Tag Archives: IACP

2013 Food Blogger Conferences

Carrots - StyledFood Styling Workshop – Eat, Write, Retreat 2012

A few weeks ago, I seemed to have the same conversation over and over again with fellow food bloggers about what conferences to attend in 2013.   I added a Food & Drink Conferences page to my website a little while back in an attempt to try to keep track of all the various ones going on throughout the year.  Each time I go to update it, I find more and more interesting-sounding meetings, ones that, were money and time no object, I’d happily try to get to.  In 2012, I sort of maxed out on my conference budget, as there were many gatherings based in New York City.  I tried to go to many of the ones held there to save on hotels and travel.

2012 IACP Conference Program

What conferences do I have on my list for 2013?  My answer to my blogging friends is the same one that I’ll list here: just a couple of them. I’m still in culinary school through April, so it isn’t really possible for me to afford to go to many of them this year, unlike in past years.  The timing doesn’t work for a few of them, like this year’s IACP conference, which is being held in San Francisco a week before I have to take my final exams.  I’m trying to reassure myself that I’m missing out on that one for a bigger cause.

2012 Cookbook Conference tote bag

One of the conferences I really enjoyed last year that is on the list for this one is the Roger Smith Cookbook Conference.  In addition to panels and speakers featuring cookbook authors, PR folks, and publishers, there were also hours of conversations about digital publishing opportunities, recipe websites, apps, and e-books.  This seemed to be to be a wonderful, comprehensive look at where we get our information on finding recipes to use as well as on how we as bloggers and writers can look for publishing opportunities.   This year, I’ve been invited to be a panelist where I’ll be speaking with Jane Kelly of Eat Your Books (a terrific resource for keeping track of and making use of those cookbooks in your collection).

Program from Big Summer Potluck 2012

But, really, why should you go to conferences, spend all that money, take time away from your friends and family, and be cooped up in some hotel or other for several days?  Here’s some of my thoughts on the take-aways:

– Pick up helpful hints for your website
– Add new skills to portfolio (social media, web design, photography)
– Brainstorm ideas with other bloggers
– Discover some terrific new blogs to follow
– Network and meet other fantastic folks who share your same interests in and passion about food
– Make new friends and connect with those folks IRL (in real life) whom you only know through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and/or Google+
– Learn about this ever-evolving industry and how to capture opportunities to grow your blog and your brand
– Get re-energized about why it is you blog anyway
– Have fun, eat great food, and explore a new city (or get better-acquainted with one you already know)
– Come home with some really great swag

TechMunch photoTechMUNCH NYC -> food+technology

These are just a few of the many reasons that I’ve enjoyed the conferences I’ve attended in the past.  Check out the list I’ve started for the Food & Drink Conferences I’ve found so far taking place in 2013.  Some of these have already started accepting registration (often at early-bird pricing).  As more conferences are announced throughout the year, I’ll continue to update this list and will start to add the ones for 2014 to this page as they come up as well, too.  Hope you have a terrific time at whichever ones you decide to attend!

Buon appetito!

Taste of 5 Boroughs at the International Association of Culinary Professionals Culinary Expo

Unless you’ve been following me on Twitter the past few days, you might have thought it’s been very quiet around these parts.  I’ve been attending the annual conference for the International Association of Culinary Professionals here in New York.  It’s been four jam-packed days of networking, attending panels about the food business, eating, snacking, nibbling, and catching up with some of the amazing folks who work in this industry.  Yesterday, I was able to see the fruits of the hard work that my fellow conference volunteers and I did together in a culinary expo called Taste of the 5 Boroughs, showcasing New York artisan food purveyors.

The Jam Stand

Raspberry jam with a kick of heat.  Bananas with lime and rum.  Wine-inflected sweet red onions.  These are just a few of the great flavors Sabrina and Jessica have come up with to jazz up the NYC jam scene.  I got to chat with Sabrina today and found out that we’ll be able to catch them at the markets this season.  They’ll be hanging out at the Hester Street Fair for a few Saturdays.  I’ll be there, too, picking up some of their flavorful jams.

Regal Vegan

Today, I found a new reason to count the days until succulent ripe tomatoes are finally in season again: Basilicotta from Regal Vegan.  I’d tried Ella’s Faux Gras at Smorgasburg last summer and had really enjoyed it.  The Basilicotta, however, I think is on another level altogether with its creamy texture and bright, grassy, herbal notes, perfect for pairing with summer vegetables and pastas.  I’m hoping I’ll see it for sale around the local markets because this is definitely on my shopping list.

Granola Lab

What can I say about this product?  Alex’s granola has the ideal balance of fruit, nuts, flakes, sweet, salty, savory, chewy.  Your stomach is begging you to make a breakfast this tasty.  She’ll also be in the markets this summer, so pick up a few bags for your pantry.  You can use it to make Granola-Yogurt Parfaits, which would be ideal for brunch gatherings or anytime.

Josephine’s Feast

These are some other products I’m going to be keeping my eye out for to pick up and try at home.  I sampled the exotic fig jam with deep, dark notes and one of the blood orange jams, which was full of citrus perfume.  I’ll need to clear off some space on my refrigerator shelves to make room for a few of these, which would be lovely with a nice cheese platter.

Brooklyn Oenology

Craig and Alie brought some of their New York State-produced wines to the expo to give everyone a taste of what local winemakers are doing.  This table had a line several people deep throughout the afternoon.  I sipped a sample of the rosé, with its gorgeous watermelon hue and lovely light fruit flavors.  A few bottles of this would kick off any summer party on the right note.

The Rescue Baker

These sweet treats also seemed to be a big hit at the expo, with so many great things to choose from.  It was really tempting to load up on the samples of cookies and cakes.  Having rescued a few people from baking projects in the past, it was interesting to see this business and hear about how it had developed.


I first met Mitch and his delicious, whimsical marshmallows at the Foodshed market last year.  Since then, I’ve enjoyed seeing what flavor and design his ever-creative mind is going to develop next.  In addition to his sweet, slightly spicy ChurrosMallow and a fan-favorite Ginger Wasabi mallow, I munched on these new MallowPolitans, reminiscent of the tri-colored ice cream blocks that I thought were so fancy when I was growing up.  One bite, and I was right back at a childhood dinner with all the mixed up vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavors flooding right back.

Spoonable Caramel

Caramel really is one of my favorite flavors, so I’m enjoying it making an appearance on the artisan food scene, too.  Michelle’s product is available at several local-area stores, and has been a bit hit, which is no surprise to anyone who has tasted her smooth, buttery concoctions with their great flavor balance of sweet and salt and sometimes spice.  At the expo, we also got to try a new Brooklyn Butterscotch.  Oh, my!  I don’t think ice cream sundaes or any desserts are ever going to be the same again once they release this new caramel.

Sweet Loren’s

Loren and I had briefly crossed paths at the very busy Next BIG Small Brand Awards on Tuesday night.  Her amazing cookie and brownie doughs had been the 2011 winner, so she was there to support and judge this year’s program.  Of course, I couldn’t resist my favorites, her chocolatey brownie and the oatmeal cranberry, so I picked up a few samples and then hit the rest of the expo.


These beautiful, pillowy, cakey gingerbread confections are some of my favorite Christmastime treats.  I left them under the glass dome because if I had had access to even one of them, they would have all been gone in a flash.  Sandy’s Lebkuchen were one of the hits of the Brooklyn Flea when it moved indoors before the year-end holidays in 2011.  They seemed to be no less popular at yesterday’s expo, even if we are still a few months away from their peak season.  I also want to give a very special shout-out to Julian of Melt Bakery (one half another fantastic local food business).  He was lending Sandy a hand on this very busy Sunday, showing once again just how supportive the culinary community is of each other and of helping everyone’s enterprises to grow.


This table from a Greek bakery in Astoria, Queens had a beautiful array of sweets.  I limited myself to a small square of flaky, buttery, sweet baklava, which just made my mouth so happy with its gooey, sweetness and a bit of crunch from each delicate layer of pastry.

Veda’s Cakes

Based out of the incubator kitchens located in La Marqueta in East Harlem, these baked goods and the photos of the cakes that Veda whips up were too good looking to resist.  I nibbled on a small sample of a mini pecan pie type pastry which was buttery, nutty, and not too sweet with a great interplay between crust and filling.

Dallis Bros. Coffee

This locally-based coffee roasting company is coming up on its 100th year anniversary in the city and prides itself on responsible and fair trade practices, something that they were ahead of their time in implementing even before the current boom of artisan coffee bean packaging and production.  When I went back by their table for a second round of visits to the Taste of 5 Boroughs participants, I was told that they’d been drained dry of their delicious brews.

Santé Bakery

I predict that this company will have a very busy market season this year once everyone gets to sample their unique products.  Piroshki (dough filled with savory vegetables and meats) and Vatrushka (pastry round with centers of jam and/or cheese) will be too tempting for the hungry crowds to pass up while they are perusing the stalls at the Hester Street Fair.

Nutcase Crunch

As big as a fan of granola as I am, this gluten-free, nut-based product might have me swapping it out in the mornings.  The sample I tasted was full of crunch with a hint of coconut and a richness and meatiness from the nuts themselves.  What I also really liked was that it came in a snack size in addition to a regular bag, which is perfect for keeping in one’s desk to ward off the mid-afternoon slump.

H.S. Chocolate Co.

With Easter just around the corner, it was no wonder that lots of people headed over to this table to see what wonders they had to share.  Artisan chocolates have also become a huge hit in the local food entrepreneur scene, which is never a bad thing to my mind.  I really enjoy seeing what each company does and how they interpret childhood favorites for a more adult taste sensibility.

Hot Bread Kitchen

Also based at La Marqueta in Harlem, the folks at Hot Bread Kitchen have a loyal fan following in the city.  I’d encourage you to read the story of their business and how they help low-income, immigrant women with language, computer, and other skills to enable them to build their own businesses.  I’m a huge fan of their layered, buttery M’smen Moroccan flatbread (which they didn’t have at the expo).  Their crisp Lavash Crackers were the base for one of the more popular snacks I put out for my guests after our holiday caroling party.

Fresh Ginger Ginger Ale

Ginger is one of my favorite seasonings, so much so that it caused the “Ginger Chicken Incident,” as it is known in my family, many, many years ago, although I’m not going to go into that here.  It was great to see the all the varieties of Bruce Cost’s lightly fizzy, refreshing beverages made with real ginger at the expo yesterday.  This was just the kick and pick-me-up that the afternoon needed to give everyone the extra energy to navigate all the booths.  I sampled their new passionfruit flavor with its delicate tropical, floral perfume and a punch of spice from the ginger.  This will definitely hit the spot on a warm, sultry summer’s day.

Black and Blanco

I met Steve and Heidi on the last market day I attended of Smorgasburg.  After I popped that first, crumbly beautifully-scented morsel of one of their organic, wheat-free Sandcastles into my mouth, all I could think was “Where were these all season?”  Using New York State rye flour, which has been making a comeback after many years when the grain was just used as a cover crop, these baked treats take the word “cookie” to a different plane altogether.  The Marzipan captures the creamy, sweet and floral flavor of the almonds perfectly.  It’s hard to choose, but the Maple-Dusted Cardamom with its dark syrupy tones and exotic spice notes might be my favorite of their line, then again, maybe I need to go back and try them all again just to be sure.

It was wonderful to see these NYC artisan food producers at the Taste of 5 Boroughs culinary expo for the International Association of Culinary Professionals yesterday.  There’s so many wonderful and delicious items being created around our city, many of them using other local and regional products thereby creating a strong economic chain.  It was also terrific to see in person and on Twitter how folks were coming together to support these enterprises and the people who work so hard to bring us great things to eat.

Buon appetito!

International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Conference Kick-off Party

Last night at Santos Party House, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, or IACP, had its 2012 Conference kick-off party in the host city of New York. This is kind of a big deal in the culinary world, not least because this association is the leading one in the profession but also because the annual meeting hasn’t been held in New York. The buzz is enormous and everyone I’ve spoken with is very excited to show off the delicious bounty to be found in our dynamic city.

IACP President Doug Duda with Martha Holmberg and city chair Judith Klinger

I’d try to encapsulate the amazing array of culinary talent in the room, but it would be difficult to describe it in the space of this post.  Many of my favorite food bloggers and cookbook authors were there.  People from the Culinary Historians of New York were in attendance.  I ran into folks who have been at some of the other conferences I participated in last year, and even spotted a few fellow cookie swappers and Pie Party Live folks.  There were chefs and media folks and others who work in the food arena.  In the broadest sense, this was a community event, with many facets of it coming together in one place.  What better way, then, to start off this conference season than to have some food and drinks with other IACP members, like I did yesterday.

Blackberry Cobbler (with Bulldog Gin)

Other drink sponsors for the event included Voss Water, Brooklyn Brewery, and Brooklyn Oenology.

Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse

A gorgeous display from Driscoll’s Berries

Porchetta, salami, mortadella from Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto

Bread Salad from Jimmy’s No. 43

Pulled Pork Shoulder Crostini – probably my favorite bite of the evening – from Jimmy’s No. 43

Really, this was one of the hits of the night.  It is completely carved out of Jarlsberg Cheese.

Another treat not to miss were these crackers and biscuits made from Jarlsberg, too.

Those last two wonders were brought to you by Eryn and Emily (Nomnivorous), two of the terrific folks who are part of the IACP community.

Here’s the posts from Emily (http://nomnivorous.com/2012/01/12/whole-wheat-cheese-crackers/) and Eryn (http://uglyfoodtastesbetter.com/2012/01/12/house-of-jarlsberg/) with the story of how they made their creations, plus the recipe for those delicious crackers that were served at the event.

Buon appetito!