Food Bloggers of Canada is an organization that promotes and fosters the Canadian food blogging scene and at the same time recognizes the diversity in Canada and how it is reflected in Canadian food blogs. We attended the FBC annual conference in Ottawa in October, 2017.
When the conference was over, we arrived back at the test kitchen having gained not only a pound or two, but, new food blogger friends, ideas for recipes, tips on blog writing, promotion and food photography, and glimpses at upcoming food trends in Canada. And a stack of complimentary cookbooks.
Food was available at every turn, not just during opening receptions, breakfasts, lunch, and dinners.
What happens at a conference of food bloggers?
1. A lot of eating.
2. Information-packed seminars with food blogger-oriented topics. We picked up all sorts of tips from Debra Wong’s Grow Your Blog and Business Through Community Building, Sam Turnbull’s Standing Out in a Crowd: Building Your Brand Identity, Heather Travis’ Behind the Brands: What PR Teams Need Bloggers To Know, and Pailin Chongchitnant’s Using Video To Build A Successful Food Business and Community.
3. Networking with fellow bloggers. Rooms buzzed with foodie conversation.
4. Opportunities to meet with food producers. We chatted with dairy, egg, apple, mushroom, hog, beef, and grain farmers to ask questions and receive real answers.
5. Book signings and presentations. Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanHeller, authors of Feast, an edible road trip, spoke about: The Feast Adventure –Think Big and Create Your Own Adventure. The authors shared stories about their five month road trip across Canada’s ten provinces and three territories.
6. The endless enticement of food aromas. We dined around with four Ottawa chefs, each one offering a lentil inspired dish: Chef Chris Deraiche from the Wellington Gastropub, Chef Kevin Benes from Carben Food & Drink, Chef Joe Thottungal from the Coconut Lagoon Restaurant, and Chef Olivia Cruikshank from Pure Kitchen.
7. Blogger Brand Speed Networking. We jumped right in. Our “fast dates” were with Ontario Pork and Mushrooms Canada.
8. Keynote speaker. Elizabeth Baird prefaced her presentation by saying, “I read cookbooks” and went on to prove how cookbooks reflect our history. With reference to cookbooks over the years, she traced the history of cooking in Canada – from First Nations precolonial times through the historic global ethnic influences we have today. War time cookbooks. Kitchen etiquette books. Product driven and church basement cookbooks. Cookbooks written by celebrity chefs. She brought our Canadian food influences full circle with a final mention of contemporary First Nations award-winning cookbooks and prize-winning restaurant menus.
Elizabeth concluded by saying, “There is good eating ahead.”
The Cooking Ladies can attest to the fact that Canadian food bloggers will be telling that “good eating” story.