I’m starting out this post with the ode to veggies which appears above the stove of Alanna, one of my favorite food blog friends, who I’d never met in person when she invited me to stay at her house last weekend and join the the St. Louis food bloggers for a workshop. Alanna started her blog, A Veggie Venture, to document her year of trying a new way to cook vegetables every day which she completed on April 1, 2006. Through Veggie Venture Alanna and I became online friends, cemented when we both became writers for Blogher, and we probably haven’t gone more than a few days since without chatting by e-mail. When she decided to organize a workshop in food photography for a group of St. Louis food bloggers, it seemed like the perfect time to meet in person.
I teased Alanna all weekend that I was going to post “10 Things You Don’t Know About Alanna Kellogg” so here’s a newer photo, showing how great she looks. I don’t know if I’ll actually tell ten things people don’t know, but let’s start by revealing she has a red convertible, a dog named Lady, a cat, and a very nice house with a great guest bedroom. She writes a weekly food column, writes for Sauce magazine, and writes for Blogher besides writing her food blog. She’s obviously very multi-talented and her organizational skills brought together a great group of folks for the workshop. She also came up with a great breakfast option that can work for South Beach Dieters and Weight Watcher’s fans both, which I’ll post about later.
The workshop was in the loft district of St. Louis, a delightful area. Thanks to Group 360 for the use of their wonderful space. Bruno from Zinfully Delicious is also a chef, shown here teaching us how to add height to a plate with towers of food, rice this time. Watching in the background are Alanna and food photographer Michelle from Group 360, who shared some great photography tips later in the workshop.
Besides Bruno and Michelle, we were lucky to be able to learn from Linda Behrends, long-time food stylist, shown here teaching us how to cut muffins for optimum photo results. Also in attendance was Anne Cori chef and owner of Kitchen Conservatory, a St. Louis kitchen store which also sponsors cooking classes. All the presenters were generous with their time and did a masterful job.
It was uber fun meeting the other bloggers. Here’s Bruno again with Gunjan from Vyanjanaa who came more than 100 miles to attend. She’s writing a blog with her mother in India, who provides the recipes. She was also the first to try out the trick we learned from Michelle of using an interesting background under the plate.
The only other blogger I really *knew* besides Alanna was Nupur from One Hot Stove, currently in New York, but soon to be moving to St. Louis with her new husband, Vasant. Nupur completed an impressive work of blogging this year by compiling The A to Z of Marathi Food to celebrate recipes from the region in India she’s from. I’ve been a big admirer of Nupur’s blog, so it was great to meet her in person.
My apologies to Karen of Family Style for not having an individual photo of her, but taking pictures of people is not my specialty, and none of the shots I got of her really showed how pretty she was. It was fun learning about how she travels the food contest circuit, and we’re hoping she wins a big prize sometime. I also missed getting a good shot of Michelle since she had to do the soccer mom thing and couldn’t come to lunch.
Here are all the food bloggers plus master food stylist Linda. Starting from the top left: Gunjan, Alanna, Linda, middle row: Lisa, Karen, Nupur, bottom: Bruno, and me. Keith and Vasant were being good sports taking the photos so we could get a shot with just the foodies. We all went to lunch at a restaurant called KitchenK. Check back for FridayFoodPorn this coming Friday when I’ll show you what ten foodies order when they’re all having lunch together.
These are all the wonderful foodie souvenirs I got, mostly from a great store Alanna took me too called Global Foods, with a few things from a kitchenware store called Cornucopia. There’s also a great cutting board which Alanna gave me which may have gotten cropped out of the right side of the photo. I had a great time spending the weekend with Alanna and meeting the St. Louis food bloggers. Thanks again Alanna, for inviting me.
P.S. Thanks to my *Food-Blogger-in-Training* neighbor Maria for getting my mail! Some weekend soon I’m going to share her photos of a great Southern Utah restaurant. I predict she’s going to be a food blogger herself some day.
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