Well, the Food & Wine Conference of 2015 has come and gone and to be honest, I’m still trying to process it all. From start to finish it was a great way to mingle with other food aficionados, enjoy fantastic meals and learn as much as possible that can be jammed into 3 days!
Keeping with our Friday theme of Friday Coffee Talk, I want you to grab a cup of joe and sit a spell. I want to tell you a little about my trip to Florida and why I want to go back next year.
Get Ready for a Food & Wine Conference Recap!
I will admit, I was very nervous about going to this conference. One, because it was an event where I did not know very many people at all. In fact, I could count on one hand those familiar faces and that made me a bit nervous. Second: I didn’t have my BFF Nicole as my wing-woman. That did not stop us from texting and chatting for hours when I would go back to my room; but I missed her presence. A lot.
I arrived in Orlando and met up with Kelly. Kelly & I met (through Nicole in fact) at Type A Atlanta last year. It was so nice to hang out with her at FWCon and I cannot thank her enough for having me tag along and sharing her blogging wisdom. Kelly? She’s amazing and taught me more over a glass of Prosecco than I ever knew. We soon met up with Melanie and although Melanie and I know each other from Facebook, we’ve never met in person. Once we met and chatted, it seemed as though we all knew each other for ages and felt like we were the “Three Foodie Muskateers.”
Coming to the FWC was really the urging of its creator Isabel, of Family Foodie and Sunday Supper fame. We met on Twitter AGES ago and had the chance to finally meet last year on a Farm to Pork tour. She is absolutely lovely, and let me tell you- smart and savvy too. She rocked this event and I was so happy for her.
We kicked off the event with registration and a welcome event of homemade sugar scrubs hosted by sponsor Dixie Crystals Sugar. The room was filled with such wonderful aromas, I felt as though I was in a fancy spa. I made chocolate mint scrub, rosemary lemon and a sleeper favorite – Dreamsicle. I say sleeper favorite because when I made it, it smelled super sweet, BUT after coming home, the whole family is using it and it’s almost gone! I’ll have to make a new batch! This activity was genius; it was a fun activity and sparked conversations with others- like grown up craft time.
We then moved to another room to enjoy another sponsored event with Florida Strawberries with fresh berries, martinis and chocolate- and all were so tasty!!
A super fun evening with a night cap with Kelly & Melanie and a few others before heading in for the evening. And what was waiting for all of the attendees when arriving back to our rooms? A chocolate shoe, filled with macrons! What?!
The next few days were a whirlwind of sessions, breaks, and amazing, amazing food. Presenters were candid and open, sharing their knowledge with no holds barred. It was refreshing and I learned a lot. That is a great quality of those involved around food; we are welcoming, want to make you feel welcomed and will share anything and everything we know about food.
The sponsored breaks were phenomenal. We had Chocolate, peach smoothies, cookies, and sweet treats and one of my favorites: Cabot Cheese! I signed up to be an ambassador for the conference and was paired with Cabot- to me, this was a match made in heaven. The Cabot Team were rockstars and I just loved them to pieces. Genuine, down to earth and really fun! Remember the recipe I shared a few weeks back for my breakfast egg sandwich? It used Cabot Everything Bagel Cheddar.
Yum. And, did you know that Cabot cheese is 100% naturally lactose free? Yes! There is a fun foodie fact for you!
After a delicious Sunday brunch with mimosas and Bloody Mary’s it was time to learn more via small break out sessions. All the topics were great and I had a very hard time choosing which to attend.
Then again, the first break out was a no-brainer. Wine and Cheese pairing & tasting hosted by none other than Cabot Cheese and Hess Wines! They even greeted us with a kissing cow! 🙂
Wine. And cheese.
I also attended a great session on photography and how to make Facebook work for you.
I tasted potato candy for the first time thanks to Idaho Potato: It was fantastic- it reminded me a lot of fudge. This version had peanut butter swirled in and that, well, sealed the deal for me- because I LOVE peanut butter!
I met so many amazing people- and looking back, I don’t know why I was so nervous. Everyone I met was super nice, willing to help and answer questions, so encouraging and supportive and I can honestly say, I left with new friendships. I can’t wait to go back next year.
The only thing I will have to remember is to leave reminders to please water the plants while I’m away!