Monday, September 13, 2010

IFBC 2010 Opening Night

It felt like the first day of school. With clammy hand I adjusted my camera strap and entered the lobby of the Hotel Monaco in downtown Seattle, registration headquarters for the International Food Blogger Conference. I'd been looking forward to this weekend for months and now it was upon me, like the name badge awkwardly lassoed around my neck. I nervously wondering if I'd make any friends or like my teachers...
Luckily as soon as I descended the stairs to the kick off party I was among countless food and wine vendors and immediately felt eased. After a few tastes of Jordan wines, I stumbled upon a molecular gastronomy exhibition by Modernist Cuisine where process beyond my comprehension composed an incredibly flavorful and frothy caramelized carrot soup with young ginger, licorice root and carotene butter. It was astounding in texture and character. I smiled, not wanting to be anywhere else.
Lisa Dupar's spread (representing her Pomegranate Bistro and Lisa Dupar Catering) included a tasty grilled steak Bahn Mi with house-made mango sriracha and a Tonnino Tuna salad - Tonnino had their own booth in the next room, hemorrhaging with recipe samples and complimentary jars of their premium product.
I sipped some wines from Chateau Ste Michelle while I manhandled one of the most popular bites of the evening, the succulent "lamp pops" from American Lamb. Still wiping wine and meaty juices from my lips, I sampled several incredible olive oils from Spain (who knew Spain was the #1 producer of olive oil in the world?)
Next I even surprised myself by accepting a sample of geoduck ceviche from Taylor Shellfish Farms. Ever since the Pac NW episode of No Reservations where Tony partakes in a geoduck harvest I've been fascinated and frightened by the... rather suggestive beast. I have to say, the crudo was actually quite toothsome and not so scary whatsoever.
I brushed up on my knowledge of endives with Rodger Hedwig of California Vegetable Specialties, not realizing endives actually "bloom" in the dark. 
A wonderful food book shop was present for our drooling and consumption thanks to Readers to Eaters, a wonderful company that promotes community food literacy so that children and families become active participants in their local food culture.
Morgan Spurlock was the featured speaker of the evening, discussing his documentary Super Size Me and American food culture with moderator Warren Etheredge (founder of The Warren Report). By that time all the wine tastings and Pom-tinis were beginning to go to my head and I got squirmy during the talk, so lingered in the back, finding a tray of truffles, my first taste of Theo ubiquity that would lavishly fill the coming weekend.
I picked up the MASSIVE gift bag of kitchen gadgets courtesy of Sur La Table on the way out and met back up with my friends Nicole and Jon for the after-party. En route we met the ladies of Wikia Inc who kindly invited us to join them for a glass of wine at Sip before the official Urban Spoon after-party.
A couple of bottles and a cheese plate later we made it to Purple Café and Wine Bar as the Urban Spoon party was wrapping up, but we shared their last bottle of Sémillon and toasted to a successful kick off of what promised to be a valuable and enjoyable foodie weekend in a city that knows the subject well.


  1. nice! i would love, love, love to try those burnt sugar chocolates! i picked up some rose salted caramel theo chocolates during my trip to seattle. looks like fun times at the fest!

  2. Are you still there, Nathan? Hope you are inspired and loving it.