Food Wine Conference 2016 Recap #fwcon
You already know how much I love my Sunday Supper Family and when Isabel Laessig puts together the Food Wine Conference, it is nothing less than a stellar event. This was my fourth year attending. As is always the case, I cherish my time with old friends but one thing that makes this conference special is that there isn’t such a thing as a stranger.
The food and drinks were topnotch and nonstop from the moment we checked in through Sunday night when we did a live Sunday Supper event at Tapa Toro. CK Mondavi toasted us through the weekend, Famous Idaho Potatoes brought loads of fun with their Dancing Heads and then showcased potatoes in styles from around the world.
I made a yogurt face mask at the Florida Milk spa before heading into Florida Strawberry Growers Association’s Berry Welcome Reception followed by many indulgences at a Taste of Rosen Shingle Creek. Pretty amazing to think that this was just the first night.
Donatella Arpaia was the keynote speaker and she was superb. As a new businesswoman, I greatly appreciated the stories she shared on her journey to success. There were bumps and bruises along the way and my favorite two takeaways from Donatella were “I won’t let fears dictate my life” and “Be true to yourself”.
A highlight was learning about what it takes to be a farmer in our country, whether it be for beef, dairy, wine, potatoes or fruits. I have always taken food for granted. I would go to the grocery store and purchase what I wanted without really giving a thought to where it originated. Not so now. I now look at labels and, when possible, I support the families in our country who work long hours to ensure we have quality products from which to choose. It was wonderful to learn that every item used to produce the wines at CK Mondavi are made in the USA, including bottles and labels.
I participated in a #Hashed competition with some of the most talented bloggers around. We did not win the event but we sure did have a blast figuring out what to do with the Wish Farm blueberries, Cabot Cheese and other fine ingredients.
It was also a huge thrill to be a sponsor with Happylicious by Betsy’s eggless•bakeless•ready to eat cookie dough and brownie batter balls. We all had a ‘balls to the wall’ great time tasting my balls and the feedback from everyone was positive and rewarding.
Saturday night’s Diamonds and Denim party was a huge hit and Certified Angus Beef brought their A-game. Duda Fresh hosted the after party of lovely drinks and desserts. Getting the idea that this weekend was one big party? IT WAS!
You know how I make a lot of videos for Desserts Required’s Facebook, YouTube and Instagram pages? I give credit to two people for teaching me how to make good videos; Denise Woodward and Lenny Ferreira from Chez Us. Their session featuring Beef recipes allowed all of us to learn how to make those very cool 15 second videos.
Stoneridge Orchards spoiled me rotten with dried fruit and the dark chocolate covered cherries and strawberries were out of this world. I think I had a month’s worth of fruit in a three day period. Cabot Creamery Cooperative hosted a cheese plating. I thought I was full but Cabot Cheese is too good to refuse.
When I got home, I let Samuel go through my swag bag. Check out all the goodies we were given.
As you can tell, I loved this conference. Next year is the fifth Food Wine Conference. I don’t know how Isabel will be able to top this one but, knowing her as well as I do, I have no doubt that this is exactly what will happen. Make sure that you are there!
I received a discounted ticket in exchange for promoting the Food and Wine Conference. All opinions are mine.