I started to write this post on Saturday evening, but time escaped me and before I knew it I was back in the city for a gala dinner…I did not end up running Saturday morning like I planned… I think the beer and cupcakes on Friday night kind of got to me. However, I did manage to make it to the Sir Francis Drake in time for Marc and Laura‘s food photography workshop.
Although they didn’t have too much time to present, I did get some good information about composition (follow the rule of thirds and don’t just put the subject in the center), color (make ugly food pop with colored dishes and pretty things around it), and lighting (light from the side or back; if you can’t use natural light, one of these bulbs with a diffuser is a decent stand-in:
They had a few lighting set-ups with various foods (hamburgers, bowls of fruits and vegetables…) but it was CROWDED!
After the photography session finished, the options were either an Alaskan seafood demo (no thanks) or a Fresh Express Salads demo. Obviously salad sounded like a better choice, but the whole thing was not really my style (VERY info-mercial-ish), plus I was STARVING!
A local chef made Ashley’s delicious-sounding (and delicious-smelling as he cooked!) spring mix salad with roasted rosemary butternut squash, red onions, and goat cheese. Although I’m not a huge fan of prepackaged salad mixes, I’m definitely planning on re-creating her recipe soon.
Up next was a panel discussion about achieving success as a blogger (whatever that means). It was interesting to hear from Stephanie, Tina, and Da about how they approach blogging, stay inspired, and connect with other bloggers. Because I’m kind of going through a “why am I doing this and what should my focus be?” phase, it was reassuring to hear about their struggles (juggling family life and work, coming up with new content…)
After a much needed stop at Starbucks for a soy latte, I met up with Whitney, Ash, and Lew to hit up the Tasting Pavillion.
I’d heard rumors that it would be an intense couple hours of eating, and I was stoked!
Immediately upon entering, they handed everyone a wine glass. Juggling that, a camera, and all the food samples was definitely overwhelming, but I managed. There was some GREAT stuff! Clockwise from the top right: Pistachio nut brittle, cupcakes from Mission Minis (the red velvet was fantastic, and I don’t usually like red velvet!), fish tacos (without the fish…), toffee milk chocolate cookies, an appetizer spread from Jarlsberg, all sorts of spicy pickled vegetables, and honey-basil beer.
There were also a whole bunch of different wines, and a beautiful city view!
After all the food and drinks, I thought there was no way I’d ever be able to eat dinner…but of course that wasn’t the case. After a quick trip home to get myself ready, I was back in the city. After mingling in front of the Ferry Building for a little while, all the bloggers were led upstairs. The setting was perfect for a farewell gala dinner.
I’m not sure how I felt about the centerpieces though…
I ended up sitting with an awesome group (Ali, Brittany, Tina, Anne, and Cara)… the conversation flowed easily and it felt like I’d known everyone forever! It’s nice being around other people who I have so much in common with.
The food at dinner didn’t completely blow me away, but it was really good. They were really accomodating for pescetarians, vegetarians, and vegans, although our server did stop to ask me if I was a “real” vegetarian or if scallops were okay. Fortunately, they had cute little tofu scallops to stand in for the real deal.
I’m SO glad I went to this event this year. I absolutely loved getting to know other bloggers, eating lots of great food, and spending time in the city!