise in pacing and portion control to have room enough to sample all the goodies.
One of the highlights for me, beyond the food, was the chance to meet and visit with some of the bloggers I follow online. It was wonderful to be able to put faces to blog identities. And, any time you get a bunch of food bloggers and cooks in a space together, the conversation inevitably turns to recipes, cooking tips and kitchen horror stories. It was energizing to be able to talk cooking and baking with likeminded people.
One of the hands-on sessions was a workshop taught by Jennifer Silverberg and Jonathan Gayman, local professional photographers who specialize in food photography. Their tips and advice on lighting, composition and camera settings will hopefully help me improve my blog photos. The pictures in this post are ones that I took during the workshop.
We left with full bags of giveaways from sponsors of the conference, which gave me all kinds of inspirations and ingredients for future recipes. I have bread and dessert plans for my boxes of black barley, charcoal wheat and whole grain cereal. I also am thinking about trying to duplicate a few of the flavored popcorn samples – mojito lime popcorn is at the top of my list.
It was a whirlwind weekend that I’m still trying to process. I am determined to keep up the friendships that blossomed during the weekend. I vow to increase The Cook’s Life social media presence. And I will take the leap into experimenting more with food styling and photography. I also have a few ideas for blog posts, as well as a new series or two. And, as soon as I can find the time to bake them, and people to help eat them, I’m going to make my own version of chocolate dipped almond macaroons.