Day 2 Finale on Gluten Free Culinary Adventure in San Francisco

As day two wrapped up with an amazing evening event hosted at the California Culinary Academy, I reflected on all that was over the last 48 hours.

I arrived at BlogHer Food ’10 with no expectations and not knowing one single person. For the first time in a long time, I was feeling much like a fish out of water.  

Then, along came the red boots.  It was then that I realized just how out of place I felt, because the red boots just made my day.  They reminded me of my original home (Texas) and, like a crazy person, I instinctively asked the girl wearing them if I could take a picture. I was compelled. Something familiar. She must have thought I was nuts.  

Two hours later, I was in one of the sessions and “the girl with the red boots” turned out to be none other than Georgia Pellegrini, of whom I was already a fan. What’s not to like about a girl who can hunt and gather her own food as a culinary artisan? (not to mention, she has GREAT taste in boots!) So, my “home sweet home” boots are kinda famous boots.

The conference was full of published authors, tv personalities and many big names in the “industry.”

I’m certainly looking forward to the day that my cookbook is on this table.

In the meantime, I reflected on all of the different people that I heard speak and the wonderful fellow bloggers that I met. I won’t lie. It definitely felt a little like being in high school. There was definitely a “who’s cool in the school” vibe going on and there were actually people who only wanted to talk to the “in” crowd. Absolutely fascinating.  I’m starting to think I’ve lived a sheltered life.  It was a humbling experience to say the least.

Yet, I was reminded of “real” people when I heard Elana of ElanasPantry, Kristen from DineandDish and Ree from ThePioneerWoman speak and answer panel questions. These women collectively proved that you can be incredibly successful, beautiful and talented…while still treating everyone like they are someone. Even though they spoke on a variety of topics and I learned a lot of information from them (I did actually take a lot of notes); that’s what I took away.  Real beauty comes from within and is shared with everyone.

At the end of Day 2, as I was boarding the bus for the AMAZING end-of-conference party, I was fortunate to sit with Melissa from TheFresh20 and then regroup with two of my frequent table companions Adam, a contributing author to Dadomatic, and Marija from MyPapillotes

The most “amazing” part of the after-party was the fact that entire even was gluten free. Every last dessert, appetizer, tapas etc. was prepared gluten free. Why? Because the hosts (who are not gluten free) wanted to make it easy for everyone there to eat.  Let me be really clear here. We counted about 25 gluten free guests out of 1000+. If I was a crier, there would have been a river of happy tears. The only down side? I ate like a football player that night…because I could. 

This was no small-time event. Our chefs were none other than soon-to-be graduates of the Le Cordon Bleu school at the California Culinary Academy. Not to completely rub it in, here is just a list of the desserts they prepared for us: (*Thanks for sending me the list Chef Gene!)

Pistachio Cherry Brittle
Panna cotta served on ginger cookie, topped with pomegranate and fig compote, drizzled with port wine reduction
Cracked red pepper pavlova top with fresh berries
Chocolate decadence (flourless chocolate cake)
Chocolate and peanut butter mousse (vegan)
Chocolate-dipped bacon
Bacon ice cream
Bacon and chocolate martini
Rhubarb rosemary spritzer

One of my favorite parts of the evening, besides taking silly pictures, was watching Michael Ruhlman cure and cook bacon. I like how he makes cooking easy and accessible without dumbing it down. He was incredibly entertaining as he effortlessly engaged the crowd and evoked laughter and applause throughout his cooking demonstration.

Michael Ruhlman
It was a wonderful evening and the ladies of BlogHer Food ’10 certainly exceeded all expectations for event planning. I was thrilled to be a part of the festivities and will continue to share tidbits of things I learned along the way.
3 Comments and 0 Replies
    • I Am Gluten Free
    • 10.18.2010

    Hi Karen,

    I was one of the 25 gluten free bloggers at the blogher '10 conference and loved reading your review. I definitely agree with everything you said. The whole event was a winner and I can't wait for the next one. And to make the experience even better, I was one of the people to win a Kitchenaid stand mixer! I hope to meet you next year and meanwhile, I'll definitely visit your blog and become familiar with your writing. Thanks for sharing your insights and reminding me what a fantastic time I had at the conference.


    • Kristen
    • 10.18.2010

    Those boots are so awesome!!
    I'm glad we ran into each other and had the chance to talk. You are doing great things over here on your blog. Keep up the great work!! You are the kind of food blogger there needs to be more of.


    • Georgia Pellegrini
    • 10.21.2010

    I'm flattered that my boots made it on your blog, you're very kind. I just like them over heels cause they keep me "grounded." Hope to see you again soon! I'll be wearing the boots :)


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