The Food Blogger Connect 2010

FBCGroup3_hires2   Photo courtesy Jamsmine

I was looking towards this Food Blogger Connect with mixed feelings. There were many hopes and after the simple success FBC 2009 there was a standard to be set for FBC 2010. What excited me was that I was asked to speak again and this time I was teaming up with Mowie. Then I was also going to be seeing some good friends again and the excitement was reaching the summit of my emotions. 

I’ve been pensive about this post. How should I present all that happened in four days in one post without overwhelming you?

I thought I would divide the weekend experience in two. This post focuses on the FBC 10 and a wonderful weekend of meeting exceptional likeminded people. My second post next week, I hope to share with you what we did when we were not at the FBC.

My journey to London was a bit of an odyssey and a lot of drama. I almost did not make it. Turning my notebook off, my last tweet on Thursday morning was that I was on my way to Frankfurt airport and I would see everyone in London. As I drove down the autobahn from Weimar I was in good spirits. I had plenty of time and was mentally going through all the people I was looking forward to meet. New faces, valuable experience and cherished friends – it was going to be a fantastic weekend.

Then things began going wrong. Like a bad nightmare – my engine died on me. On a German autobahn driving 180 kms on the left lane your engine has no right dying on you. The big powered cars behind me were closing in as I hit the warn lights, in retrospect I can hardly believe how composed I managed the situation. The steering wheel and brakes froze on me but somehow I managed to squeeze my little VW Golf between two trucks on the right and came to a halt on the hard shoulder. I was safe, alive and had not been wiped off the autobahn by crashing cars nor had I been squished between two trucks. I was shaking, as I put on the warn vest on and got out to put the warn triangle I was shaken some more by the high speeding trucks and cars that zoomed past me. All I could think of was “Haut Couture on the runway of a German autobahn!” A weak attempt at humor to keep my nerves calm.

The clock began ticking as I called the tow truck, got myself a rented car and drove that tiny Ford Fiesta to the airport in record time. There was no way I was missing the flight. While Tom called the airlines ahead to tell them I was on my way, I was driving making up time the GPS was giving me. It was close – too close but I got on that plane.

At this point I think I need to thank a bunch of people, right from the tow truck man, who organized the rented car for me, to the lady at the renting office who had prepared all the paperwork prior to me arriving, to the guy at the SIXT office at the airport who helped me with my luggage and ran down the corridor with me to get to the check-in and to the check-in person at the Lufthansa counter, who apparently knew all about my drama and winked at me when he saw my suitcase was 3 kilos over the limit and simply said “Because you’ve already had a hard day, I’ll let it pass!” Thank you! I think each of you helped me make up a few minutes!

Arriving in London still a bit shaken, I was simply looking forward to getting on with the fun and a good drink!

Wine Tasting 

Friday evening the Food Blogger Connect 2010 opened it’s door at The Hempel Hotel. With wine tasting and good food we kicked off to a brilliant start. The weather was just gorgeous. London presented itself from its best side. A warm summer breeze gently whispered through the trees of the luscious gardens of the hotel. Over canapés and a lot of wine I simply delved into getting to know the people. Of course you head straight to those you know first. Those I met last time, with whom I shared emails, comments and tweets over months were spotted and many hugs and kisses later I took in the rest.

Food Tasting

How incredible to be amongst those who understand what you are talking about. Those who do not look around embarrassed or cringe as soon as you whip out the camera at the sight of plated food. It was great talking with so many bloggers who shared the same passion and were on the same wavelength and often faced the same issues. I was loving it.

Chris Chris – the perfect host

The first of the presentations began with a live Skype session with the gorgeous Jaden of Steamy Kitchen.

Jaden talked about “Monetizing Your Blog” and in her beautiful exuberant way she captured the attendees. Treat your blog like a brand was her message and use all the platforms available to you for your advantage. Develop your brand, your skills and reach out was what she advised.

As the presentation wrapped up we were all looking forward to spending the rest of the evening with some good food, wine and more chatter. Mowie whisked me away and made me feel like a star for a few minutes. “You look gorgeous, let me take a few pictures of you in the evening light!” I was flattered and after the crazy events of the day before I was able to relax and have a good laugh with him.

Mowie-Meeta Diptych Photos courtesy of Kerrin and Mowie

Saturday came and I got up with a slight nervousness in the pit of my stomach. I was going to be presenting that day and although it is about a topic I can talk about in my sleep – it’s different when one speaks in front of an audience. While I’ve presented on this topic a few times in the past I was still had the case of stage fright.

The first of the talks started with the lovely and extremely hilarious Jeanne of Cook Sister, who talked about “Copyright and Plagiarism” with a smooth lead into “Effective Recipe Writing”

Jeanne explained the difference between plagiarism and copyright. While copyright is a technical issue about ownership, plagiarism on the other hand is about dishonesty where one pretends that someone else’s work is their own. She also discussed Creative Commons. What I personally liked the most was how Jeanne explained how one can use material without infringing people’s copyright and also showed how we can protect our work.

How to write a recipe for your blogs might sound easy but there are many points one needs to take into consideration. These points were comprehensively displayed by Jeanne. She talked about structuring the post and the actual recipe and paying attention to details like metric, volume and other measurements.

hilda Hilda – Dissect My Camera - Photo courtesy Mowie

Hilda of Saffron and Blueberry took the stage and showed “How to dissect the camera”. Not always an easy topic to tackle but Hilda did such a brilliant job and explained how aperture, shutter speed and ISO works to give us a “correct” exposure.

Jeanne, Jamie, KerrinJeanne, Jamie and Kerrin – Writing Style and Voice 

After a short break Jamie of Life’s A Feast and Kerrin of My Kugelhopf joined Jeanne to discuss “Writing Style and Voice.”

Each of the three ladies had a different style but each harmonized perfectly. Whether one is writing about memories, facts, emotions there are certain things to keep in mind. Find your style and keep it was their message.

FBCPhotographyPresentation Photo courtesy Jamsmine

Lunchtime came and I do not remember eating that much, but was fueled to get to my presentation. Mowie and I had a great time presenting to everyone. We talked about “A Food Photography Experience” where Mowie explained his approach on food photography and styling and I tried to tackle certain aspects of the topics, like what is important when taking pictures in artificial light. Where the best light placement is to achieve maximum results and the light is the primary tool for each photographer and not the camera.

We just loved all the questions that were asked and if we were allowed to run loose I am sure we could have talked photography for the rest of the day.

The scene was then moved to the garden with a live photography workshop and where we had time to answer many more questions. If anyone still has questions or has tried something and needs some advice, please folks do not hesitate to drop me an email. The feedback I’ve gotten so far has been brilliant and I am so glad you enjoyed the photography session. If you were at the FBC 10 I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Lemon Tart

Initially the lovely Beatrice was also planned for our panel but due to a few personal reasons she was unable to make it. We missed you Bea!

After a relaxing teatime with delicious cakes, photo sessions and my favorite part chatting with everyone and finally digging into more food the day ended on a high note.

The-Spice-Girls-Food-Blogger-Connect-2010-FBC10 Jeanne, Jamie, Me, Kerrin and Hilda – All smiles after our presentations
Photo courtesy Mowie

Sunday we all headed back to The Hempel for the final presentation. Julia Parsons of A Slice of Cherry Pie and Kerrin presented “How To Get Published & Get Feature Work”. Julia turned out to be a wonderful surprise. Although I do not follow her blog regularly I have visited her and “known” her for a little while. She was gentle and very open. Both ladies discussed getting published and how to get feature work sharing insider tips and gave valuable ideas on how to approach publishers, literary agents and magazine editors.

Kerrin My little pot of loveliness - Kerrin

The final session on Sunday was another live Skype presentation from Ireland and Niall Harbison of Simply Zesty discussed “Marketing, Social Media & Word of Mouth.”

Time was coming to say our goodbyes and I could feel the lump in my throat grow as each minute past. Brunch was delicious and maybe slightly subdued due to the farewells that was imminent.


I was focusing very hard on not getting emotional and enjoyed the last few hours with all these wonderful people and more.

Julia, Cecilia Cecilia - One Vanilla Bean and Julia - Always Leave Room For Dessert 
with an early morning coffee

Mowie Pensive Mowie – I love this shot!

Charlie The delightful Charlie of Eggs on the Roof

Pascale Adorable Pascale of Extra Relish

Anne Bubbly Anne of Anne’s Kitchen

Sarka Sweet Sarka of Cook Your Dream

Sarah Lovely Sarah of Maison Cupcake

Bruce Simply the best – Bruce of Cunningeye

Food Blogger Connect 2010 came to an end. Saying goodbyes are always hard and leaving the party even more so.

A huge thanks to the organizers of the event Beth of Dirty Kitchen Secrets, Mowie of Mowielicious, Jamie of Life’s a Feast, Hilda of Saffron and Blueberry and Sarka of Cook Your Dream. Plans are being made for Food Blogger Connect 2011 so keep yourself tuned to the Food Blogger Connect website.

Associated Press Horizons: Lifestyle has aired a clip on the Food Blogger Connect 2010, which does put a smile on my face. ;o)

Below are the websites of all of the attendees who were a part of the event and made it a success.

Stay tuned for part two next week.

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2010 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. Oh my gosh I didn't know about the car trouble you had! I'm so glad you made it to FBC anyway and again it was great to see you if only for a while! xx

  2. Oh Meeta I have so loved reading all the posts about this amazing event. I wish we could go back there and spend more time talking & getting to know each & every other lovely blogger there! Anyway your post doesn't disappoint as I knew it wouldn't. Thanks for your very informative talk on food photography. Mowie and you make a great team. I will definitely be there next yr & this time for the whole weekend. Looking forward to your next installment xx

  3. Looks like a wonderful group and a great weekend!

  4. as you said - what a weekend... and what a post !! if i hadn't been there myself, i would have had a perfect idea thanks to all your wonderful descriptions and images here, you captured it all so well. outstanding photos meeta, just love them. and love reliving the weekend with you. your little pot of loveliness (tee hee) misses you ! can not wait for part 2 !!

    and bravo for all the success you had - your presentation, the horizons tv bit, driving like an f1 racer to catch that flight and more ! :)

  5. Beautifully captured, I feel like I have just relived the whole weekend again. Lovely.

  6. Hi Meeta, it all went so fast didn't it but we have a stack of happy memories and all these wonderful photos to share. I had no idea about the drama on the way to the airport, my friend's engine died in the fast lane once and it sounds terrifying.
    You look a bit scared in that photo of you standing with Mowie for the presentation but you had no need to be, it was a beautifully put together presentation and I really enjoyed how each of you focussed on different techniques for different lighting conditions. It was also fun to see some familiar photos from past blog posts and hear how you took them.
    Hope to see you again next year if not before.
    Love Sarah x

  7. Thanks for the write-up. Wish I'd been there. :)

  8. I would have lopved to have been there! What an awesome event. Thanks for sharing.



  9. Hi Meeta, thanks for the post. I was gutted to miss FBC this year. It sounds like it all went so well and lots of people have said how informative and interesting your talk was. Thanks for your comments on twitter about Lowell Ego lights. I am thinking that I can buy the bulb and combine this with my diffusion paper box. You set me on the photography road last year and since then I think I have made some good progress. Thanks again, sarah. x

  10. I absolutely loved reading this post. I had no idea about the dramas that you'd had getting there. Makes your calm, entertaining talk even more amazing. What a happy and motivating weekend it was
    Love Charlie

  11. So good to see you Meetah and great write up. And YAY a decent photo of me! Hope you have a great weekend! B x

  12. Thanks again!
    Yesterday I was taking photos for the first time after the conference and all your suggestions and tips went through my mind.
    It was strange how a few hours of talks and examples impressed me so much!

  13. Thanks everyone for your comments and feedback. Yes I did face that drama on the way to London - but there was some drama on the way back too In my next post.

    Catty it was fantastic meeting you and chatting with you a little more this time. You are a true pleasure and hilariously funny!

    Heather - I was so looking forward to meeting you and you are a charm. So, glad you found our talks helpful and that you enjoyed yourself. Please stay in touch!

    Lydia - yes we did. And the presentations were very high class!

    Kerrin - thanks! you know what you mean to me. I loved London with you and the firls and look forward to discovering the world with you on our tour ;o)

    Aoife - Loved loved meeting you. Your sense of humor killed me!

    Sarah - scared? I do look it? But no I was not scared just concentrated and focused. wanted to make sure you all got your money's worth!

    Aparna - wish you had been there too!

    Rosa - There is always next year!

    Sarah - I missed you this year too. If you have any questions on the presentation or the lights drop me an email. I talked quite deeply about artificial lights at the FBC this time, which you would have benefited from. But no worries - we can do an email photography session together.

    Charlie - yes can you imagine! I was so glad to arrive at Jeanne's where her husband gave me a glass of booze to calm me down. So glad you liked the talk. Charlie, please stay in touch. The short time we spent together on the weekend was simply not enough. I would love to get to know you more!

    Bruse - sweetie I have another very hot picture of you too. But it's all in the hands of the photographer eh? ;o) Love you and miss you!

    Juls - this is too cool. I love this kind of feedback. So glad that what we talked about is working for so many!

  14. I found out about FBC about 2 weeks before it happened and despite my efforts wasn't able to attend. I am following the progress of FBC 11 and will definitely be there with bells on!

  15. Amazing post Meeta...what drama..cant wait to hear abt part2 and studmuffins ...have you forgotten abt them?All teary and chocked looking at the pics!

  16. You poor thing starting off such a great weekend on such a troubling note! Looks like it was all forgotten quickly though - the conference sounds like it was a BLAST.

  17. Meeta - great post for a great weekend. it was such fun to meet you - brings a smile to my face just thinking of it. Thanks for the presentation too - my pics will never have your style but am working on making them a whole lot better using your tips about lighting and set ups.

    See you at the next one!

  18. Awesomeness! I followed the tweets from FBC and was insanely jealous. I *wish* I lived closer or that it would actually fall a bit later in June when school is done...

  19. Ah, Meeta, this weekend never should have ended! Fabulous! The presentations were perfect and I learned so much! It was amazing to be with so many friends all weekend - and among food bloggers we are all friends! And spending the off time with you, Hilda, Kerrin, Jeanne was amazing! Love you, darling girl! Thanks for everything!

  20. What a fantastic weekend you had, missed you girls. Thanks for sharing your experiences, dear Meeta.

  21. Glad you made it to the airport in time Meeta, otherwise, we wouldn't have had a chance to read this wonderful summary of the event. If I wish hard enough, maybe one day I'll get to attend :)

  22. What a lovely weekend you had!!!! Thanks for sharing.

  23. Sounds like it was an amazing event with lots of valuable information, and even more valuable company!

  24. My heart stooped, hearing about your engine dying on the left lane of the autobahn.You are so brave to swim through all that, I would have died with the engine.

    Seems like you had a fab time and you look gorgeous

  25. Bruce of HAWT! Drooooool

  26. It sounds like it was intense and very interesting! Nice too that the weather cooperated and you were able to be outdoors a bit!

  27. You had indeed a adventure int he autoban. And i was delighted to her you didnt miss yuor plan and the lugthanse guys were so helpfull.
    Loved reading the post, looks like you all had a wonderful time.

  28. Oh wow, I am so glad you made it. I'm planning to come next year!

    Love, love, love the new photo of you, just gorgeous!

  29. Wonderful meetup... you look so pretty Meeta.. Loved reading the post.. and good that you had great joy in the weekend. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  30. Meeta, the emotion, the passion, the fear...of a missed flight. Sorry about the drama but fantastic that you made it, in one peace and had a great time. Fantastic chronicle....

  31. looks like you all had such a wonderful time...wish we had one in philly!!

  32. What a great post! It looks like you all had so much fun. Can't wait to see part 2.

  33. Meeta,

    Wow that car trouble seemed scary, I am glad you made to airport with help of friendly people. The conference seems like fun, with fun food and great information. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Looks like so much fun and you look gorgeous!

  35. Meeta,
    Looks like you had a great time! I am glad that you are alive and kicking to tell the tale.Car breakdown sounds scary. Given the same situation, I wouldn't have made it.

  36. Hey girl! Sorry it took me so long to get around to this but it was such fun last weekend with everyone and especially all you ladies. I wonder what kind of trouble we could all get into together. Waiting for your next post, hee!

  37. Yikes - I haven't commented yet?? Apologies!! What a fab post, bringing back such wonderful memories of our happy slumber party weekend :) Will also be interested to compare our two "FBC off the record" posts later - hard to decide which bit was most fun! Big hugs to you my sister-from-another-mother!

  38. Drama on the expressway Meeta...I am so proud of how beautifully you handled it! Waka Waka baby!! I read each word of your post with a LUMP in my throat. Missed being at the FBC SO MUCH! This is an awesome wrap on the event, with stunning photographs...WOW! I do like pensive Mowie's pic especially. I WANTED TO BE THERE!! Love the shot in the evening light that Mowie took of you. You are rocking the boat girl!! BIG HUGS!!

  39. Looking at your beautiful pictures and your reports, I am so sorry that I had to work that weekend :-( However, I am really pleased to hear that you got out of your Autobahn troubles unscathed & you made it to the airport on time. Hope to make your seminar next year!

  40. Lovely write-up Meeta! So glad you made it there in one piece- and had such a super weekend. That photo is gorgeous, will look forward to part 2.

  41. Thanks everyone for all your comments!

    Glad to hear that the photography presentations have helped. I am getting plenty of emails and am doing my best to reply them all. ;o)

    I am also glad that for those who were not able to attend were able to get a glimpse of what happened. It was a great event to socialize with other bloggers and the presenters did a grand job of adding value to the event!

  42. Oh meeta,
    You have handles that difficult situation so beautifully!....
    Lovely post....i just came back to read it again....WIll have to email u on some photography thing,@ aperture setting when you find some time.

  43. Hi again Meeta:) It was such a delight to meet you! I just returned home after an extended European Trip after this fabulous event. I am still high up in the sky after all this inspiration paired with travelling and of course prop gathering- I sent 4 boxes home-eek! Your post is making me melancholy for all the new friendly "like minded folks" I met in London. You did a fantastic job presenting and didn't seem a bit nervous- loved your power point too-it was really well designed and presented! Big hugs to you and I look forward to staying in touch thru this incredible on-line food blogging world!


Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.