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Food Bloggers Heaven – IFBC 2013 and More

My weekend started on Thursday evening, in the Belltown section of Seattle. I had been invited to a #FreshBloggers event at the 1927 Place. It was led by hostess Coryanne and hosted by Stemilt Growers, California Giant and a hilarious presence by Tom Douglas. Food, drinks, socializing and some of the most amazing blackberries ever….had Walker been there with me, he would have been under the table, passed out after eating 10 pints of those berries. They were bigger than my thumb! It was fun event, I ran into bloggers i knew and met so many new faces and before I knew it, 2 hours had flown by.

Forgive my photos. I went light and carried only my mobile phone all weekend. I have learned that at conferences I just don’t use my big camera, it is just weight on me! If I have my mobile in my pocket, I use it often.

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The enchanting cupcake table was provided by Cupcake Royale. So. Many. Cupcakes. The fantastic catering was provided by Gourmondo Catering.

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Friday morning came early. Kirk dropped me off at the light rail and I took it into the city. It dropped me off within a block of the W Hotel, where IFBC 2013 was being held:

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I am not much of a fan of cities and honestly, it has been so long since I was alone. 3 days of being on my own….I almost didn’t know what to do. The hotel was smooth checking in, and happily let me check in at just a few after 11 am. I was on the 18th floor, in a massive room. Somehow hotel rooms seem so big when you have no kids along. It had a couch in the window, I could sit and stare out at the city, and even had water views. How did I get that lucky? I was cringing as I checked in, I had heard stories online that some had to wait for rooms, and most had a scenic view of the parking lot. Well, whatever hotel fairy took pity on me, I say thank you.

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I headed down to the conference, signed in and made myself comfy enjoying a light lunch by Chipolte, ice cream from Cupcake Royale and more. I feel so alive when I am surrounded by my kind! Dorie Greenspan’s keynote speech was amazing and then it blended into the Amazon Fresh Grocer live Tweeting and Blogging session. My Twitter account was lit up during that session. A few of the many items they brought out to all of us to test?

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Kid friendly, and new: Bumble Bar Juno Bar, Apple Crisp

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I had a bag I had been meaning to open and try at home – and who knew it comes from a cactus? I didn’t! Navitas Naturals Organic Dragon Fruit

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I knew the babes would be fighting over these when I got home.. Happy Squeeze On-The-Go Superfoods, Kale, Apple, Mango

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Walker and Alistaire love YummyEarth candies, I met one of the owners on the elevator this weekend: my saying thank you is real. Your company rocks! Alisatire is so happy when he has a lolly or a small treat, when there is so much he cannot have. And a new product – Yummy Earth Organic Fruit Snack

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An amazing bar of chocolate – just don’t look at the price! Scharffen Berger Scharffen Berger San Juan De Cheni 78% Cacao Bar, 3 Ounce (Pack of 4)

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The cold drinks were some of the best part of the Amazon tasting. In center? The Almond flavor of Suja Juice 3 Day Cleanse Box – there will be more about that coming soon – and even a giveaway, so keep an eye out.

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Then came classes and more….

With an hour or so to relax in, I took Jane up on heading to Trace, and having some nibbles and drinks (well, ice tea for me!).

What do bloggers do best? Sit in a circle, looking at computers 😉

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I fell in love with the little glass jars. Cabin camping ready! They might have become yoinked into my backpack…..

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Garlic fries? Oh yes.

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We headed upstairs and went to the reception and gift suite, finally Dani showed up and joined me for the weekend. She had a long commute after work, with a ferry ride to boot. I showed her the fun of swag…..which was just the beginning of it really. Dani had that deer in the headlights look as I took her into the reception. It can be overwhelming to be surrounded by so many people! We dined on lots of small noshes, presented by an array of Seattle area restaurants. My only complaint was there was soooo much seafood, especially raw fish. Everyone else it seemed was happy. Just me being picky.

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On Saturday I attended some amazing classes, then Dani and I headed to the Lunch Expo. Veggie Grill was there and handing out cards for a free lunch (along with a sampler plate – and some of the best carrot cake around). After chatting with a lot more vendors, trying lots of food – even getting to meet Jennifer of Savory Simple in person, we decided to have a real lunch, and walked 4 blocks or so the newly opened Veggie Grill. I was able to try them out back in May, during Vida Vegan Con, in Portland, Oregon. We met Karen there, while in line, and shared a table with her. As we got talking, I realized I had seen her work before. This theme is often repeated when surrounded by food bloggers “Oh wait! I know your works!”.

Dani’s lunch:

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Karen’s lunch: a salad and a bowl of gluten-free mac and cheese. The pasta was amazing!

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I cannot pass up their home-style plates. How their “chicken” can taste that good is beyond me. Their menu is vegan and many items are gluten-free as well. Mashed potatoes, gravy, chicky and kale…delicious. It was a waddling back to the next session of classes after that!

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Right after all that lunch was a fantastic class on olive oil tasting, hosted by California Olive Ranch. Someone won herself that bottle…..

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Taking the oil tasting was a lot of fun, and I learned so much.

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More to come about Saturday night’s Surprise Dinner pout on by Urbanspoon. By Saturday night I could barely think, my brain was so overwhelmed. So many new people, so much learning, so much good food! I am exhausted even trying to remember a fraction of what I did all weekend!

Oh…did I mention that IFBC 2014 has been announced? Seattle. Same weekend. Tickets already bought.

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See you all next year! I cannot wait. And I hope I can meet even more bloggers next year!

8 thoughts on “Food Bloggers Heaven – IFBC 2013 and More

  1. I’m so glad you were able to attend our #freshbloggers party! Such a great evening to start off what sounds like an amazing weekend. The Amazon swag bag is insane! Lucky you to try all of those products! Stay in touch!

  2. Great recap of IFBC, Sarah. It was such a pleasure meeting you. I was in serious IFBC withdrawal the entire week after it ended. I can’t wait for next year – I’d better get my ticket ASAP before they’re all gone. I’m sad I missed the amazing event on Thursday night (I would’ve been in cupcake heaven). Love all your photos!

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