BlogHer Food 2013 – a dream come true!


Child-like wonder akin to how my 8 year felt before his pirate birthday party engulfed me as I headed to hip and happening Austin, TX for BlogHerFood 2013 on June 7th – 8th. Aah, to be able to rub shoulders with awesome bloggers from across the United States – bliss!

As I stepped into the Hilton Austin with a happy song in my heart, this sign greeted me…don’t miss the whacky spoon mouse in the logo.

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A mélange of feminine colors and chatter invaded the registration lobby on 7th morning and the intoxicating excitement in the air was palpable. Thanks to BlogHer staff and volunteer food bloggers, despite the long lines – I was registered without a hitch and was handed a goody bag full of fun food gifts – yes, the thrill of ferreting through a well put together goody bag never wears out 🙂

The eager bloggers, the blogger-specific workshops, panels, excursions and food corporations resulted in a fail-proof recipe for a successful conference!

For me, the people I met at the conference was what made it so inspiring…

I have to start off with a funky and vivacious food blogger who somehow manages to bring art to food – Niv Mani of Panfusine. She is the one who gave me the extra nudge to ensure that I attended the conference…

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Cheers at the Nook on 6th Street!

And the list continues…little did I expect to meet food allergy bloggers whom I have admired for long in the blogosphere. Of course, we got so carried away talking about our mission that we forgot to take pictures – go figure! But Colette Martin, blogger at Learning to Eat Allergy-Free and Cheryl Thomae at Freedible were some of the people that made the trip totally worthwhile!

Ever wonder where good blogging can actually take you?! Meeting power blogger and celebrity Food Network chef ‘The Pioneer Woman‘, Ree Drummond answered that question for me. The few moments with this graceful and modest star will remain etched in my memory! She even tolerated my long-winded story of how she reminded me of my avva (grandma) who would cook to feed a town…

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With Ree Drummond…

And, as I walked out of one of the workshops, who should I meet but yet another celebrity  video blogger Hetal Jannu of Show me the Curry fame which led to another party on 6th street…

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Photo Courtesy: Niv Mani; Panfusine

Like my pot of joy was not overflowing enough – met the stunning Jaden Hair, the successful blogger at Steamy Kitchen too!

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Chera – future food blogger, Panfusine, Steamy Kitchen, Show me the Curry and moi!

Meeting Stefani Pollack, blogger at the utterly cute Cupcake Project was a blast from get go – dancing at the reception to the after-party on 6th street to swapping ideas on how to make an allergy-friendly cupcake – loved every moment! Would have never guessed that she is a Brooklyn gal 😉

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                               Laughter comes easy around her…

And more food bloggers,

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Vegan Food Trailer! Photo Courtesy: Niv Mani; Panfusine

With my funny, talented blogger pal, Niv! Yup – I could hardly suppress the giggle as I tried my hand at the snobby chef look…

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And, so many more amazing food bloggers…

Workshops and speaking panels galore…the conference covered every conceivable blogging topic I could think of. Would have loved to attend them all but obviously many were concurrent sessions but loved those that I did attend!

  1. Video Bootcamp #1: Equipment and Gear  and Video Bootcamp #3: Post-Production/Editing: As I take my tentative first steps towards video blogging, this was just what the doctor prescribed. Somehow – it does not seem as scary a task anymore.
  2. Food Blogging for the Next Generation – Finding Solutions at the Intersection of Childhood Obesity and Food Insecurity in the USA: This really hit a raw nerve as Cheryl Thomae of Freedible brought up the topic of poverty and food allergies. Safe foods DON’T come cheap 😦
  3. Brand/Blogger Relations: The marketing prowess bloggers wield in the consumer’s decision making process today is mind-boggling. Little wonder, I ran into so many social media professionals from large food corporations.
  4. Beyond Twitter and Facebook – Pinterest, Instagram, Google +, Tumblr, and Foodspotting: And, I thought AllergyFoodie was all over the Internet?! A blogger’s job does not end at writing a good post. Bloggers have to constantly engage and increase traffic and I need a good Nikon to pin better pictures on Pinterest and Instagram 😉
  5. Workshop – Write to Be Read: Gosh – and I thought my written English was not too bad 😉
  6. Innovator Interview with David Leite: He reminded me yet again that bloggers are respected only if they remain true to the core value offered by their blog!
  7. For Good Measure: Search and Social Tracking and Measurements: If you want to monetize your blog in a big way, you better know how to track and beyond!

Fun excursions to soak in everything from hipster Austin to the dirty 6th kept the BlogHer party going! The Vegan Food Trailers with Christy Morgan from The Blissful Chef …funnn!

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Photo courtesy: Niv Mani/ Panfusine

The company was so perfect that food took second place tho ‘me so hungry’…

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Photo courtesy: Niv Mani/ Panfusine

The Food truck Luncheon excursion – now, this is Filmore from the movie ‘Cars’…

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My lunch spinach and mushroom ‘Mmmmmmmpanadas’…

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Of course, all this would not have been possible without the Corporate sponsors…

They lined the hallways like a fun food fair but what caught the AllergyFoodie food blogger’s eyes were the allergy friendly companies. A vegetarian who swears by lentils – I was ecstatic to find the company Canadian lentils. The dishes they had laid out were delectable – lentil wraps and lentil samosas were winners but lentil brownies not quite as much 🙂 AllergyFoodie readers will definitely see variants of the wraps and samosas very soon!

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Udi’s – though many of the products do have common allergens like eggs, it is gluten-free! 

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Bob’s Red Mill: Mr. Bob definitely figures in my favorite old men list – have long used the many allergy friendly grains and flours and never been disappointed.

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The gluten-free mixes and Allergy Friendly Sorghum flour particularly caught my eye…

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Who thought that in this day and age the many forms of Wholesome Sweetners could get branded?!

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Lundberg: The Rice Chips would have made the cut for Allergy Friendly snack but for sesame which counts in the top 10 food allergens! However, the brown rice and wild rice samples – definitely allergy friendly and nutritious too!

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Pompeian: The flavorful popcorn – the grapeseed oil blends were pretty darn good!

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As a food allergy blogger, the one thing that made this conference a success for me… the spread of allergy-friendly choices at every meal including the grand finale reception. Definitely a step in the right direction…

5 thoughts on “BlogHer Food 2013 – a dream come true!

  1. I get allergies fetuqenrly but not with food, I usually get my allergies from pollens or through chemicals found in medicine. Thanks for informing us about food allergies, this condition is more serious than most people think. It can even lead to death if not taken care of immediately.

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