14 November 2012

Eat Drink Blog 3: Australian Food Bloggers Conference, Adelaide (3-4 Nov 2012)

Eat Drink Blog Adelaide

Congratulations to the Eat Drink Blog 3 committee for organising a very well run conference with the support of many generous sponsors and presenters. It's the first one I've attended and hopefully many more to come. I stayed at the Hilton Adelaide ($180/night) which was conveniently located next to the Central Markets. The room (#923) was comfortable and modern although I found changing channels on the digital TV very slow and the free wifi available in the lobby was slow and unreliable making it very frustrating to get my #EDB2012 tweets done on the laptop. Hopefully they'll be upgrading in the near future. The conference was a great way to meet lots of food bloggers from around Australia and helped put real faces to blog names and twitter handles.

Day 1 involved a tour of the Central Market for some sample tastings before heading off to my chosen McLaren Vale wine tour at d'Arenberg where we got to blend our own Shiraz which was lots of fun. The conference dinner was held at the Hilton Adelaide where a feast was provided by Chef Dennis Leslie and team. I liked the smokey chicken, pork and lamb the best although I thought there was way too much food to comfortably finish and the tables were so wide I found it a bit hard to speak to guests on the other side, let alone reach and pass around the heavy platters of food. The chocolate fountain was a hit for those who kept room for dessert.

Day 2 started with a generous display of pastries from Red Door Bakery. I tried most of the offerings and loved the sausage rolls and rhubarb danish. The pastry was very good. I felt there was something to be learnt from all the speakers. The entertaining presentation by Geoff Kwitco about SEO, Metrics and Google Ranking was one of the most engaging talks which everyone seemed to want to go for longer. Simon Bryant got me thinking more about local and seasonal produce and I'll surely be on the look out for more restaurants that have blackboard menu specials of the day. Lunch was provided by some of the stall holders at Central Market. The freshly cooked smoked ham by O'Connells Meats was truly superb. I wish I had more time to visit more of the restaurants, cafes and bars in Adelaide so it's on my wish list to return.

Check out more photos on facebook:
Day 1: Arrival, Registration, Central Market tour, d'Arenberg visit, Conference Dinner 
Day 2: Breakfast, Presentations, Lunch at Central Market, Afternoon Tea

PROS: Opportunity to meet lots of food bloggers from around Australia, Lots of free goodies including the conference dinner, Learning lots of blogging tips from the presenters, Taking photos of your food with a DSLR is highly acceptable
CONS: Need to pay for your own travel and accommodation which can get expensive
MUST TRY: Hopefully attending the next conference
VERDICT: If you have the time and money to travel it's a great opportunity to meet like minded people and learn a few things along the way
South Australian Tourism Commission organised a SmartCar pickup from the airport for interstate delegates

A friendly bunch of food bloggers arriving for the conference

Hilton Adelaide King Deluxe — very nice although free wifi in the lobby was unfortunately very slow and unreliable

Eat Drink Blog 3 committee did a fantastic job

Hi what's your blog — OMG I follow you — I love your blog

Adelaide Central Markets tour with sample tastings

McLaren Vale trip to d'Arenberg

d'Arenberg wine blending class

The first rule of food blogging — always make sure everyone has taken their photo before you touch the food

A few cellar door purchases: DADD Sparkling ($28), 2012 Sauvignon Blanc ($19), 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon ($18)

Dennis Leslie and team prepare the conference dinner

Food bloggers seriously cannot help themselves taking photos of food

Black t-shirt for formal occassions

Desserts are always popular

Breakfast supplied by Red Door Bakery

Food + Food Bloggers = Photography

Diane Jacobs keynote about food writing

Rebecca Varidel (Inside Cuisine) and Shai Coggins (Studio Notes) discuss 'Building a Community'

Peter Georgakopolous (Souvlaki for the Soul) Home Shoots workshop

Jules Clancy (The Stone Soup) Blog Design workshop

Grant Nowell Photography workshop

Fiona Roberts (Fiona Roberts Food) Food Styling workshop

Adelaide Central Markets lunch: This freshly cooked ham was so good from O'Connells Meats


Chocolate fountain always a hit

Central Market stall holders that generously provided lunch

Afternoon tea provided by Natasha Stewart (Playing House, The Cupcake Table)

Chocolate moustaches were popular

Dessert paparazzi

Geoff Kwitco (StartupClub) Q&A SEO/Metrics/Google Ranking

Paul Bullock (Anthony Mason Chambers) Q&A Legal

Christie Connolly (Fig & Cherry) and Ed Charles (Tomato) Q&A Ethics and Working with PRs

Tammi Jonas and Simon Bryant discuss Local and Seasonal with Amanda McInerney (Lambs Ears and Honey)

Sandra Reynolds ($120 Food Challenge), Helen Yee (Grab Your Fork) and Peter Georgakopolous (Souvlaki for the Soul) discuss Opportunities from Blogging with Christina Soon-Kroeger (The Hungry Australian)

Eat Drink Blog 3 conference photography and writing competition winners

Toilet check — all good

Central Market goodie bag

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Winston said...

Good stuff, Simon! And I agree, biggest pros for the conference was getting to meet so many awesome bloggers. So many conversations of "Hi, what's your blog's name? Wait, let me follow you on Twitter, etc etc". Great fun. And omg that ham from O'Connells Meats was really my food highlight of the day. So darn good! Thanks again for all your photos and also the video! Maybe I'll catch you at next year's conference...? ;)

thecitygourmand said...

What fun! Wouldn't mind doing a little food tour of Adelaide myself haha. It's amazing how far food blogging has come!

Kyrstie @ A Fresh Legacy said...

What a fantastic round up, and collection of images of the weekend. It was great to meet you Simon and I look forward to reading more of your blog.

Mel said...

Haha, you and your toilet checks - too funny! It was a great weekend, you did a great job as "unofficial photographer".

vegeTARAian said...

Great photos Simon! You really captured every aspect of the conference

Amanda said...

Great images Simon, With all the time you spent behind the camera, I'm surprised that you had any time to hear the sessions.
I do love the black T shirt for evening wear!

On The Chopping Board said...

Awesome write up Simon and great pics!

Nic@diningwithastud said...

Fab write up and pics Simon :) always a pleasure seeing you!

Richard Elliot said...

Looks like a great conference. From your write up and video it seems to be quite different to last years event.

I love Adelaide Markets. Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market is usually called Australia's best, but Adelaide wins hands down for me.

A shame I missed it!

Christina @ The Hungry Australian said...

Awesome post, Simon.

I really admire how hard you worked all weekend and how generous you've been with sharing your photos and your incredible video.

Next time I'm in Sydney I'll organise a dinner. And I do hope you'll come along :)

gaby @ lateraleating said...

Awesome coverage of the conference, Simon. Love your t-shirts :)

Lizzy (Good things) said...

Simon, love all of your photos, the video and your wrap up! I thought I had already commented, but clearly I hadn't. It was a pleasure to meet you. Thanks for the photos too!

Melissa L said...

Loving your photos and coverage of the conference, Simon! A few of us noticed your tees during the conference and were wondering if you sold them. Oh, and as for crappy internet coverage, have you tried the Telstra 4G internet dongle? It was a lifesaver.

Simon Leong said...

hi winston, glad to hear you enjoyed the ham as well. perfect for xmas day. hopefully next conference if we're lucky enough to get picked again.

hi thecitygourmand, i hope to revisit adelaide again. so much to offer.

hi kyrstie, great to meet you too. love what you're doing with your blog.

hi miss piggy, someone has to check the toilets — right?! ;-) i should have got a t-shirt made saying 'Unofficial Photographer' hehe

hi vegeTARAian, glad you like the photos. feel free to use if you need any.

hi amanda, i can multitask very well — i think :-)

hi adelaide chopping board, thanks so much

hi nic, always a pleasure meeting you too

hi richard, i thought melbourne's markets was good too but now thinking adelaide might be even better. seems less hectic and more spacious.

hi christina, thanks so much. i had a ball. keep me posted when you're passing by Sydney. would love to catch up again.

hi gaby, glad you liked my t-shirt, thought it would be a bit of fun and i'd also run out of t-shirts to wear ;-)

hi lizzy, very much a pleasure to meet you too. hopefully we'll recognise each other on the plane next time hehe

hi melissa l, glad you liked the t-shirts. i had a group of visitors spot me at d'Arenberg and wanted to take a photo of it to show their friend that blogs and thought it was so them. i just got them made for the conference as one-offs. expensive to print at about $35 each for such small quantity. I haven't heard of the 4G internet dongle but will investigate. thnx heaps.

Christine @ Cooking Crusade said...

What a great weekend that was and you got so many fantastic photos as well as that amazing video!! And loving your shirts hehe

Simon Leong said...

hi christine, thanks so much. i had a blast! :-)

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