A Writer’s Perspective on Food Buzz 2010

Everyone has their own way of seeing the world. No one perspective of a moment in time is more true than another. Where and how we stand defines the perspective we have. Some of us feel comfortable in the corner, far away from the swarm. Others love to be in the center of activity, drumming up the energy of the event. Some of us are in bodies that are strong, frail, tall, short, thin, or wide. We are fearful, fearless, energetic, slow, curious, and apathetic. All these differences make us who we are and how we see things.

The soup of reality is what makes living in the world so damn fascinating. We’re all in it together, but we all add something different to the pot.

I think that’s why I love reading wrap up posts of food blogging events so much. It doesn’t matter if I was there, center stage, or watching from the side lines, I get so much from reading and seeing the differing perspectives.

I scan the photos and think—I didn’t see that! Ooh, I remember seeing this happen!—and read the words—How come I didn’t taste that! I wish I had a moment so affecting—and find a well of knowledge I didn’t know I was missing, filled up.

How I come to these conferences is constantly changing. Sometimes I have high expectations, other times I walk in anticipating nothing. Either way, I’m always surprised by what I discover—be it in the form of a new acquaintance or experience—regardless if it’s a positive or negative.

With just one day separating me from my life changing week of training at ZingTrain in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and my trip to FoodBuzz in San Francisco, I didn’t have much room for day dreaming about what would happen once I arrived.

As I boarded the plane to SF with my LA friend Jen (of Devour the World), I began organizing my thoughts for the trip. Though I wasn’t sure what to expect, I did know I was excited to be part of a food writing panel. Even more, I was looking forward to sharing a quiet moment in time with a handful of foodbloggers, to see what we could create with words.

Food Wishes, Simply Recipes, Sippity Sup, Salty Seattle, Devour the World at Food Buzz

The moment I stepped inside the Drake Hotel, I could feel the slightly anxious swirl of hope and fear as individuals from across the country met each other for the first time. Within moments of entering the room, I locked in on a tall, beautiful blonde woman in you-can’t-mistake-me-for-anyone-else fuscia pants with a matching bolero.  She drew me in like a magnet. I introduced myself to her and her fancy sparkly shoes and was relieved to find out that this eye-catching she was Linda, of Salty Seattle, a co-host of the Write Taste food writing session with me and the ever entertaining (and LA friend), Greg of Sippity Sup. We instantly hit it off, and were bonded the moment we met. A deep sigh for finding a new friend in a swirl of what ifs…

Thanks to the dogged attention of the Foodbuzz staff, the WriteTaste session was a success. We shared words to avoid and took a handful of silent minutes to channel the muses for food descriptions. Between playful chatter on Twitter (oh you bad boy HungryRabbit) I saw writers sharing true words from their heart.

Prather all beef sausages

At the Taste Pavillion, the pack of hungry food obsessives swung into action once the doors were opened. The pack stormed the stands for sample tastes from a select group of farmers, wine makers, brewers, and food companies. The ripe pears from Frog Hollow Farm stopped the sensualists in their paths. The sausages from Prather Farm had a rock-star following of men and women collected around the table to sample one, two, three flawless bites. The effervescent Elise of Simply Recipes grabbed me by the elbow and pulled me to the Buitoni flip book station to take part in a make-believe send up of a food blogger band with her, a good friend, and Stephane Stiavetti of Wasabimon. Though I put up a bit of a fuss, in the company of greatness I stepped up and channeled my inner rock and roll diva.

Before the final night gala, I had a quiet, off-the-grid moment with a new friend I discovered at a recent conference. Like Linda, Michael Procopio was an instant magnet of interest. We met at the Blogher Conference, and ever since, I’ve known he is someone I want to spend more than just a few minutes with. Thanks to good luck and great timing, we were able to meet for a glass of wine before the gala and spoke—like, dare I say, two giddy school girls—about writing, fear of putting down the hard words, and being true. As the crowds of food lovers, recipe writers, and photographers in gala-wear and conference badges flooded the building, I clung to those quiet moments with my writer friend to talk about finding The Words and chasing The Story.

Dinner time. The hour was near to pick the winners of the Write Taste panel twitter challenge. Linda and I scanned the tweets in search of the best words. Again and again, the words that compelled me—the ones that read like love poems to food–were from John the star/author of the award winning video blog,  Food Wishes.

For just one night, I’d like to dance like this Bellwether Farms cheese tastes.

Pefect pears plucked with bare fingers, licked clean longer than need be, don’t blame me, blame the tree.

The glassy eye of the display salmon followed me as I made my way toward the tacos. Take a picture, I thought, it lasts longer.

I could unknot all of my memories here, but instead I will offer you a few links to other people’s perspectives. Because the world gets so much closer with other voices to fill up the spaces in between.

Salty Seattle Hanging With My Homies

Devour The World Food Buzz Wrap Up

Food Wishes Food Buzz Wrap Up

The Actor’s Diet Food Buzz Kill

If you have a wrap up that you care to share, please let me know and I’ll add it to my list!


Recent Posts

Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.


  1. So sad I missed this (life has been crazy in the Savour household, and the festival just wasn’t possible). Luckily, I have all of your (and Linda’s, and Jenny’s, and others’) words and images to fill in some of the blanks. Can you figure out a way to convey taste over the internet?

  2. November 10

    I am so humbled to see how entertwined I am in your takeaway of the weekend, as, you know you were such a huge part of mine. Many of our conversations I will never forget, and I know the first moment we see one another again we will take up exactly where we left off.

    Ok, this is dangerous territory- starting to sound like we’re long-lost lovers:) Final note- FoodWishes recap is awesome too- you should include it: http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2010/11/2010-foodbuzz-food-blogger-festival.html

  3. November 10

    Terrific post. Clearly I need to spend more time reading your wonderful blog 🙂

  4. November 10

    I’m kind of bummed a missed it though reading the tweets and posts has let me live vicariously. Hopefully we can reunite next year

  5. November 10

    I was at The Write Taste workshop and was intrigued to fnd your blog and see how amazing your writing is. It is a bit intoxicating actually, and I cannot wait to read more!

  6. Food Woolf
    November 11

    Thank you so much, Astrid. That’s terribly nice of you to say! I look forward to seeing more of you, too!

  7. Food Woolf
    November 11

    Thank you for your kind words!

  8. November 11

    You know I liked you quite well before this event. Now I can honestly say I love you. For your graciousness, for your honesty for your friendship and for your talent. GREG

  9. November 11

    I LOVED reading everyone’s recaps on the festival, even though I was there myself and everything was so familiar..it is so fun to see different takes on it!

    And I loved what you wrote here: “The soup of reality is what makes living in the world so damn fascinating. We’re all in it together, but we all add something different to the pot.” That is such an interesting, foodie way of phrasing the magnificence of human individuality!

  10. November 12

    Like taking on the Project Food Blog challenges, everyone’s perspective in Festival recaps is slightly different and it makes for such interesting reading. You don’t need me to tell you that you write beautifully but I must say “the soup of reality” will linger with me for some time.

  11. November 15

    What gorgeous shots, filled with gorgeous memories, from a gorgeous woman that you are!!

    I was so blessed to have spent the weekend with you!! Thank you, thank you!!

  12. […] those that gave me a chance to express myself about the things I truly care about: writing at the FoodBuzz conference, food blog ethics at Blogher Food, ethics of online food writing/criticism at the Columbia […]

  13. […] conferences to choose from, it’s important to choose the right conference for you. Perhaps a local conference and/or a photography class makes sense for learning how to be a better blogger. Maybe saving your […]

  14. […] you save money so you can afford to do the things you want to do–like attend this year’s Food Buzz Conference in San Francisco. What’s even better, these three recipes make perfect road trip or airplane […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *