If you want to catch up, Part 1 is here.
I forgot to post a few photos in my first post about the Food Blog Forum!
Nutrition, allergies, and kids’ tastes were all taken into consideration, and most of the food is made from scratch. Food stations were set up all over the room with small plates of each item. Mac and cheese, fish sticks (not fried), beef tenderloin, gluten-free chicken pot pie, and a huge dessert table. (Kevin Barron of Pee Dee Foodie has a fantastic podcast, featuring interviews with the Disney chefs about each dish! You definitely should check it out.) The gluten-free chicken pot pie and the pork tenderloin were easily my favorites! The fish was geared towards the person I was as a kid – an extremely picky eater who will only eat bland food. 😉
There was one scary moment that most of us weren’t aware of. I met Rebecca from Foodie With Family at the bowling event, and chatted with her several times throughout the conference day. I had no idea she choked during lunch. One of the Disney chefs saved her life. Rebecca wrote a wonderful post about her experience, recognizing signs of choking, and what to do, so please, read it!!!
Following lunch, we had three more sessions. One was with Tim Warzecha from Disney Imagineering who designs restaurants around the parks. I had no idea how much work goes into every single detail at Disney, and walked away with a new appreciation for it. All the details are part of the story, which we can apply to our own work. We also heard from Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes, Babette Papaj of Bake Space, and Erik Deutsch of Excel PR about technology, the importance of having a site that can be viewed on mobile devices, and how Pinterest is the #1 driver of traffic to food blogs. Elise said if she was starting today, she’s focus on Pinterest rather than SEO and with good reason – personally, the majority of referral traffic to my website comes from Pinterest. Amazing, isn’t it? The last session was with Jeff Houck (Tampa Tribune), David Leite (Leite’s Culinaria), Julie Deily (The Little Kitchen), and Lindsey Landis (Love and Olive Oil), who discussed grassroots community building.
Then it was time for more fun! A quick dinner in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, then off to our dessert party and viewing of Fantastmic! Water, fireworks, music, movies, fire! Sensory overload, but so incredibly fun. And we had time to play in the parks afterwards.
The final event of the conference was a brunch at Whole Foods in Orlando…which I’ll devote a separate post to because of the photography.