Food Wine Conference – A Recap

It’s been two weeks and I’m still on a post Food Wine Conference high. If you missed my last post, I got to attend this year’s Food Wine Conference in Orlando as a Brand Ambassador. I’ve had my eye on this conference for the past few years and was thrilled to finally be able to go this year.

First off, Rosen Shingle Creek is an AMAZING place. Having worked for a hotel before, I tend to be picky when it comes to hotels. Rosen has it down. The property is gorgeous and extremely well maintained. The rooms are spacious and well decorated. In terms of our conference, everything ran smoothly (at least from my outside perspective). And the service by the employees was some of the best I’ve ever experienced. I didn’t meet one employee who didn’t smile and say hello, or who wasn’t jumping to help people if they needed it.

 

And the FOOD…so so so delicious. The first night of the conference there was a Taste of Rosen Shingle Creek event, where the chefs at Rosen presented dishes from all of Rosen’s restaurants. I could not eat fast enough at this event…I wanted to try everything! Unfortunately, I don’t think I was able to try everything, but what I did have was simply amazing. 

food wine conference

food wine conference

food wine conference

Each bite was incredibly flavorful and unique. I loved certain twists on favorite dishes as well, such as Fried Lasagna (yes, you read that right) and Strawberry Shortcake Beignets (yes, you also read that right).

food wine conference

food wine conference

The first full day of the conference got kicked off by keynote speaker, Ina Pinkey. This woman…I wish I could hang out with her on a regular basis. Ina showed a documentary, Breakfast at Ina’s, that was about the closing of her restaurant. It intertwined Ina’s life story and how she got to where she is today. Let’s just say Ina has led an amazing and brave life and many tears were shed while watching this documentary.

The sessions during the first day highlighted everything from social media and branding to book publishing to sustainability. One of my favorite sessions of the day was a panel of farmers, who spoke about their jobs and sustainability with such passion. Being a foodie, it was so interesting to hear about the other side of the plate and how much work goes into us getting our food.

Speaking of food, I was incredibly impressed with, not only how yummy the food at Rosen was, but how healthy it was too. Conference sponsors like Duda and Mann’s helped provide the food, which was all so fresh and so tasty. For a snack we had smoothie bowls and we had a make your own taco bar for lunch that had tons of fresh veggies, including cauliflower rice!

food wine conference

And of course, it wouldn’t be a food and wine conference without some celebrating! Each year the conference has a special family style dinner followed by a fun, themed after party. This year’s theme was the ’50s and it was so fun to see everyone in their poodle skirts and Greaser outfits.

Dinner was hosted by Certified Angus Beef and was BEYOND amazing. Everything from the beef to the collared greens to the cornbread was absolutely delicious. And our meal was paired with CK Mondavi wines, which made the experience all the more enjoyable.

food wine conference

food wine conference

The after party was one of the cutest things I have ever seen. They really went all out in giving the room a sock hop feel. Including fun contests like a twist contest (which I lost), hula hoop contest and bubble gum blowing contest. So fun!

food wine conference

food wine conference

food wine conference

I think I enjoyed the second day of the conference even more than the first. It was packed full of informative sessions on how to improve your Instagram, how to make cool videos on your phone, food styling, etc. I’ve been to a lot of marketing and social media workshops in my day and these sessions were by far some of the most informative. It was quite impressive! My two favorite sessions of the day were Sandi McKenna and Jeff Houck’s Fingertip Film Festival and Stefani Polluck’s session on Instagram.

 

It was a long, fun filled weekend and I was so happy that I finally got to attend. I can’t wait until next year! 

 

Food Wine Conference 2017 *Discount Code*

I am tickled pink to say that I will be attending this year’s Food Wine Conference from May 19-21 in Orlando, FL as a Brand Ambassador! I have had my eye on this conference for the past 2 years but something else has always come up and I haven’t been able to go. This conference is basically every local foodie/blogger’s dream. Two days filled with a mix of food industry knowledge and blogger knowledge. I can’t wait!

The Food Wine Conference is put on by Sunday Supper, which is a community of family and food bloggers. From their site: “We strive to create a better future for families, by partnering with brands and services that help families feel good, eat better, and interact with each other. We want our mission to reach the homes of all families and inspire people across the world to spend time around the family table.”

The Food Wine Conference is held at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, FL. I’ve been to this resort once before and it is an absolute dream. The first night of the conference there will be a Taste of Shingle Creek, where the chefs of Rosen Shingle Creek will display dishes from all of Rosen Shingle Creek’s admired restaurants. Definitely can’t wait for this great kick off to the conference!

There are a plethora of knowledgeable speakers headlining the conference this year. It’s hard to say what sessions I’m most excited to attend, but a few are definitely peaking my interest more than others. 

Keynote speaker, Ina Pinkey, is a chef and cookbook author who ran a restaurant for 30 years. She has won numerous awards and seems to have a true passion and drive for her career. I can’t wait to hear her story.

I have become an Instagram fanatic and being in the marketing field I know how important social media presence can be. So I’m equally excited to soak up some knowledge from multiple speakers on this topic, including Amanda Rettke, Dorothea Bozicolona-Volpe and Stefani Pollack.

And being the true foodie I am, I’m also interested to see what Debbie Lyons-Blythe has to say during her talk about food sustainability.

Oh and did I mention that the Saturday awards dinner theme is ’50s sock hop??? Fun fact: My favorite musical growing up was Grease and I must have seen it no less than 100,000,000 times. Now should I go poodle skirt a la Sandy or Greaser a la Rizzo?

Have I convinced you yet that this conference is THE place to be May 19-21? I did? Awesome! When you’re ready to sign up just go to foodandwineconference.com and make sure to use discount code: KatieM2017 That puppy will get you $50 off the ticket price! The site also has the full schedule up so you can see all of the speakers that will be attending and what they’re all about.

Hope to see you fellow foodies there!

 

 

 

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