Thursday, August 30, 2012

International Food Bloggers Conference - My Top 6 Highlights

This being my first International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC), I wasn't too sure what to expect. Will I find the guest speakers and info sessions valuable? Will I be inspired? Will I meet lots of new bloggers and gain their respect? Will I eat lots, drink lots and learn lots to hopefully become a better blogger at the end of the weekend?

As it turned out, going to the 2012 IFBC last weekend (Aug 24-26) was the best thing I have done in a long time. It was a 3-day weekend packed with bloggers, sessions, food, wine, swag, tweets and fun!

Me & Auntie Nas
I took the 8-hour Amtrak train from Vancouver, BC to Portland and was warmly greeted by my Uncle Fernando and Aunt Filipinas (Auntie Nas) who, lucky for me, live in Portland and generously housed me during the conference.  My Auntie Nas is also my idol in the kitchen, a self-taught home cook who excels in cooking all types cuisine, especially Filipino food.

Here are my top 6 highlights from the IFBC conference:

1) Portland
This year's IFBC was hosted in one of my favourite cities, Portland, Oregon! This town is known for its tax-free shopping, outdoors recreation, quaint neighbourhoods, food, wine, micro-brews and friendly residents. Plus, it reminds me of my childhood visiting my cousins, Aunts and Uncles during the summer and Christmas holidays always filled with food, shopping and laughter.

2) Live Blogging
A fun and exciting session on our first day, we had the chance to taste, review, blog and tweet a variety of yummy Oregon food and drinks. Sponsored by Travel Oregon, local restaurants, chefs and businesses gave a 5 minute pitches about their products and best of all, we got to sample them all!!

Oregon Albacore Tuna
Pfriem Belgium Beer
Sweet & savoury caramel with local Oregon truffle oil
Yummy mini chocolate cupcakes
Tried & loved this! Straw Propeller's Curry Up Oatmeal
Local salt from Jacobsen Salt Co. Fun fact: It takes 45-50 hours to make salt.

3) Food Wishes
About a year ago I started following Chef John of Food Wishes educational and funny YouTube videos featuring over 600 delicious recipes, cooking tips and how-tos. On the first day, I got to meet Chef John and got a picture to prove it;)

During his presentation on the last day, we learned that instant mashed potatoes can help make onion rings stay crispy longer and the perfect go-to dessert is chocolate affogato (coffee, vanilla ice-cream and chocolate shavings). The trick is to brew your coffee with cold water so your ice-cream will melt slowly.

So excited to meet Chef John of Food Wishes

4) Gift Suite (aka SWAG!!)
The loot offered at IFBC was beyond my wildest dreams! After the food and wine reception hosted by Oregon's Washington County, we headed to the Taste of Oregon & Gourmet Fair, where tables were topped with tonnes of goodies - beer, wooden spoons, cookbooks, rice, spatulas, bags, wooden cutting boards, food samples and much more. Surrounding the gift suite table were gourmet restaurants, local food and liquor manufacturers offering bountiful samples for the tasting. Foodie paradise!!

Swag table where we got to choose our loot
Thank you to all the 2012 IFBC sponsors for all the goodies!

5) New Friends
Best of all, I met and connected with many great food bloggers and friends. A hub of inquisitive, like-minded and varied group of people gave me a sense of community and belonging. Some seasoned pros and many starting out like me but we all share our love for food and the passion to communicate about it.

Dining with beautiful ladies:
Sunny Diaz of @foodeager and Sala Kannan of @veggiebelly

6) 2013 IFBC
Thanks for the great time and already signed up for next year's 2013 IFBC in Seattle, Washington on Sept 13-15. See you there!


  1. Glad you enjoyed the conference and will make it next year to Seattle. We should also talk, because our Wine Bloggers Conference will be in Canada for the first time ever next year, June 6-8 in Penticton, BC! I am sure some of the Vancouver foodies would be interested to go.

  2. Hi Allan,

    Thanks for visiting Candice's Cusina;) That's exciting that you'll be holding the Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton next year. I'd love to help out to spread the word to local food & wine bloggers about this. I'll email you with my contact details to connect further on this. Thanks again for reaching out!

  3. I still have to do my write-up, it's tough to think about everything and what to highlight, even three weeks later. One of the many great things was definitely meeting new friends...thank you for the mention and posting the picture!!

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.