After a seemingly long, yet absolutely awesome day one at IFBC, I was super excited about what day 2 had in store!
I got there just in time to grab a quick breakfast before the first session about Recipe Development. The panel was made up of extremely accomplished women.
This was an extremely informative session to me. I learned so much about recipe testing, development and writing. I mean, they even fancied up the title of a simple PB&J sandwich as a Fruit Preserves and Nut Butter Sandwich. Fancy, right?? The session absolutely got our creative juices flowing!
After the session, I just had to meet Deb. Had to. I’m such a fan of her fabulous blog, and can I tell y’all? She’s just super sweet and down to earth!
After the first session, I rushed over to session 2: Writing about Food and Culture.
I really enjoyed this session. All of the panelists had very different perspectives, pertaining to their culture. I usually don’t think about where a recipe comes from when I’m cooking, but it’s just a really cool thing to look into and think about once in a while. Being from New Orleans, I truly take some of the traditional foods that I enjoy for granted.
After this session, it was off to lunch.
Can I say WHOA? This lunch was absolutely fabulous. Fabulous. One dish that I must recreate is jambalaya grits with BBQ shrimp. Yum!
After lunch, I hung out with Cara of The Boys Made Me Do It. We definitely made it a priority to cool down with a snowball.
This particular one was Bananas Foster. It was pretty darn awesome, and well worth the walk! We also ventured out to Southern Candymakers to obtain some NOLA famous pralines. Always a favorite in my family’s house, so I grabbed up a few for them to share.
After a walk in the Quarter, I headed back to the hotel for the cooking demonstration by John Folse, which was super awesome to experience. He’s a very talented chef, and shared with the group a sample of a delicious soup that made (almost) forget about how much heavy cream was included in the recipe!
After the session, we had a good break to explore the city. However, after my post lunch excursion around the quarter, I was done with sweating, so I lounged in the hotel. Hello, A/C!
The last part of day two was the dinner that evening. Once we found our seats up front (“B-line for the Besh!”, as some of us said), I couldn’t help but drool over the menu. The dinner sounded incredible!
My favorite part of the dinner was the dessert! White chocolate creme brulee…holy cow! I wanted to take 4 or 5 of those to-go!
After we all enjoyed an amazing dinner, it was time for John Besh to speak. He spoke about so many great things involving the city, including how the restaurant industry came back after Katrina.
One thing that was great to hear about is that he (along with some other Food Network chefs) offers culinary scholarships to inner city youth in New Orleans. It’s wonderful to give our youth opportunities like that, and even more wonderful is that he requires them to come back to NOLA to work after completing culinary school in NYC. Just a really wonderful program, that probably wouldn’t be accessible otherwise, to some of the youth in the New Orleans area.
As I was walking back to my car from the hotel, I couldn’t believe how amazing day 2 was. Such a whirlwind of inspiring sessions, wonderful food and great (new) blogger friends! I have to admit, though, I was sad that day 3 was coming up. I didn’t want this conference to end!