|Collard Greens were everywhere at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market!|
Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the annual BlogHer Food conference in Atlanta, GA, where over 500 food bloggers gathered.
There were lots of seminars on a range of topics, food samples from a variety of sponsors, blogger parties (including one generously hosted by Ree Drummond’s Tasty Kitchen), a visit to the Sweet Auburn Curb Market and, meals with new friends at a few local restaurants.
I was especially excited to meet up with my friend Grace from La Mia Vita Dolce. Grace was one of the first food bloggers I met last year at BlogHer Food ’10. As newbie’s, neither of us knew too many people, so we instantly connected. Over the past year, Grace and I have kept in touch and she has been a true friend helping me learn my way around the blogosphere. La Mia Vita Dolce features drop-dead gorgeous cakes, pastries and other sweets, and I encourage you to visit Grace’s site – she will leave you drooling! I was especially thrilled to hear of Grace’s exciting news – a book deal!
Another blogger friend I have been looking forward to meeting in person was Marly of Namely Marly. As soon as we saw each other, we gave each other a big hug. Although we’d never met before Atlanta, Marly and I have been following each other’s blogs over the past year. I love Marly’s blog – not only does she feature vegan recipes, but Marly is currently writing a series called The Name Project, which are excerpts of brief interviews with people she meets. During BlogHer Food, Marly tooks lots of pictures of fellow bloggers, so I can’t wait to see some of these interviews included in her series.
I also met a few of my stumble buddies, Kathy from Panini Happy, Debra from Smith Bites, Jennifer from Savoring the Thyme, Kelsey from The Naptime Chef, and Marla from Family Fresh Cooking, and had the chance to chat and spend time with a number of newer bloggers, including Sommer from A Spicy Perspective, lke from Ilke’s Kitchen, and Susie from Return to Sunday Supper. There are a lot of food bloggers these days, so going to a conference like BlogHer Food is a terrific way to connect in person with people with similar interests – namely food (and sometimes healthy food)!
|Me, Grace, Marly, Ilke and Sommer|
Although most of the time in Atlanta was spent in the hotel, we did have an afternoon excursion to Sweet Auburn Curb Market, a local market with outdoor food vendors and an indoor produce market. All I can say is Collard Greens! Collard greens were everywhere – huge bundles, stacked everywhere, larger than I have ever seen in the Northeast! There were also some interesting plums, Georgia White Dirt, and Yellow Root, which is supposed to be anti-inflammatory and a natural antiobiotic.
The last night I joined a super nice group of ladies for dinner at Urban pL8, featuring fresh, seasonal, local ingredients. I was so excited to finally get to meet Kayln from Kayln’s Kitchen, one of the first food blogs I started following when I started blogging last year. I also had the pleasure of meeting Andrea Myers, Lydia from The Perfect Pantry, Susie from Eat Little Eat Big, Liz from Meal Makeover Moms, Kathy from Panini Happy, and Kelly from Sass and Veracity. Unfortunately, I could only stay for a bit (I took out an order of the Red Curry Pan-Seared Tofu with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, and Coconut Milk, and it was by far the best meal I had during my trip in Atlanta) before I had to head to the airport.
I was glad to have had the opportunity to spend a little bit of time getting to know a few more food bloggers in person. Meeting people through the blogosphere is fun, but I have to say, putting a real person to a blog and having a face-to-face connection and conversation is definitely more meaningful.