A weekend of food, fun, friends and the world of blogging.
It’s always fun to get together with my local blogging friends, but I got to gather with bloggers from all over the country at the 2015 Food & Wine Conference last weekend at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando. Here’s my recap of the weekend. Be warned though….you might wind up hungry after seeing all the food!
Friday lunch at Shubee’s – the cheese sauce with the fries was over the top amazing!
The conference events didn’t officially start until 4:00 on Friday, but a group of us (top photo) went to the new Shubee’s Coastal Grill & Bar in Kissimmee for lunch. We had been planning this for a few weeks and the staff was prepared for our arrival. They really put on a spread for us. What a way to start the weekend.
Dixie Crystals Sweet Retreat
After we got our badge and swag bag at registration, we went straight to the Dixie Crystals Sweet Retreat. They had three make-your-own sugar scrub stations set up. This was so much fun. Aromas of orange, vanilla, lemon, rosemary, chocolate and mint drifted around the room.
Florida Strawberry’s Welcome Reception
Jammer welcomed us in the door at the Florida Strawberry’s Welcome Reception. Pastry Chef David Ramirez conducted a chocolate making demo and the chocolates were a work of art.
Taste of Rosen Shingle Creek
Next up was a Taste of Rosen Shingle Creek where chefs were at stations around the room serving tapas styled plates and more sweets. My favorite was the lobster pie….I could have eaten two or three of those.
Saturday breakfast and morning break snacks
Saturday morning started off with a breakfast buffet. There was every kind of breakfast food you could want. With a full belly, it was time to head to our meeting room for a day of learning and fun.
We heard from some great speakers about the business of blogging, the balancing act, SEO, collaborating with brands, social media, travel blogging and more. One of the takeaways that really stuck out to me was to stay committed to who you are, which is something we all need to strive for.
Poutine Bar Lunch
Dessert after lunch – so much to choose from!
There was no lack of food for the day that’s for sure….well, it was a Food & Wine Conference! There was enough scrumptious food to please anyone’s palate. We had a poutine bar for lunch, which I’d never experienced before. I think I’ll be having that again.
Afternoon Peach Cobbler Smoothies from Georgia Peaches and Strawberry Cookies from Parkesdale Market (along with a little bluegrass to set the southern mood).
Do you know we even had our own game show with prizes and all? It was just like the Price is Right with contestants guessing the prices of the prizes. Fun, fun, fun!
I shared a table with these sweet ladies at dinner on Saturday night. Left to right are Melissa (Serendipity & Spice), Laura (Family Spice), Faith (An Adible Mosaic), Wanda (My Sweet Zepol), Katie (Recipe for Perfection) and Nikki (Nik Snacks)
Saturday night dinner and photo craziness
After relaxing for a couple of hours, it was time for the Sunday Supper dinner celebration. Of course, cameras and cell phones were snapping pictures of all the food. Dinner was served family style and as soon as the food was on the table, everyone was holding their phones up high or standing on tiptoes or chairs to get the perfect shot. I’d expect nothing less from this group! The winners of all the recipe contests were announced during the dinner too.
A scrumptious brunch (above) of fresh citrus, vegetables and a variety of breakfast food was ready for us on Sunday morning. If you went away hungry, it was your own fault! My favorites were the chicken & apple sausage, date nut bread with Ricotta whip and the Meyer lemon tarts.
After brunch, we all went to the Rosen College of Hospitality for our last day together. The schedule included food demos, learning sessions, a special lunch and an ice cream sundae bar (above). There were three breakout sessions with topics that included photography, video, writing, cookbook publishing, WordPress, Facebook, Pinterest and more. As there were several sessions during each time slot, it was hard to choose which one to go to. There are notes available from some of the sessions; so I’ll be reviewing those later.
Jammer had a good time too! I couldn’t keep him away from the food.
I was honored to be a Brand Ambassador for the Florida Strawberry Growers Association during the conference. Some of the sweetest, most luscious strawberries around are grown not far from me and they’re available from November to March.
Oh my, seems like I’ve written a book and shared a photo album, but I didn’t want to leave anything out. It was a non-stop three days filled with many laughs, great food and good friends. I just might have wanted to take a nap when it was all over.…wouldn’t you?
Thanks to Isabel, the Sunday Supper team, Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, sponsors, speakers and all who had a part in putting this conference together. You rock!