Hundreds of chefs, food brands, publishers, editors, writers, photographers, food stylists and bloggers all under one roof. The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) 2012 conference in New York City was one “pinch me” moment after another as I networked with the most amazing people and learned from experts at the forefront of the food industry.
Imagine exploring molecular gastronomy with Grant Achatz (chef/owner of Alinea), listening to thought-provoking banter between Dan Barber (chef/co-owner of Blue Hill) and Adam Gopnik (writer at the New Yorker) about the farm-to-table movement, getting the inside scoop on turning your food blog into a business from Jaden Hair (Steamy Kitchen), learning how to conduct a killer cooking demo from Sara Moulton (television chef and former executive chef for Gourmet magazine)–who, by the way, is entertainingly funny and does the best Julia Childs impersonation, gaining insights into food trends from Bon Appetit’s editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport and Saveur’s editor-in-chief James Oseland, touring the Food Network kitchens, and candidly hearing about the cultural and personal aspects of food from Saveur executive food editor Todd Coleman while slurping chilled tomato soup in their kitchen.
Adding to the physical electricity at the conference was a flurry of tweets as attendees also virtually networked on Twitter. Social media is now such a large part of the culinary world as our dining tables extend into cyberspace, and we share our food experiences through posts, photos, pins, tweets and check-ins.
There were so many amazing sessions at this year’s IACP conference that I wished I could clone myself and attend every one. It turns out, the next best thing was keeping tabs on Twitter as each of us shared nuggets of knowledge gained throughout the four jam-packed days. Lucky for us illy was one of the conference sponsors, keeping us well caffeinated with espressos all day long (check out the illy giveaway at the bottom of this post).
If you weren’t able to attend the conference this year, you can still virtually join me through my favorite tweets and re-tweets (denoted with “RT”).
On the Farm-to-Table Movement
How many of us would even be able to forage for food? Recognize what is edible when it’s not shrink wrapped on a grocery shelf? #IACPNYC
Search for delicious – you can’t have truly great memorable food w/o ecologically sustainable methods. We all know a great tomato. #IACPNYC
RT @joeyonan Dan Barber argues that it’s more sustainable to eat meat in order to eat veg, because of manure. #IACPNYC
RT @IngredientDrvn “No one has ever asked me to breed for flavor” – response to Dan Barbers request of a wheat breeder to try for certain flavors. #IACPNYC
On Food Travel
Find yourself thinking negatively about a local dish? Ask yourself why you think that and why it is the way it is. #IACPNYC
Be vulnerable but not fearful. You are a student of their culture #IACPNYC
Make the recipe immediately when you get back home while the taste is still fresh in your mind #IACPNYC
You will have uncomfortable moments, this is not a vacation #IACPNYC
Don’t pack your travel schedule too tightly. Leave space to explore, for the unexpected. #IACPNYC
It’s all about immersion, intimacy, appreciation. Let go of notion that you know. #IACPNYC
On the Power of Blogs
Plan a quarter ahead when pitching to brands (and publications) for seasonal/holiday topics. Keep in mind their content calendar. #IACPNYC
Peer-to-peer is a real part of the power of blogs. It is someone you trust. #IACPNYC
Even in world of social media, the most rewarding relationships (bloggers, agencies, brands) come from meeting people in person #IACPNYC
If heads are down and people are on their smart phones, that’s a good thing at a marketing event for bloggers #IACPNYC
Links are the currency of the social web #IACPNYC
Sponsored posts – product integration more effective than product reviews #branding #IACPNYC
RT @HungryRabbitNYC It’s about quality of content, not just popularity that marketers should look for in bloggers #IACPNYC
On Cooking Demos and Connecting with Your Audience
Doing a live demo for a live audience is the best way to sell your brand @saramoulton #IACPNYC
Secret to TV demos: smile constantly and for no particular reason. Great tips from @saramoulton #IACPNYC
On Blogging as a Business and Creating a Business Proposal
Know your target consumer “Men cook to show off, women cook to feed people” #IACPNYC
Most people think a proposal is about selling themselves. No one wants to buy you. Focus on the product/benefit. #IACPNYC
RT @katieburn When you sell to the public, you either need to think of yourself as either an aspirational friend or the expert or both. #IACPNYC
Tips, Tricks and Trends
Anytime you can add alcohol to a dish, do it (conducts both fat and water soluble flavors) @saramoulton #IACPNYC
RT @nasft trends to watch: Tap wine, one-concept restaurants, local, urban farming, cake pops, sous vide, sprouted grains #IACPNYC
RT @charmian_c #IACPNYC do multiples to showcase very simple foods like lemon tart in food photography.
RT @charmian_c #IACPNYC Food photography — “Messy is the new black.”
Win the illy Artist Cup Collection by Tobias Rehberger
Even after the conference, illy is showing its support by sponsoring giveaways. Like the illy facebook page for a chance to win the these illy cups designed by Tobias Rehberger.
This signed and numbered, limited edition illy Art Collection cup set was designed exclusively for illy by Tobias Rehberger, one of Germany’s most renowned contemporary artists, to mark the 53rd International Art Exhibition (Venice Biennale). His design treats the white surface of the cup and saucer as a blank canvas, with striking optical effects and patterns. Each collection is elegantly presented in a beautiful gift-box with an art collection brochure. Tobias Rehberger (Esslingen, 1966) is one of Germany’s most successful contemporary artists. He established his reputation during the 1990s, reinterpreting interiors and exteriors by using design, lighting and architecture to create new forms and new ways of engaging the public. Rehberger has exhibited at the Biennale exhibitions of Venice and Berlin, Manifesta in Luxembourg, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art and the Palais of Tokyo in Paris.