F.B.I 2011

The Food and Wine Bloggers Indaba 2011 was a smashing success.

I know, I am totally terrible only writing about it now.
But with THE wedding in a week, and considering it took me 3 DAYS to track down White Chocolate, well, you can just imagine.

Not only was it SUPER fantastic to meet all of South Africas Fab foodies and have the opportunity to hear and learn from all the workshops, we got even more!
We all walked home with an arm busting 10Kg bag of goodies (wow!)
It was like Christmas for me, as I picked out the items one by one.
My thanks and a special mention goes to all the suppliers who so generously gave us those things!

Wusthoff (through Yuppiechef) gave each person a razor sharp 9cm classic paring knife.
A Seville orange marmalade and a choice of two splashes from Verlaque
Some instant coffee and hot chocolate from Enrista coffee
Taste January/February Issue
Fresh Living December Issue
Eat Out 2011
Eat in 2010
"Take a Biscuit" from Bakers
Michael Olivier and Neil pendocks' "The people's guide"
"Love & Food", The Food lovers market cookbook from Fruit & Veg
Nougat from Wedgewood (which I had for breakfast)
Saint Sebastion Bay and Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
Eikendal 2008 Chardonnay
Wine Lover’s collection 2010 Sauvignon Blanc
A Pick n Pay apron
Madecasse mini chocolates
Le crueset petit spatula
Ina paarmans stock concentrate
Lindt dark Mousse au chocolate chocolate (YUM!)
Bos ice tea (slim- ha ha)
Primitive vodka
Griottines cherries in liquer
Basil pesto from Pesto Princess

Prizes: Palladium hair voucher and a 1 night cooking course with Jenny Morris, and some glorious Olive and smoked Aubergine pesto from the glorious Pesto Princess.

I started my chefs career with Wusthoff by my side. I remember waiting nervously for registration in a large cold hall at 7am in the morning in Stellenbosch.
My eyes widened as four large knives were placed in my hands, and I could the feel the responsibility, like a weight settle on my shoulders as I eyed the weapons.

I lost one of my knives (sob) during my year of internship in a Restaurant in Town. When it finally dawned on me that the knife we had all received at FBI2011 was exactly the same, I felt this strange feeling of kinship. So while everyone was settling down and finding a seat, I was having a small and unusual reunion.

It's always a surprise to meet some one face to face when all you have had is contact via the internet. So there was a joyous noise over tea when all the Food24 bloggers somehow managed to gravitate towards each other, amidst shouts of "oh, YOU are..." and "Wow! You look totally different to how I imagined!"

My day ran something like this: Meet and greet, opening speech and welcome (unfortunately Jenny Morris was ill) so Jeanne from Koeksister took the role of MC.

We had a very informative talk from Jeanne on Top Ten tips for food bloggers.
A fantastic talk by Jane Anne of Scrumptious South Africa about recipe writing and photography tips illustrated by the help of Bertie, a remarkable young man (lol) see here for his best ever school photograph and delicious recipe.
And then we branched off into our separate groups for a choice of photography, recipe writing, beer, wine or champagne tasting and other fascinating topics with the choice of only attending two (I wanted to go to all of them!!!)

I got only slightly merry (hic) as I had a wine tasting, followed by a beer and food pairing, followed by a wine tasting, and some champagne, oh yes and that cocktail afterwards, or was that before???

And after it all, amidst tea and lunch, and more tea (and biscuits!), and speeches and chats, it was unfortunately time to head back home.

But the main thing, aside from the lovely gift bag, and the prizes (the MANY prizes), and the happy buzz from so many passionate people in the same room, was the people themselves.
It was a truly great day, with a lot of hard work from Colleen and Jeanne, and the speakers: Jamie Who, Jane Anne, Phillippa Cheifitz, Abigail Donnelly and Matt Allison who kindly sorted out the sound and serenaded the remaining Foodie stragglers who stayed late.

But to all the friendly faces I met and chatted with: all the fabulous food bloggers, who remain true to themselves, and live their lives passionately and full speed ahead, "Howzit , hey?"

(Just to clear the air after a slight rap on the knuckles regarding freebies etc: I am a proud minion of Verlaque, who ADORES their delicious products, and who does get the occasional free samples hence why I gave my bottle away at the FBI2011. I would LOVE to write about them all the time, but since I work for them it would be a bit like, "but don't they pay you?" Although I am not paid to blog, this is my own personal free time thingie, I do get the odd bottle for free to play with at home, so they do feature now and again.)