This weekend 80 of Australia’s most hungry bloggers descended on Canberra for three fun filled days of workshops, wine tastings, alcoholic popsicle licking, gastronomy gazing and lots and lots of…learning! Warning, this is a bumper blog and may spark creativity juices you’ve forgotten you had!
The first day of Eat Drink Blog was action packed. We were taken first thing to the Capital Region Farmers Market where we watched a cooking demonstration and were able to wander round and see all the local produce on offer. If there is one thing Canberra is passionate about it’s Canberra and this is evident as the stallholders live and breath their products. As you’ll know I love flowers and just had too pick up some of these poppies…
They are one of my favourites because they always remind me of my Nanny.
We transferred to Nishi Gallery where we were spoilt with knowledge from a few speakers throughout the day. Firstly we heard from Matthew Evans who took us through his long road to success, from “refreshing oysters’ (yuck!) to living on his own ‘Fat Pig Farm’. I loved what he had to say about organic and local produce and buying food when it is truly ripe and in season. It is so important to support your local growers, whereever you are in the world.
Matthew also believes that the best food in the world may not be served in restaurants but right in our own homes. Watch this space as i’ll be visiting his upcoming farm to table project opening in Tassy next year.
Next up Wendy Johnson gave us some fearless advice about being a great restaurant critic. She advised us to not always be nice because you feel you have too; stay honest to your own opinion and dont be afraid to share it – even if it does get you sued a couple of times!
We then heard from Todd Wright, Director of Threesides Marketing who gave us a some incredible quick-fire pieces of advise on SEO for bloggers and social media. My brain is whirring with Google Anayltics, Keywords, Alt tags, widgets and the like!
After a morning of the technical and writing skills we moved onto learning about the design aspect of creativity where we learnt from Tess Godkin and Alice Lau.
Tess’ presentation left me itching to know more about photography. An amazingly talented photographer, Tess was able to assemble a pumpkin salad and take some stunning pictures in under ten minutes. We learnt the importance of natural light and picture composition. I havent stopped photographing things, anything, since! Needless to say… I need to keep practising.
Alice Lau also showed us some really cool tricks with video blogging and shared her experience with different apps and how to get the best looking videography. It was awesome to see the quality of video blogging from using just a smartphone.
I went back to my gorgeous hotel room at the QT Canberra, which you can read all about here, and got ready for dinner at A.Baker. Again I share my experience of this cool, recently renovated restaurant, home to dishes made entirely of local produce here.
The next day we all emerged slightly dusty after a few too many drinks at Lucky’s Speakeasy. A gorgeous breakfast spread featuring local food and drink from The Brathaus, Canberra Milk, The Fix Cold Pressed Juices, The Muesli Bar, A.Baker and Six8 Cofee Roasters.
One of the Eat Drink Blog 2015 organising committee was next up. The gorgeous Amanda Whitley of HerCanberra was on a panel with The Merrymaker Sisters and Liz Posmyk to discuss whether or not they think full time blogging is the holy grail. I found this really motivating.
Now it was time to hear from the author of the hugely successful blog Smaggle, Carly Jacobs. A girl after my own heart she is a self confessed organisational and list writing addict! One of her top tips was “Own it and don’t apologise for being a weirdo”! She really helped me refocus on my blog with her insight into how to build a blog when you are too damn busy, something I can definitely relate too.
The morning was over in a flash and it was time to depart for lunch. I enjoyed an absolutely stunning lakeside dining experience and cooking demonstration at The Boat House By The Lake .
Overall a fantastic weekend with a lot of tips, tricks and new foodie blogging friends to take away.