A quick wrap-up of the fab food/travel bloggers conference Words To Go 16 and a big thanks to all who made it so special.
While Tasting Australia is not over quite yet, the food and travel bloggers forum Words To Go 16 wrapped up late on Tuesday afternoon when we sent our group of tired and very sated bloggers off to their respective homes. I’m sure you’ll hear and see more about the event from the delegates (keep an eye on Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things, Food Wine Travel, Good Food Thyme or Helen from New Zealand’s Foodlovers who were just some of our very happy delegates), but I just wanted to share some of the highlights.
I was on deck as Program Director, so didn’t have my camera with me, but I did manage to get some snaps on my phone (so please pardon the quality) to give you some quick impressions of how the few days went.
We kicked off with a casual welcome drinks session on Sunday evening in Tasting Australia’s Town Square. We were joined by Adelaide’s Jock Zonfrillo of Restaurant Orana fame and the delightful Matt Orlando from Amass Restaurant in Copenhagen, who generously gave of their scant spare time to share some of what they will be doing during Tasting Australia.
The delegates were treated to a selection of great South Australian beverages from Prancing Pony Brewery, Lobo Cider, Pirate Life Beer and Boston Bay Wines from the Eyre Peninsula, all of which were accompanied by a spectacular array of fresh kingfish nibbles from Cleanseas and delicious slow and low cooked sliders from Tasting Australia sponsors, Thomas Foods.
Monday saw us all, bright and early, ready for the day’s conference. Our presenters offered the delegates a wealth of knowledge and information on writing, photography, how to make our work attractive to those we want to host us, Google Analytics and a final session asking us to consider the ethics of how we present our experiences. For a look at the full program head here. Of course, we had to keep our strength up for all of this thinking, and we were ably helped along by a divine selection of pastries provided by the culinary students at Adelaide’s Le Cordon Bleu at Regency Park.
Monday was finished off by a magnificent meal at the Coal Cellar + Grill in Adelaide’s Hilton Hotel. My homely snaps can in no way do this meal justice – our eyes honestly nearly fell out of our heads as the chefs presented platter after platter of a broad selection from their menu. Once it was all on the long table, the chefs made themselves available to answer questions about their work and the fantastic food before us. This was all accompanied by a complementary selection of Barossa wines provided by Artisans of Barossa, a group of six small, but by no means insignificant, wine producers.
The next day was devoted to showing the delegates some of the reasons why South australia is such an amazing food state. We started with breakfast at celebrity chef Poh Ling Yeow’s new café Jamface, in Adelaide Central Market, with an address from the market’s passionate CEO, Aaron Brumby, and Chair, Nick Begakis, before breaking into groups for an up-close-and-personal look at some of the remarkable food stories there.
Just in case the delegates were still hungry, this was followed by an absolutely epic sit-down lunch provided by one of the more historic family businesses in the Markets, Lucia’s. Again, we were presented with an eye-popping selection of gourmet treats and it took more than 20 minutes before all of the photography requirements were satisfied!
And for our final thrill of the day we piled everyone on to buses to Le Cordon Bleu’s fabulous facility at Regency Park, where we had a look around the various parts and kitchens of the culinary school before sitting down to a splendid chocolate appreciation class.
I think you’ll agree this was all quite a special event to be part of and one that could not have happened without the generous support of the the wonderful sponsors mentioned above. If you are keen to see more (and much better) photos of the whole three days then check out #wordstogo16 on Instagram and keep an eye on some of your favourite blogs.