Organised by Donal Skehan and facilitated by Bord Bia, the Irish Food Bloggers event last Thursday was superb. It was great to be there, even if toast is the best thing I can er cook.
It was fantastic too to meet so many of the food bloggers I’ve been reading for years. More blogs too to add to FoodFight.ie I was going to call Caroline the grand dame of Irish food bloggers but she’s far far too young for that. She has a great summary of the day, a good deal of which comprised of Irish Pork. I think it would be good to have regular foodie blogger get togethers and get such creative talent (both in the kitchen and on their blogs) to network more.
Lorraine Fitzmaurice of Blazing Salads kicked off the practical demos and showed how to make spelt bread and miso pesto.
Then came Pat Conway from GMIT on butchering some Irish Pork. I think his demo was a favourite of many, well except the poor veggies having to watch as he showed the art form of butchery. I got up close and recorded him doing his magic, ten minute video embedded:
Maire Dufficy of Bord Bia then did some cookery demos with various types of Irish pork, minced pork was new to me. This demo was tough as it was nearing lunch and the smell wafting through the room was a killer for most people.
I was up next to talk briefly on marketing your blog and suggested (selfishly as I was starving now) we move me to after lunch but the kitchen wasn’t ready, so I wittered on fo 10 mins about marketing and getting yourself attention.
Then lunch, guess what we had? And then dessert:
Eoin Purcell from Green Lamp Media then gave a great quick talk on what publishers want and also what areas are underserved in the cooking book industry. Some brilliant tips were shared. One main takeaway is that a pre-existing audience and even a mailing list of blog readers makes selling books and getting a book deal a little easier.
After lunch there was a talk on food styling and photography from Erica Ryan and Jocasta Clarke. Eoin mentioned in his talk that food bloggers with great photos have an advantage in terms of book deals so this talk proved very valuable. Again, loads and loads of tips were shared.
And then some nice swag was given away as the day wrapped up.
The day was good in many ways, it brought the vibrant food blogger community together, some meeting each other for the first time. It gave Bord Bia a nice opportunity to meet opinion formers and sharers and to tell them about the quality processes around Irish pork. It also was a nice training day for people passionate about food allowing them to up their game. Hopefully there’ll be more of these events for food bloggers, I’d love to see a food fair showing off Irish produce to food bloggers for example. This event is a perfect example of earned media, with the likes of Bord Bia not marketing or broadcasting to a community but working with them and helping to enrichen it with knowledge.
I think I rather like the grand dame title! Makes me sound like a little old lady in a cottage down the country. Actually, I suppose there’s some truth in that…
I really enjoyed your presentation, lots of good practical, common sense tips. Now to go off and put a few of them into practice for myself!
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