Over a year ago my friend Colleen encouraged me to attend the International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC) in Seattle, a two-day food and wine extravaganza aimed specifically at food bloggers. My fledgling blog had only one or two posts then, and I did not think I was remotely qualified for something that sounded pretty amazing. But what the heck, I signed up anyway! It certainly gave me the motivation to start posting regularly on this blog, and once I joinced the IFBC Facebook Page, I was official.
Day 1 was a blast! Neither one of us got into the special Sur la Table event that afternoon, so we arrived at the Westin around 4pm. First order of business was to get our badges.
An awesome surprise after picking up your badge was to pick up your apron, which was provided by the sponsor Aneto, hailing from Spain. One of my favorite things, ever: each and every apron was embroidered with your own food blog’s name!
We attended the cookbook launch and wine reception for A Taste of Washington, and heard author Michele Morris talk about her plans to go to Europe for the next year to do research for her next book. I’d like that job, please.
The Grand Opening Reception and Gift Suite followed, and my brain — along with my taste buds and stomach — exploded. Not only were there copious amounts of samples to eat on the spot, there was so much to take home. The level of swag here was just crazy! Taking up two entire ballrooms at the Westin, the sponsors generously laid out so many giveaways that both of us were lugging two huge shopping bags filled to the brim with food, coupons (of the “free” kind, not the 25-cents-off kind), random items (flash drives, vanilla beans, notepads, kitchen gadgets), and more food.
On top of all that we were chowing down on four kinds of fabulous salmon from Bristol Bay, super yummy and tiny baked goods from gluten-free bakery My Cakes, moist and tasty turkey sliders from Butterball, and a delectable shrimp salad on crisps from Raincoast Crisps. All while drinking glass after glass of generous pours from the lovely folks at Accolade Wines.
This is how my coffee table at home looked after I got home. My husband and kids could not believe their eyes. I cannot wait to try these all out!