So, I've been a bit quiet here over the last few days. I've just been busy with a few things including: wrapping up my postgrad degree (Yes, I'm finally DONE! Just awaiting graduation now. YAY!), finalising a project for a client, working on a possible new project, researching and purchasing a new gadget, and just a lot of bits and pieces.
That's why before I knew it, Eat, Drink and Blog 2012 has arrived in Adelaide this weekend. I've been meaning to blog about this event to share the fact that I'm participating in this Australian Food Bloggers conference as a blogging delegate and as a presenter. And, I've been really excited about it too because I thought the committee did a really stellar job with organising an amazing weekend for food bloggers in Australia.
So, what am I doing with the food blogging crew?
As a blogger, I see myself primarily as a lifestyles/personal blogger. With food and drink as one of the main categories of this blog. Even though my full blown food blogging has taken a bit of a backseat the last couple of years, I continue to Tweet/post about food and drinks in my social platforms. And, for some reason, my older food blog posts continue to be some of my most popular blog posts here.
That's why reviving my food blogging recently made me happy. A few months after that revival, I received my invite to be part of the third annual Eat, Drink, and Blog conference. And, I couldn't be more pleased.
Finally. To be in the company of others who understand completely why taking a photo of a wonderful meal is worth the wait, even though the stomach is grumbling through each shot. People who don't make fun of the food photos on Instagram. People who can talk about (and enjoy) food A LOT. And talk about blogs and blogging too.
Indeed, Day One of the event really highlighted all these things. What with starting off the day with a quick tour of the Adelaide Central Market, with our group led by the lovely and very knowledgeable George of The Foodologist. Talking to local shop owners who offer the best of South Australian food. Tasting drinks, cheese, meats, and chocolate. Absorbing the atmosphere of a typical Saturday market day in an hour. Meeting and talking to fellow bloggers.
That's why even though I have been to the Central Market hundreds of times before, I still enjoyed our mini tour. It was a different experience even for someone like me who's been living in Adelaide for nearly 10 years.
After the Adelaide Central Market mini tour, we ended up in three groups - one group attending the food writing workshop with well-known author and food writing coach, Dianne Jacob. Another group heading off to the Barossa Valley, a popular wine area in South Australia. And, another group - the group I was a part of - heading off to McLaren Vale, another area known for great wineries.
We visited d'Arenberg in McLaren Vale. Even though I've visited McLaren Vale a few times before, it's the first time that I've been to this world renowned 100-year-old winery. And, just when I thought that nothing can beat my choco-vino experience a couple of years ago during my first official wine tasting tour, I ended up having a real blast when we tried out the Blending Bench at d'Arenberg.
I'd like to blog about the whole Blending Bench experience another time, so I'll try to reserve that for now. The general idea is that we were given three different wines to taste, then we ended up mixing and matching. At the end of the session, we got to keep a bottle of the wine blend that we created. How cool is that?
My wine blending partner, Anna from Adobo Down Under and I had a great time - and we ended up with a blend called "Perfect 6". 6 is mostly to celebrate our kids (she has 4, I have 2). And also, it's the total number of different types of wines we've tasted (initial 3 + 3 blends).
Another highlight of the d'Arenberg visit, of course, is the drinks and nibbles time. Lots of yummy little things to eat, including this treat:
No idea what it is. It's deep fried something, with sauce and beef inside. Plus, a yummy pork crackling topping.
Also loved the oysters topped with fresh Japanese seaweed. And the tapioca with sweet caramel dessert. Yum.
Unfortunately, after the winery trip, I started to feel unwell. Partly due to exhaustion from the last few days and partly due to hayfever. And maybe all the wine-sipping during the wine-blending didn't help much either. But yeah, I ended up having to miss out on the dinner. Felt really bad about it because I wanted to go. However, I could barely eat when I got home, so the dinner might have just been torture.
That's why I thought it was probably best to go home and rest, so I'll be refreshed the next day.
Tomorrow is Day 2 and I'll be co-presenting on the topic of "Building Community" for bloggers. I'm also looking forward to attending the other sessions and workshops. And of course, our lunch back at the Market. 🙂
In any case, here are some things that I've learned from Day One of EDB2012 conference:
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.