50+ food bloggers go into a restaurant….
….and what do you THINK happens?
Well, yeah….cameras are whipped out right and left….
LOTS of photos were taken before anyone touched anything.
Tweets, flying around the globe….. these folks are ON social media. Constantly. In fact, a number of them – in addition to their food blogging, recipe development, consulting, cookbook writing and such – tweet for hire. This was a social media-engaged crowd. It was cool to be in it, and watch them go….
…and go and go. “Well, yeah, I’m re-tweeting your tweet, and we’re sitting right next to each other and it seems dorky” said Jennifer Farley of Savory Simple, “but I’m WORKing” whispered Stephanie Nuccitelli - 26 year old author of 52kitchenadventures whose blog gets over 100,000 hits a month. She offers social media services to Sacramento companies and has blogged for food brands like Lipton, Crock-Pot, McCormick and more. Her media kit even includes her Klout score (46). She is a seriously impressive young woman who knows exactly what she’s doing. The retreat was filled with creative and talented bloggers from around the country and Canada.
But wait – that’s not even the main part of this particular story…..
This was the second day of the Washington, DC food blogging workshop – Eat, Write, Retreat, and we walked a few blocks to Elizabeth’s Gone Raw for lunch. After 25 years in the food business, Elizabeth Petty turned to a raw/vegan diet after dealing with breast cancer treatments. She is cancer-free today, and offers a raw menu inside beautiful urban architecture on Friday evenings.
We had some dozen different tastes including drinks, sushi, desserts, a spring pea salad, her famous kale chips, hummus and spreads, flatbreads, and more. Of course, each was made with organic, raw, natural ingredients – no dairy, no gluten, no meats. This is about living foods, created in inventive, simplistic but complex combinations.
Elizabeth made a celery sorbet that I will remember for the rest of my life – cold, salty, sweet celery – on a spoon, frozen. More celery flavor might never be possible on one spoon again. And so on….because everything we ate was fantastic. Including this “cheesecake” below – of course there’s no cheese, but ground nuts, etc….
How did it taste?
After lunch, EWR co-founder Casey Benedict interviewed Michael Natkin, chef and author of the award-winning vegetarian blog, Herbivoracious – who autographed copies of his new cookbook for us all and told stories of the book writing, marketing and tour that he’s on right now, courtesy of The Harvard Common Press.
Here’s Stephanie Nuccitelli on the right, with Ariana Bastianini who handlers PR for OXO – an event sponsor who sent us home with more awesome swag than you could ever imagine…..how did everyone get all that stuff onto their planes to go home? We got SERIOUS loot.
…and some raw vegan “sushi”….
…and delicious ginger-something cocktails.
Overall, the lunch, the place, the story, the talk, the food, the experience? On a one to ten scale?
Later, I’ll tell you what we learned about food photography…and about our morning in culinary school! Stay tuned and you’ll get that and more.