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Food Blog Forum Atlanta

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By far one of the best things about food blogging is being able to cultivate nuggets of moments where Scott and I can work side by side. We’re quite opposite in talents (he’s a computer programmer and professional poker player; I’m click-n-pray and way too spazzy and emotional to have a poker face), interests (he loves scotch, I think it tastes like turpentine with hints of lighter fluid) and even eating habits (I live to eat, Scott eats to live).

Blogging has given us a way to work together (I mess up the blog, he fixes it) and we started Food Blog Forum events as a way to travel and speak together.

You see, Scott use to be a professional trainer and speaker, his gift is being able to lead thousands of people in personal and business development. I’m always still in awe when Scott gets up in front of the group and so naturally is able to throw out insight, ask hard questions and affect change.

You might wonder, how does personal development fit into blogging seminar? Quite well. Everyone in the audience was there to learn, and the purpose of Food Blog Forum is to teach as much as possible in a day. It would be easy if learning only required taking notes (I would have breezed through college if it was!)

But learning is so much more – from being in the right physical state (sitting up, alert, breathing well) to the right mental and emotional state.

And that’s what Scott does best. I tell everyone that Scott is 50% of Steamy Kitchen, even though it’s my face on the site!

Well, enough lovey-dovey, I want to share with you some photos!

Our event was hosted at The Shed (best fried tomato goat cheese slider ever) and we even live-streamed half of the event online (we are working on making the video downloadable.)

This is Lindsay, the most talented web designer in the world. She’s responsible for how professional and polished Steamy Kitchen looks (and also my cool logo). I wish I could have snapped her husband in this pic too – they are way adorable. I told them to hurry up and make babies!

I finally, finally got to meet Debra Smith of Smith Bites (and her husband, though not pictured). She and Rod helped me develop a little jingle that I use in the intro of my videos. Incredibly generous, warm and loving people. And on the right is the reason why we were in Atlanta in the first place….Gwen of Bunky Cooks…more on her later!

One of my favorite Atlantans is Broderick of Savory Exposure!!! How can you resist that smile!?

One of the secrets to my success has been working closely with brands and media outlets. I wanted to share my perspective along with panelists John Kessler of ACJ, James Andrews & Lauren Thomas of Everywhere agency in Atlanta (they rep Macy’s Culinary Council)

Then the ladies took over the stage to talk about Personal Branding – my hero Virginia Willis and very talented Alisa Barry of Bella Cucina shared with us their stories and strategies in creating a brand for their work. We also shared our “personal mottos” that we live by…mine is “magical moments”

But the real stars of the show were Todd and Diane – they spent the afternoon teaching about food photography, food styling and workflow. These two are simply amazing and I’m lucky to count them as part of my “family.”

Plus, they brought Scott a tupperware full of freshly baked Snickerdoodles. Score.

As with every single one of the food blogging conferences that I’ve been to, the most cherished time was meeting new friends, hugging old friends. There were quite a few couples who came together, here are the Holzers

And the Binders from Cowlick Cottage Farm (awww)

Smiles like this just make me happy…

Meet Amy of She Wears Many Hats (quick! go see her Chocolate Cherry Walnut Cookies!)

I was also very lucky to meet The Teacher Cooks (on the left), who’s been a long time reader of Steamy Kitchen and teaches junior high and high school (bless her!), Beth of Eat Drink Smile (this gal is beeeeaaautiful!), Debra of Smith Bites and Dr. Winnie of Healthy Green Kitchen.

If you haven’t had a chance to read and cook through Virginia Willis’ Bon Appetit Y’all, head out to the bookstore or library! All I can say is Fried Catfish Fingers with Country Remoulade and Coca-Cola Glazed Wings.

Bakerella was in the house too! I think we have blog-lust for each other *blush*

Wait! Who are these two goofballs!?

Not only did Diane, Todd, Scott and I host an all-day seminar, but we sandwiched it in between two amazing parties at Viking Cooking School and Store and J-Vo’s Spice Market where we had more food than we could possibly imagine.

The chefs at Viking even taught us how to make potstickers in their teaching kitchen.

But it was this man, Chef Kevin Rathbun, who blew everyone away with his pork belly tacos.

Pork. Belly. Tacos.

I think I ate 5 of them when no one was looking.

The biggest thanks really goes to Gwen and Roger of Bunky Cooks. Gwen contacted me months ago about bringing Food Blog Forum to Atlanta. She and her husband coordinated everything and were the most amazing local hosts. They thought of every single detail and truly made the weekend a fun affair.

What a community! Read about Food Blog Forum on our fellow blogger’s sites!

p.s. All those beautiful photos on this post? Diane took them! All of the blurry, grainy ones? I took those. Thank goodness I didn’t teach the photography session! ;-)

p.p.s. Yes, we’re doing more FBF events! Come chime in the convo and tell us where you want the next event to happen!

Comments 49

  1. merry jennifer

    A great wrap-up, Jaden. I’m so sorry I missed it. Since I’m just down the road from you (or up the road?), I’m hopeful to make it to an upcoming FBF in Florida. The opportunity for personal development – and community building – sounds like a fantastic one. Kudos to you and Scott (and Diane and Todd and Gwen) for all of your hard work in pulling off what sounds like a great event.

  2. megan @ whatmegansmaking

    Great recap Jaden! It was so good to meet you last weekend. I had such a wonderful time and your talk really impacted me. I’m already beginning to make changes to my blog thanks to you :) I seriously had a great time and you did a wonderful job keeping things moving, planning great speakers, wonderful content, etc. I’m so glad I was able to attend!

  3. The Waspy Redhead

    What great photos of you and Scott! Such a power couple. Thank you thank you thank you for making this wonderful event happen. I had such a blast meeting other food bloggers and the information provided by your speaker panel was INVALUABLE!

    Great seeing you again! Will there be another #FBF or #Techmunch event during SXSWi this year?

  4. Vivian

    I love the photo of you and Scott! I am so glad that you have found a really great way to work together. It looks like the Atlanta event was a great success. I can’t wait to see where else FBF goes :)

  5. Beth

    What a wonderful recap & great photos!! This was my first food blogger event of any kind to attend, and I was blown away! It was great meeting you and thanks so much for the compliment ;-)

  6. Suzanne

    Jaden, your energy is amazing, loved hearing your story. This was my first FBF and it was wonderful. I learned a ton from everyone. I have a re-cap too on my blog but your pictures are great. It’s been fun looking at what everyone has said about it and what pictures they took. Thanks again!

  7. bunkycooks

    Jaden,

    Thank you all SO much for coming to Atlanta to make this happen! Everything came together so well and went better than even I could have hoped for! You all truly are an inspiration to other bloggers. I feel blessed to have been able to work with all four of you and hope we can do it again sometime soon!

    Gwen

  8. Deb Duchon

    Thanks for everything, including stopping by my site and leaving a comment! I’m literally bubbling over with new ideas for my blog thanks to you and my fellow bloggers.

  9. Sarka

    Oooh, what a great recap Jaden! I wish I could be there, learn and have so much fun with all of you!

  10. Kim in MD

    What a fantastic time you had! The photos are fabulous! Scott is such a cutie…you are such an adorable couple! You really lead a charmed life, Jaden! ;-)

  11. Fuji Mama

    SO MUCH FUN! Love all the photos. From everything I’ve been hearing, it sounds like it was an ENORMOUS success and a huge amount of fun!

  12. Mandy Lea

    Jaden, Thank you so much for the recap! It was such a pleasure meeting you and Scott. You both are an inspiration, a power couple. I can’t wait to attend more event with Food Blog Forum, many thanks!

  13. Winnie

    Great recap Jaden. I tweeted it as soon as I saw you guys working together on Saturday morning…you and Scott really are an amazing team. Even though I look extremely strange in the picture above, I really appreciate you including me in your post…I had a fantastic time and can’t wait for my next blogging event (oh, and winning the mixer was pretty cool, too ;) Thanks for everything!

  14. SMITH BITES

    Jaden ~ Seriously, so glad we signed up to come to Atlanta! The day was full of enough great information that it will take me a couple of weeks to digest it all. You and Scott really are a power couple – The Professor & I both said that you compliment one another quite well. I learned so much, met many so many fantastic people including Virginia Willis who I just love, love, love, and ate some pretty fantastic food. And yes, we will be coming to BlogHer Food 10 – how can we miss that party of yours??? hugs to you both!

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  16. Alison @ Ingredientsinc.net

    Jaden,

    It was so great to meet you in person and get to talk to you. You are truly amazing and this conference was so fabulous! I appreciate all of your hard work and helpful information. Thanks for including my blog in the list!!

  17. Jen @ Cup a Dee Cakes

    Jaden, I twas SO nice to meet you and Scott, and the information we learned at the seminar was priceless! We met so many new friends and learned so much that we are still reeling from it all!

  18. Karen@Mignardise

    Would absolutely love it if you could do one in Boston (even though I live in Maine), I’d be there in a heartbeat!
    PS – You and Scott are adorable together

  19. Lyndsey

    What a great bunch of photos and friends! I sure hope one of these days I will get to join in!

    I love the first photo of you and Scott!

  20. Alisa

    Wow Jaden, this is amazing to read and so inspirational. I am going to join up with Food Blog Forum now.

    My husband and I mirror what you and your husband are doing, but you are definitely a few steps ahead of us! I run Go Dairy Free, One Frugal Foodie, and just started a new blog along with the two cookbooks and the ebooks we have, and he is the technology behind everything. I couldn’t do it without him. And, I think he would be fascinated by your husband’s other line of work. You are definitely a role model and motivation for me.

    So how about a Food Blog Forum event in Las Vegas, huh?

  21. elaine

    OMG>> what fun that looked like! I wish I had the dicipline to stay true to my blog. You all look like great friends with such a kindred spirit. I love your pics with scott. Your passion for life and each other shines right through! Very refreshing… Thanks for the inspiration… really

  22. white on rice couple

    you both are rock stars and when you team up together, it’s a charismatic presentation that always commands huge respect and applause.

    So great to see you both shine individually and as a team!
    And those two goof balls? uh, I only know the one on the right. ;)

    what an amazing event!! best ever!

  23. JodieMo

    It really was a great event! I learned so much! But meeting all of the fantastic people was the best part! You and Gwen and Todd and Diane did such a great job! Thank you!

  24. Eleanor Hoh(wokstar)

    Jaden & Scott, you guys rock! Your generosity with sharing your knowledge and your speedy rise in this industry is phenomenal. You’re so right, it’s not about note taking but doing. Can’t wait to see the rest of the forum. I learned a LOT about ‘working with brands & media’. THANKS again for sharing.

  25. Alisa Barry

    LOVE the picture of you and Todd, Jaden. I am so inspired by everything you do. Thanks for sahring with all of us at the forum: your passion, your commitment to community, your expertise and of course, thes secrets of the uber successful blogging brand you have created.
    I hope you plan to come back next year!!

  26. Chris

    I hate that I had to choose between this event and the Eggtoberfest, especially now that I see the recap. It looks like you guys put on another spectacular event with an informative curriculum and talented presenters.

    Sigh.

    Kevin Rathburn is a small fella, isn’t he? ha ha

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  28. Peredur's Kitchen

    I would love to see something like this on the west coast, in particular in Portland OR! This city has such an amazing food culture – it really must be experienced!

  29. Marly

    What a wonderful post! I loved seeing pics of you and your hubby (what an adorable couple you make) and I agree with you wholeheartedly. Having something to work on together – like a blog – is so terrific for a couple. I think as a couple we’re a lot like you. I’m the more right brained dreaming about doing this or that and he’s the more pragmatic programming side of things. I think it works well in the end.

    Thanks so much for these pics. I finally got to see a picture of Debra from SmithBites. I love her blog too…just wish she had more pics of her and her professor.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that I can go to the next FBF seminar. Looks like SO much fun! My very best to you! Marly

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  31. Melanie Flinn

    Hi Jayden,
    I feel like I know you. I went to a food blog conference in Austin in March that you co-hosted. Since I live in Hawaii I have a hard time making to to other conferences. Looking forward to the next time I can attend. Anyway, I finally have my blog up and running (more like jogging). I’ve been trying to become a member of FBF for a while now. I sent two emails to the support email address because for some reason it won’t accept my registration info. I haven’t heard back from anyone. My email is [email protected]. Can someone help me join? Thanks! Melanie Flinn

  32. Divina

    I’ve been absent in the blogging world lately. A cookbook is still a dream of mine as well as being established in the food blogging industry. It would be great to attend this event one day…

  33. Laurie

    Gosh I love you even more after reading this article!
    I think next on yours and Scott’s list of accomplishments will be hosts of a “Couples Retreat”. I adoreeee my husband and speak praises of him, even after 25 years of marriage. I love to see couples play, work, love and gush over each others accomplishments.
    Kudos to you Jaden.. and Scott!

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