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!