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Fashion and the Foodie:

How to pack for the IFBC
(International Food Blogger Conference)

It’s just a matter of weeks until the International Food Blogger Conference in Seattle, and on my travel to-do list, that means it’s about time to start thinking about what I’m going to pack.

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A little bit about this conference: the IFBC is presented by Foodista.com and Zephyr Adventures. This will be the fifth iteration of this conference, and my second attendance. The agenda focuses on three themes: Food, Writing, and Technology for the food and lifestyle blogger, and is populated by some big names in food journalism and photography: Dorie Greenspan, James Beard award winning cookbook author; Andrew Scrivani,  New York Times Dining section photographer; Kathleen Flinn, best selling author and food writer; and many more folks on the genius scale.

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Review: Cornerstone Bistro

Just hearing the word “bistro” in reference to Middleton, Idaho was intriguing enough to get me to go to the Cornerstone Bistro. For those not familiar with southwest Idaho, Middleton is a rural farming town whose best eatery I had been to has been the Farm Boy Drive-In, but recently I’ve been hearing buzz about the Cornerstone and chef Ben Thorpe’s take on local, seasonal cuisine, so I decided to spend my birthday dinner there.

Dining at the Cornerstone Bistro was the first time I truly felt like a guest in a restaurant, rather than a customer. Although I must say, when we walked into this unassuming 12-seater eatery located in a tiny “strip mall”, I wasn’t blown away, until we sat down and I began to ask the waiter about gluten free options. Chef Ben himself came over and began to tell us that the entire menu is gluten friendly. He, and several members of his family eat gluten free, so he cooks that way as well. From the fried calamari to the chocolate cake — all is safe for me to eat. He hung out for several minutes chatting with us about where he buys his gluten free stock and was just genuinely nice and interested, and also offered to make us whatever we wanted, regardless of what was on the menu that night. I told him he was my hero. Read more

IFBC Thoughts

When I walked into the lobby of the Portland Doubletree, I was wrapped with fear like a tighly swaddled baby. This was completely new territory to me, and although I travel as much as I can, it’s never alone, and never to a conference such as this.  I had no idea what to expect, and the sea of people around me were very intimidating. Everyone looked organized with their laptops and tablets out, pecking away at what I assumed were blog posts already, so immediately I felt like I was lagging behind. I circled the lobby a few times, called my husband to tell him I’d arrived, then finally perched on a sofa that had just been vacated. Maybe if I kept my head down and pretended to be tweeting or checking email, that I wouldn’t have to talk to anyone yet — I just wasn’t ready to dive in to the deep end.

My first tweet of the weekend: “Just arrived at the Doubletree Portland for the #IFBC conference. Is everyone this nervous?” Almost immediately, I got a response from my new friend, Marlynn, at Urban Bliss Media, “@TeaRelish I am! we can be nervous together :)”. Whew! So I’m not alone, now I can move on and enjoy myself. And it was only moments later a woman sat down next to me, presented her hand and said, “Hi, I’m Catherine.” Turns out Catherine is Sicilian Girl, and this was her second IFBC trip. First introduction down, I’m on my way! Read more