So I went to IFBC again this year (the International Food Blogger Conference, for those not in the know). There are going to be a lot of other roundups out there, and I didn’t stay for the entire conference, so I’m just going to put up a few pictures of food here, I think.
I would like to give a big shout-out to the chefs at this event. There were some really big names there (Holly Smith, Ethan Stowell and Daisley Gordon for example), and they worked their butts off to provide some really lovely food. It wasn’t their fault that nobody seemed to have helped them coordinate their dishes (there was an awful lot of arugula at lunch the first day) and I really had a problem with the way all 250 of us were supposed to go round up plates from five or so different food stations. Everyone is starving, everyone is trying to take pictures of their food, there’s nowhere to sit. Hmmm.
While I realize this is the best way to let us try numerous different dishes, this is not the way I like to eat, and it doesn’t promote appreciation of the food. By the time meals were served, I was ravenous, and so much effort went into snagging my plates and getting wine in my glass and finding a spot where I could actually set the glass down to take a bite of something, I had a hard time really tasting anything. It wasn’t fair to the food or the diners. This is why I don’t go to events like Bite of Seattle, frankly. But that’s probably just me.
That said (or ranted, I suppose), there were some very delicious things served.
I think the very best thing I ate all weekend was a small piece of grilled cheese sandwich, possibly with ham on it, that was served at the Sherry tasting on Saturday afternoon, but the tray vanished soon after I snagged one and I never found out what was in it or who cooked it. I did, however, get hold of one of the spiced tuna empanadillas that was being served with the Fino Sling cocktails, and that was really splendid. Perfectly fried on the outside, hot and paprika-scented inside with chunks of good tuna. I could have eaten a plateful of these.
Among other food highlights were the lamb chops being served at the opening party. There’s nothing like being in a crowded room wearing nice clothing, holding a wine or beer glass in one hand, wearing a camera around your neck…then having someone hand you a juicy, rare, dripping lamb chop. I felt bad for the hotel having to clean all that lamb juice out of the carpet. But wow, they were good.
Other things I ate:
Salmon carpaccio and marinated zucchini.
Beef carpaccio with cauliflower.
Beef tartare (I guess there was quite a lot of raw meat at this event).
Octopus with chickpeas and fried chorizo.
Mashed chickpeas with cheese and I’m not sure what else.
And a salted caramel cupcake.
Lunch on the last day was a gathering of Seattle food trucks. I regret having missed it, but by that point I was completely maxed out on crowds and noise, so my husband took me out to Brouwer’s instead, where we could sit in a dim room, eat hot French fries and listen to the Pogues. It may not have been educational, but it was what I needed by the end of the weekend. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to some of the folks there!
Some other roundups of the conference (I’m sure there are, or will be, many, many more):