Thursday, November 17

The Conference you REALLY want to attend......!

A conference on a topic I am actually really interested in, at a great venue with fabulous food and lots of lovely attendees? Now that’s a novel idea......... The last conference I attended was years ago in London, about finance. Well I think it was finance, I was slipping into a boredom induced coma by morning tea so cant be sure.......

No such danger on Saturday, at the First New Zealand Food Bloggers Conference,  aptly named     
For the Love of Food. Doesn’t that sound just so much more appealing? Organised brilliantly by Alli over at Pease Pudding, it was fun, informative, and for me, inspiring. And what a corker of a goodie bag (don’t fib, you would dive in like a kid in a candy shop too!)

With visitors, work & illness inspiration has been in short supply in Plum Kitchen of late, so it was great to talk to other bloggers and get some new ideas from the presenters. After a welcome intro from Alli, Andrea at d'lish talked about website design, which particularly interested me as PK is in the process of getting a makeover.

This was followed by Jaco Swart talking social media. I find all the different forms of SM a bit overwhelming to be honest so it was refreshing to hear murmurs in the room telling me I wasn’t alone…!

After morning tea we listen to Alessandra talk food writing . This is the talk I was most looking forward to, as it the part of blogging I enjoy the most, and what I look out for in other blogs. Alessandra is a great presenter, honest & informative, she knows what she is talking about and is happy to share.

Next up was Emma from Fisher & Paykel. I suspect Emma may have the best job in New Zealand, not only does she & her colleagues produce a fantastic blog, they do it during working hours. Needless to say there were plenty of volunteers to fill her shoes should she ever decide to hit the road…….

Lunch was fabulous, no boring buffet here. The Tasting Shed is a beautiful spot in Kumeu, and the food was just delish. My top pic would be the Pork Head fritters, like eating crispy crumb Pork Belly, and the Beef, which was tender with a moreish onion jam on top, mmmmmmm.

The afternoon session can always be a tough sell, when everyone has a full tum, but a Q&A panel discussion was the perfect choice. It is fascinating to hear different views on why we blog, for the most part it is financially a thankless task, but rewarding in many other ways. For me personally the buzz is when someone cooks a recipe I have shared, or learns a new technique. Or just has a chuckle. Everyone has their own inspirations, hearing so many different approaches reiterated to me there is no one fit, as the song says “you cant please everybody so you’ve got to please yourself”….or something along those lines!

Louise Fawcett from Pacific Harvest gave us a really interesting round up on sea vegetables, of which I can say my prior knowledge was nil. I have found some of the Kelp which I am looking forward to experimenting with on my return from holiday

A wine tasting at Coopers Creek was next on the agenda, but nursing a wee headache I stayed behind, by all accounts it was delicious.

Last up was Bron Marshall who gave us all some great tips for food photography and styling. I must admit this is the area of food blogging I struggle with the most, so any/all help is greatly appreciated. Bron had a slide show presentation, and had props set up for those with cameras to have a play. As you can see from the spectacular lack of pics for this post I only had my iPhone, and I am no great shakes driving that. But avoidance cures nothing, so more practice required , hopefully my pics will look half as good as Bron’s!

There was a dinner kindly sponsored by Cook the Books that evening, I was unable to attend, and was very envious as it did sound like a lot of fun, and a perfect end to the day.

For MUCH better pictures of the whole day, here are the blogs of all the attendees, who will have there own top picks from the event:)

Alessandra Zecchini
Alli Pirrie-Mawer
Andrea Wong -
Bron Marshall -
Carmella Lee -
Christina Hoey
Christy Harcourt
Jaco Swart
Jemma Adams
Julie Treanor 
Lesley MacMichael 
Mairi Herbert
Mika Reilly
Moira Clunie
Rosa Wakefield
Rowan Bishop -
Saya Hashimoto
Shirleen Oh –
Sue Busch 
Vanessa and Ingrid Opera
Viviane Perenyi
Emma Boyd
Louise Fawcett

Thanks again to Alli for making it all happen, all the great speakers, and the following list of sponsors, what a generous bunch!

Cook the Books
Kohu Road
GU Puds
I Love Pies
Mad Millie
Pacific Harvest
Gravity Coffee
Bell Tea
Coopers Creek
New Holland Publishers


  1. What a pity to hear about this afterwards;(((
    I would have loved to be there.Well maybe next time...

  2. Awesome. I'm so planning a trip home for the next one!

  3. @Dzoli Oh no! I will make sure you hear about next years event as soon as I have details!

  4. @Emma Galloway you must, a great day and it would be lovely to meet you:)

  5. Thanks for those kind words, I'm glad it went mostly to plan and everyone seems to have enjoyed it. It's great to see our blogging community grow!

  6. Kind word indeed :-), feel free to ask me more if you need to!

    It was great to meet you and I can't wait for the next one, maybe I will need one hour and do a writing workshop :-).


  7. Wasn't it fantastic? I wish we could do it all again this weekend! Failing that I will aim to get a date in the diary for a wee food bloggers tea party!!

  8. I'm really enjoying reading everyone's take on the day - we all agree it was fantastic. I'm glad you got some good photos - think I was too busy eating the food. But I did get some...just to write about it now!

  9. I am enjoying everyone's posts too, it was so wonderful to meet you all! I'm actually a huge fan of iphone photography and can't wait to upgrade my 3Gs to a 4s, the old 3Gs camera is rather shoddy in comparison as you may well imagine. Anyway I added my name to the 4s waiting list last night, fingers crossed it won't take too long and I'll have it for the next conference.

  10. Lovely post! I'm sorry to hear that you still weren't feeling 100%... is that why you were a bit quiet? :)

    Catch up soon.

  11. I forgot to add... if you want to have a chat about your ideas for your redesign, I'm happy to do so over a cup of coffee and a slice of cake :)

  12. @Alessandra Thanks! And yes, a writing workshop would be FAB!

  13. @Lesley looking fwd to reading your take on the day:)

  14. @Bron Marshall I am slowly learning to drive my phone & camera, taking both on holiday with me so will have time to play....:)

  15. @Andrea Wong - So D'lish Thanks Andrea, yes, glad to be feeling a lot better! I am happy to provide the coffee & cake:)!

  16. Hey there, nice to read your write-up! It was lovely to meet you last week :)

  17. What a write!! Very informative also easy to understand. Looking for more such posts!! Do you have a my space? I recommended it on digg. The only thing that it’s missing is a bit of new design. Anyway thank you for this blog.kitchens manchester


I'd love to hear what you have to say, please feel free to comment:)