Firstly I would like to thank the Eat Drink Blog 3 Committee for making my first EDB conference one to remember. Their passion and comitment to this weekend was truly inspirational. I left Adelaide, 2 weeks ago, with a very much renewed feeling of purpose and direction for the blog and the feeling of reasurance that I am now part of a very beautiful community.

Thank you again to the wonderful:

Let the fun begin… I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face all weekend.

The Hilton Hotel in Adelaide hosted us, the Eat Drink Blog conference attendees, for one very special South American fiesta inspired alfresco dinner to remember. As the sun set, the skyline became like a painted canvas all around us and the air became cool and refreshing.

“Snow corn” was a really unusual starter. These pretty little glasses were filled with corn, beans, ice and red bean paste. Grilled veggies featured front and centre on the vegetarian table. I was delighted to be sitting with veggie friends for this special dinner.

The Juka chips with lime and garlic mayonnaise were very memorable.

Hilton Executive Chef Dennis Leslie shared the recipe for his widely popular grilled corn from the feast on his blog here. Without a doubt this was the dish that got all the attention on the night and in the reviews the next day.

Haigh’s multan chocolate flowed from a chocolate fountain for an absolutely memorable end to the evening. Then it was time to hit the sack after one huge day!

Sunday was our day of speakers, presenters and workshops. We headed back to the Central Market early and couldn’t be anything but blown away by the array of food that was laid our for us.

The beautiful people from Breville were on hand with much needed coffee. Red Door bakery provided the most impressive spread of breakfast pastries and savory bite I have ever seen. The mushroom toasties were outstanding… I might have had more than one.

Food writing royalty and author of the food writers bible “Will Write for FoodDianne Jacob got things underway as the keynote speaker for the conference. She delivered her presentation over about 45 minutes recounting anecdotes and very generously sharing her gems of wisdom.

We had a full day of speakers. The topics covered were wonderful, taking in all aspects of food blogging including: building a community, food photography, blog design, food styling, SEO and google ranking, legal matters, ethics and working with PRs, local and seasonal and opportunities from blogging. I was particularly inspired by the story of Sandra Reynolds from the $120 Food Challenge. Read about her inspirational story on her blog and get great affordable family friendly recipes you can create on even the tightest budget. I love that her philosophy on food is keeping it real.

I am a sucker for all things food styling. I really enjoyed the workshop with Stylist Fiona Roberts. Mmmm those lemon tarts look good enough to eat.

And if the morning tea wasn’t mind blowing enough… Natasha Stewart from the blog Playing House and cake baker extraordinaire laid out afternoon tea care of her catering business The Cupcake Table.

Tammi Jones from Tammi Tasting Terroir and Chef Simon Bryant of The Cook and The Chef fame provided the most controversial discussion of the afternoon on the subject of Local and Seasonal eating. I was particularly interested in Simon’s contribution as he has a somewhat conflicted relationship with meat. He calls himself a vegetarian (and has recently produced a stunning vegetarian cook book called Vegies) but has spent his very successful career cooking and eating meat. My friend and fellow vegetarian food blogger Tara has a very comprehensive post on the points he raised about eating meat to be polite when it is cooked for you by a host. Read her post “A morel dilemma” here. Simon stated that sustainable food production is much more than a trend or a marketing tool. He believes the movement is here to stay and is a necessary development in restaurants. I completely agree but would have liked to see some discussion on chef’s responsibility to offer not only ethically sourced meat but creative, healthy, desirable meat-free dishes on their menus.