So I've already posted a bit about my IFBC experience, but I literally needed to set aside an entire post just to dedicate to the food. The food was, simply put... incredible. The entire weekend I was completely spoiled with a vast array of flavours. To start, let's begin with the breakfasts.
The breakfasts were absolutely gorgeous - everything you could ever ask as far as cold breakfasts go.
The first morning I was there, Pastry Smart made breakfast for us, and as you can see they did not disappoint!
After travelling and eating continental breakfasts all week (so, fruit and yogurt really) it was SO nice to see a wide variety of delicious goodness at the tables.
They of course had fresh fruit and yogurt but even that was beautifully presented.
This was one of my absolute favourites - pastry wrapped brie with pecans, figs, and black currants - yum!
Along with breakfast, Pastry Smart gave an informative presentation on humane husbandry - their company is the first and only pastry, bread, and confectionary producer to be American Humane Certified - very cool!
In addition to eating a lot of great food, I also learned quite a bit! From the keynote speech by author Dorie Greenspan, to the very last session I was absorbing knowledge like a sponge. I attended live cooking sessions with Chef John Mitzewich of Food Wishes (he is seriously hilarious, and had me laughing multiple times throughout his demonstration) and Blue C Sushi's president of culinary Jeffrey Lunak (who you might remember from Iron Chef). I also had the privilege of attending a couple of really informative Food Photography Sessions with Andrew Scrivani, Food Photographer for The New York Times.
While a lot of the food was great, some of it required me to step outside my comfort zone. I consider myself an experimental eater, but even still there are a few foods I absolutely can't stand. I ended up arriving a few minutes late for one of the last sessions (wine and food tasting, of course I signed up for that!), so I quickly grabbed a seat next to some friendly looking bloggers. I had no idea what was on my plate, so it was an adventure to say the least. Nearly everything was raw (salmon tartar, smoked salmon... you get the idea), but even still I decided to try everything.
It turns out I still really, really hate liver, even when it's all fancy in pate (see Mom, it wasn't one of those things I just had to try, I truly knew I hated it just by looking at it). Good thing there was lots of wine to wash it down with.
In between the sessions we participated in several different tasting sessions (because by this point, we were accustomed to eating every few minutes).
During one of the tasting sessions we were escorted to a room filled with yummy treats. After recently acquiring a heavy duty mandolin (thank-you Marc!) I have been making nearly everything I can into chips, so I was really happy when I walked by this table and found ORANGE chips. They were surprisingly good, though the rind and pith tasted bitter as expected. In the middle of the chips were cubes of old white cheddar, presumably to cleanse our pallet for the next chip variety (pear chips were also a delight).
These peppers were also another favourite of mine. I expected them to be spicy but they were sweet, smoky, and bursting with flavour.
If the wine tasting was any indication, raw fish seemed to be a bit of a theme for the weekend (it was to be expected considering we were in Seattle, could see the ocean from where we were, and were literally a few blocks away from the famed Pike Place Market). There were several different types of sushi to choose from:
My favourite flavour of the evening - "Sea Salted Sipping Caramel" from Hot Cakes. I would seriously visit Seattle again just for this! I'm currently trying to figure out how I can turn my own homemade caramel into this delicious treat!
Deep Fried Olives - these were SO good. Having just recently wrapped my head around deep fried battered pickles, I knew I had to try these. They did not disappoint - the breadcrumb coating was nice and crisp and sprinkled with sea salt which paired perfectly with the green olives inside - I will be making these at home for sure.
The live blogging with Amazon was also kind of neat - I got to try a ton of new products while their respective Brands pitched to us. It had a very "Dragon's Den/Shark Tank" feel to it.