Too many incredible things happened in such a few days I am still trying to wrap my brain around all of it. I feverishly took notes during the most interesting and educational presentations. Now is the hard part of putting it all together.
I never had shrimp and grits before. I am really happy these were the first ones I had. They were luscious and tasty.
I ate beignets at the world famous Café du Monde.
There will be more on the food in a future post. I walked for the first time in my life through the animated streets of New Orleans. With each step, finding a new discovery. Each corner I turned, I encountered new sights and smells.
What did I learn? I learned how the most simple items could be used as a photography prop. Like the cardboard backing that comes in a t-shirt package. Andrew Scrivani uses them.
Deb taught us that even how you write the recipe for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is important.
I listened to Shauna talk about how a little deprivation breeds creativity.
Robin Goldstein and Gwen Pratesi talk about blogging and ethics. Robin explained that you shouldn’t be jealous of other blogs that get more hits than you and suck. Gwen told us about the Food Blog Code of Ethics. It was a very informative session.
Jamie talked about what is food culture: identity, memory, and continuity.
I laughed and cried when a lady we met named Sharice told us about the existence of a Genie bra while we were at The Carousel Bar inside Hotel Monteleone. Who knew?
I tried my first Sazerac.
I made friends for life. Or like darling Nancie called us, vintage new friends. Love that. Fabulous friends: Lisa, Jamie, Gwen, Sarah, and Nancie.
I met Chef John Besh. Chef John Besh was asked on our last night there, ”Gumbo: tomatoes or no tomatoes?” His response, “Depends on how your mama made them.”
Some of my favorite quotes from the weekend:
Shauna from Glutenfree Girl, “Cook to connect rather than to impress people and the experience will be so much better.”
Seattlefoodgeek, “I also think it’s important to remember that culture isn’t just something we write about, it’s something we MAKE, too.”
Barnaby from Foodista, “Create many footprints and be careful what you say on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t be mean and snarky.”
There was a long discussion on blogging and making money. @Bakingblog (Evil Shenanigans) tweeted, “It is ok to make money on your blog…in fact, it is a good thing. Agree or disagree?”
On blogging your values:
1)Know your brand.
2) Quality over quantity.
1) “Don’t be 2 obsessed w/page views.”
2) “Tweet like you mean it.”
Some of my favorites from Andrew Scrivani:
1)“The best compliment you can receive, “God, that photo makes me hungry” ”
2)“If you become predictable, you have a limited market.”
3) “Food porn is all about desire.”
4) “Iron your linen, people.”
5) “Forget auto-mode exists.”
6) “Have fun. Photography is not brain surgery.”
7) “If you can dream a picture, you can make it.”
I leave you with the fabulous Marissa Brassfield, “Dare to stand out. Create your own brand.”
A huge thank you to Foodista, Zephyr, Hotel Monteleone and the darling people of New Orleans!!
I heart New Orleans!