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The International Food Bloggers Conference is coming to Seattle


It's been an exciting year of food writing-related travels, as I've had the pleasure of attending Eat Write Retreat in Philadelphia and the Wine Bloggers Conference in British Columbia's Okanagan Wine Country. But the big kahuna of food blogger events this year is yet to come, just down the Pacific from me in Seattle, Washington from September 20-22, as the International Food Bloggers Conference heads west for 2013.

Although I've yet to write about it on Devour & Conquer, I've been a huge fan of the Seattle food scene for over ten years. My sister and brother-in-law, who were Seattle locals until a few months ago, shared many of their favourite spots with us over the years, and I spent many a happy afternoon exploring the fresh markets and specialty food stores spread across this foodie-centric city on North America's west coast. I have also loved regularly bumping into top chefs who are also seeking out fresh and local ingredients, shopping alongside local celebrity chef  Mario Batali and his cute red-headed kids one day was a particular thrill.

The cooking competition TV show Top Chef was savvy to Seattle's culinary charms last year when they picked it as the location for Top Chef Season 10 earlier this year. I was personally proud to watch Seattle celebrity Chef Tom Douglas waxing poetic about amazing west coast seafood as the judges dined on oysters harvested from right near my home on Vancouver Island.

But back to the International Food Bloggers Conference, taking place at the W Hotel in Seattle's downtown core next month. Sold out for months now, this foodie weekend will welcome a whopping 350 bloggers from around the world to taste, write and learn with Seattle chefs, local producers, national experts and brand representatives.

I'm particularly excited about the food photography workshop with renowned New York Times food photographer Andrew Scrivani which includes a live cooking demonstration from Chef John Mitzewich of Food Wishes. There's so much to learn about taking great food photographs and I can't wait to get some tips from one of the best.

On Saturday night all the bloggers will be splitting up into small groups as we venture out for intimate dinner parties at surprise restaurant locations all over the city with UrbanSpoon. The Wine Bloggers Conference in June hosted a similar surprise excursion to mystery wineries and locations around the Okanagan, and my hike to a wine tasting high above Okanagan Falls was a highlight of that conference. I can't wait to see which Seattle restaurant we'll be visiting, I do love a mystery dining experience.


Another pleasure of attending a food writing conference is the opportunity to sample and learn about new foods and products. I'm particularly excited for the Artisan Olive Oil Tasting
 With California Olive Ranch, where master miller Bob Singletary will be teaching us about the nuances of great olive oils. I'm also very curious to learn about the much-hyped Sous Vide cooking technique as Scott Heimendinger, Director of Applied Research for Modernist Cuisine and creator of the Sansaire sous vide machine, will de-mystify this fascinating cooking method that I've never tried before.

I'm looking forward to sharing all the details of everything I learn next month in Seattle, along with the many west coast food experiences of the International Food Bloggers Conference that will become future Devour & Conquer blog posts. In the meantime, I will be ogling the agenda and speaker list list with anticipation.

Get your food ready, Seattle, the bloggers are coming!

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