His Royal Highness Dale lounging on his bed...
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Last weekend, I ran off to Chicago for a day to attend a very unusual conference. For one thing, it was the first time in my life that I was attending a conference that did not have the words "ribonucleic acid" in the title! For another, I had the honor of participating by being a panelist. It was the 2007 BlogHer Conference (BlogHer is where the "woman bloggers"- the blogHers are!) where about 800 participants, most of whom were woman, came together for a 4-day conference on every aspect of blogging- the technical, the intellectual, the emotional.
I was only able to attend a small portion of the conference. I landed in Chicago last Friday night and took a cab straight to the Foodbloggers' Dinner at a Schezwan restaurant in the heart of Chicago's Chinatown. There were about 30-40 foodbloggers, some that I "knew" (it was a thrill to see them in person) and many that I did not (I am looking forward to "discovering" their blogs now). Many thanks to Alanna, Terry and Gemma for organizing this mega-dinner. The food was **spicy** as can be and oh-so-delicious. But mostly, it was spicy! Probably the hottest food I have ever eaten in my life, and definitely the hottest food I have ever eaten in North America. And I am from Kolhapur, so I know something about spicy food. Anyway, I ate the most luscious tofu ever, in the Ma Po Tofu that we were served, and now I won't rest until I can recreate this dish at home. Anyone know a good recipe?
Next morning was the 75-minute session on The Art of Foodblogging and I was by far the most inexperienced of the panelists (both in terms of blogging experience and culinary skills). You will see what I mean when I tell you who the rest of the panelists were: Alanna, Jasmine, Shuna and Susan, with Kalyn as moderator. Elise was there too, and it was truly wonderful to finally get a chance to meet her in person. We each spoke for a few minutes, giving our perspectives about food blogging, then took questions from the audience. Any take home lessons? Well, the underlying theme really was that there is no right or wrong way to do something, but it is worthwhile thinking about every aspect of a food blog in a conscious way.
I had to take back a flight early that same evening, and my timing was really rotten: I missed a food photography session :( :( But never fear, the lovely Bea (I luckily got to meet her at breakfast) has written up all the tips on food styling that she and the other presenters shared that day.
I did, however, get a chance to attend a truly inspirational session: it discussed how blogging is a way to bring a voice to silenced communities. So many groups remain repressed in every country in this world- because of their gender, or race, or political affiliation, or because they have a disease or a condition that is considered a stigma, or for so many other reasons. Blogging is a way of breaking the taboo, and speaking out. All in all, I left the conference with a renewed sense of the power and strength that comes with being both a woman and a blogger. My heartfelt thanks to the organizers for making it happen.
Click on the links to see what Kalyn and Susan have to say about the conference!
Note: for some reason, I am not able to access the BlogHer website on my computer. The minute I try to do that, the browser crashes. The folks at BlogHer are currently working to fix this bug. In any case, this website would be a wonderful place to get lots of information about the events of the conference.
One last thing: If you are looking for particular posts or recipes on One Hot Stove, I have placed a google custom search box in the right side-bar that should make it easy to do so. Hope you find it useful.
See you tomorrow, with you-know-what!