Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This one's for all the food bloggers out there... #fbi2011

Warning: those sensitive to a little gratuitous self-congratulation and shameless link-love should avert their gaze.

The 2nd Food Blog Indaba SA happened on Sunday, and I must say it was jolly good. Idyllic venue Monkey Valley provided a meeting place for about 150 (I’m guessing) food-obsessed bloggers and Tweeters, and it was fun watching folks connecting with people they’d previously only had online contact with.

‘OMG! R u (insert blog title/Twitter name here)? I luv yr blog!’ and so on. (It is quite something to hear people talk in SMS speak.)

Personally, I was delighted to hook up with Ishay of The Food and the Fabulous, Matt from I’m No Jamie Oliver, Marianne of Cape Town By Mouth, Jane-Anne Hobbs of Scrumptious, Amelia of Notes From My Nest, and, finally, the one and only Colleen Grove (Brownie Girl), who organised the entire event. I don’t think there is a single person who attended who doesn’t feel a deep sense of warm, squishy gratitude to her for that (though I have a sneaky suspicion she has vowed never to do it again).

There were speakers. SA foodie legend Phillippa Cheifitz was a highlight, as was Abigail Donnelly, Eat Out's ed, whom I think we all agree has possibly the coolest job in the world. Jeanne of Cooksister’s dirty jokes were a hoot, while I think none there will ever be able to shake off the sneaking sensation that Jane-Anne Hobbs’s hilarious creation Bertie is looking over their shoulder when writing a blog post. Andy Fenner of Jamie Who? (who'd had just enough alcohol to be able to get up and speak, but not too much), gave me a lot to think about — with the help of two insane-looking cakes from Charlie's Bakery.

Yuppie Chef generously gave a Wusthof knife to all who attended, and it’s already my new favourite kitchen toy. Other gifts were kindly provided by Verlaque, Fillipio Berrio and The Greenleaf Olive Company. (There were a whole bunch of others but I couldn’t be bothered to list them.)

On the whole the event was a great success, though I think Monkey Valley’s publicist should be fired: +-150 food bloggers descended on their venue, and were fed greasy onion rings, limp, wilted salad leaves with smelly boiled eggs, chicken pieces (which actually looked okay), potato chips and some strange saucy vegetable substance that seemed to contain zucchini but beyond that was unidentifiable. Talk about a missed opportunity.

Okay that’s it. Thanks again to Colleen. Normal programming will resume shortly.


  1. quite sad I missed it - would have loved to go and thank you for the synopsis, most useful! But devastated to hear about the food - c'mon, food bloggers conference - surely for the price that was charged to attend the place could have provided something better????

  2. Yeah - that's Monkey Valley conference catering for you...

  3. You summed up my feelings perfectly re the food - bluerhg. Although, I must add that I really enjoyed the chocolate shots for dessert. :-)

    Besides for the food though, the day was excellent.

    PS: I freakin' love your hair!

  4. Hey Koek

    Cool write up- yip, 'So you're Eats with the lights off"
    "Uhm ja, you should know me by now..."
    Was really fun, missed you in the end. Made up for lost kilojoules (lunch was very trying), with the champers!
    Well done all- incredible sense of kinship.

  5. Haha! Thanks Marisa - sorry we didn't get to chat. And yes, Ishay, I, too, MORE than made up the kilojoules with bubbly.

  6. Totally share your feelings about the food, flippen hell, they should be ashamed!!! I feel sorry for Colly, Monkey Valley did not have a cooking clue about the publicity they could get...
    Sorry we never chatted, I was in a wee spin!!

  7. I know, I would have loved to hook up... I'm sure Colleen doesn't feel responsible - it wasn't her fault. Hope we get to meet soon :-)

  8. Thanks for the mention, Robyn, and what a pleasure to meet you at last. I had a wonderful time. Agree, Monkey Valley's food was not of an acceptable standard (and Colly, please don't think I hold you in any way responsible for this; you are a shining star in my book).

  9. I'm so enjoying reading all the SA bloggers talk about this get together..., good stuff. Glad you all had an awesome time :)

  10. Sounds like so much fun. I'm jealous.

  11. You summed it up, perfectly!! A wonderful day.... just sorry for the food.... an opportunity to serve food for the foodies in Cape Town...missed??... no,I don't feel sorry for them!!

    It was nice meeting you!

  12. What a great event-wish we'd do the same here! I really must come back to SA!