Food and Wine Conference 2015 Wrap Up #FWCon
If you can imagine a weekend filled with friendship, laughter, learning, fabulous food, wonderful wine and goodies every step of the way, you will then have an idea of what this year’s Food and Wine Conference was like. I took quick Instagram videos throughout the weekend that I will share with you, as well.
The room at Rosen Shingle Creek was as comfortable this year as it has been for the past two. My late night ‘snack’ of chocolates and Parisian macarons made me feel like Cinderella, because my chocolate shoe was just the right size.
The stars aligned when I was assigned to be Brand Ambassador for Dixie Crystals who kicked off the conference with a Make-Your-Own-Sugar-Scrub partay! It was way too challenging to choose between the Lemon Rosemary Sugar Scrub, Mint Chocolate Sugar Scrub and Orange Dreamsicle Sugar Scrub so I did what any sane person would do, I made all three.
What’s a conference without a swag bag? This is what I call a party in a bag!
Food options were abundant and there is no way to choose a favorite.
- The Certified Angus Beef was cooked to perfection and melted like butter in my mouth.
- Famous Idaho Potatoes’ Poutine Bar gave us the opportunity to try this Canadian sensation in quite a few forms.
- I felt like a Southern Belle with Georgia Peach Council‘s Sweet Georgia Peaches Smoothie.
- Cabot Cheese gave me sustenance with individual packages of their cheese.
- The Florida Dairy Farmers were speaking my language with smooth and creamy ice cream made fresh in Tampa.
- Premier Beverage kept all of us smiling (in a very responsible way!) with the collection of Hess Wines featured at Saturday’s dinner.
- Parksdale Farm Market once again shared their strawberry cookies.
- Pacari Chocolates tempted every sweet sense with their deep dark chocolate bars that take me to a very happy place.
- Florida Strawberry Growers Association provided rosy red strawberry martinis.
- Intensity Academy spiced up our lives with their products.
The meat and potatoes of the conference were literal, as seen above, and figurative when talking about the speakers. I learned so much from these rockstars in the blogging world. Whether their forte is writing, social media, videography, photography, business or brands, each one brought his/her A-game to the conference. I am still digesting the depth of knowledge offered. If you have a chance to take a class with any of these talented people, DO IT! Monica Bhide, Amanda Boyarshinov, Andrew Wilder, Dan Cristo, Margaret Coleman, T.R. Crumbley, Kathleen Decosmo, Renee Dobbs, Lenny Ferreira, Krayl Funch, Faith Gorsky, Rick Griffin, Joan Hayes, Candace Karu, Erika Kerekes, Liz Latham, Hyuna Lee, Rachelle Lucas, Stephanie Manley, Julius (Droolius) Mayo, Jr., Sandi McKenna, Jenny Melrose, Karli Millspaugh, Michele Northrup, Sara O’Donnell, Michael Ollier, Stephanie Parker, Ann Tran, Kim Vij, Wendy Wofford-Garcia, Erin Weber, and Denise Vivaldo, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
Lastly, a conference is only as good as its leader. Isabel Laessig had a dream just a few short years ago to bring people back together around Sunday suppers. From that thought a movement began. It started with a weekly twitter hangout Sundays at 7:00 p.m. and grew to include this wonderful Food & Wine Conference. When I went to the first conference, I did not know a soul nor did I know that there were other bloggers in the world. Isabel’s warmth, knowledge, generosity and humor made me feel welcome then and part of the family now.
As was the case the past two years, this conference flew by. I left with the bittersweet feeling that it was over yet renewed in terms of personal blogging goals and the knowledge that we will be ready for the Food & Wine Conference 2016 very soon!