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International Food Blogger’s Conference (IFBC)-New Orleans

Last weekend I had the privilege of attending Foodista’s IFBC conference in New Orleans. In trying to put this post together, I wasn’t certain where to begin. It was all a little overwhelming and it happened too fast.

Too many incredible things happened in such a few days I am still trying to wrap my brain around all of it. I feverishly took notes during the most interesting and educational presentations. Now is the hard part of putting it all together.
This was my first food blogging conference experience and I was not sure what to expect. I was there to learn and to meet new friends that shared my passion for food and for talking about it. I was there to visit a city I have always dreamed about seeing.
Growing up in an Italian home, I never had the opportunity of trying the cuisine of New Orleans. I really did not know much about it until this past weekend. I was pleasantly surprised as all of the food I had was delicious. The people of New Orleans are charming and proud. Every chef I spoke with was beaming when they talked about what they prepared.
Let’s get to the important stuff straight away, shall we? The food!
I ate my first po’ boy. It was delicious!
I never had shrimp and grits before. I am really happy these were the first ones I had. They were luscious and tasty.
I ate beignets at the world famous Café du Monde.DSCN9391
There will be more on the food in a future post. I walked for the first time in my life through the animated streets of New Orleans. With each step, finding a new discovery. Each corner I turned, I encountered new sights and smells.

What did I learn? I learned how the most simple items could be used as a photography prop. Like the cardboard backing that comes in a t-shirt package. Andrew Scrivani uses them.

Deb taught us that even how you write the recipe for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is important.

I listened to Shauna talk about how a little deprivation breeds creativity.

Robin Goldstein and Gwen Pratesi talk about blogging and ethics. Robin explained that you shouldn’t be jealous of other blogs that get more hits than you and suck. Gwen told us about the Food Blog Code of Ethics. It was a very informative session.
Jamie talked about what is food culture:  identity, memory, and continuity.

I laughed and cried when a lady we met named Sharice told us about the existence of a Genie bra while we were at The Carousel Bar inside Hotel Monteleone. Who knew?
I tried my first Sazerac.
I made friends for life. Or like darling Nancie called us, vintage new friends. Love that. Fabulous friends: Lisa, Jamie, Gwen, Sarah, and Nancie.
I met Chef John Besh. Chef John Besh was asked on our last night there, ”Gumbo: tomatoes or no tomatoes?” His response, “Depends on how your mama made them.”

Some of my favorite quotes from the weekend:

Shauna from Glutenfree Girl, “Cook to connect rather than to impress people and the experience will be so much better.”

Seattlefoodgeek, “I also think it’s important to remember that culture isn’t just something we write about, it’s something we MAKE, too.”

Barnaby from Foodista, “Create many footprints and be careful what you say on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t be mean and snarky.”

There was a long discussion on blogging and making money. @Bakingblog (Evil Shenanigans) tweeted, “It is ok to make money on your blog…in fact, it is a good thing. Agree or disagree?”

On blogging your values:
1)Know your brand.
2) Quality over quantity.

Robin Goldstein:
1) "Don't be 2 obsessed w/page views." 
2) “Tweet like you mean it.”

Some of my favorites from Andrew Scrivani:
1)“The best compliment you can receive, “God, that photo makes me hungry” "
2)“If you become predictable, you have a limited market.”
3) “Food porn is all about desire.”
4) “Iron your linen, people.”
5) “Forget auto-mode exists.”
6) “Have fun. Photography is not brain surgery.”
7) “If you can dream a picture, you can make it.”

I leave you with the fabulous Marissa Brassfield, “Dare to stand out. Create your own brand.”

A huge thank you to Foodista, Zephyr, Hotel Monteleone and the darling people of New Orleans!!

I heart New Orleans!


  1. A wonderful recap, Lora! Now I want to go back.... :)

  2. Sounds like an excellent conference. I loved you informative tweets about it. Lora you are absolutely gorgeous Lora.

  3. Excellent recap! I was so happy to meet you and feel like you are a new vintage friend, too.

  4. Wish I was there! Especially to meet you, my dear! Glad you had a memorable time.

  5. Very cool. I learned a lot just from reading your recap. Almost as good as being there in person. Thank you.

  6. We had such a fantastic, memorable time and I am thrilled you got there. And I had the best roomie ever! I love talking you to sleep ;-) This was my first American conference and it was perfect - perfect for people like the two of us who crave a creative, passionate, honest, generous community. And the best bit? Making my new vintage friends for life. xoxo

  7. Loved your photos! Now I know what you were doing when you were lagging behind. ;) It was such a fun weekend getting to know you and the other "girls". Yes, I agree, we have made friends for life...people that share the same passion for food and writing and laughter that we do!

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  9. What a fun time you had! Good for you, you lucky pup!

  10. From everything I heard, it seems that this conference was one of the best. I wish that I could have gone, but it wasn't meant to be.
    I am glad that you enjoyed it so much and that you connected to some awesome bloggers I also wish to meet (including you:)

  11. I have never been to New Orleans, but it looks like and awesome city (with fantastic food)!

  12. I have been only once to New Orleans but didn't have enough time to explore all town. Now I want to go back!
    Love your recap, and the tweets - genius!
    Thanks for sharing Lora

  13. Lovely recap, sounds amazing! :)

  14. I haven't been to New Orleans yet, but it's at the top of my list of places to visit. Sounds like this was a very worth while conference to have attended.

  15. What a fabulous post! I'm so envious of your time there with all those lovely people.

  16. First of all, you are looking mighty fabulous! I'm happy for you that this first blogging conference was such a positive and enjoyable learning experience for you and thank you for sharing what you learned in New Orleans with all of us.

  17. I am so glad you had a memorable time and made great vintage friends, :) Thanks for sharing your experience. Although I am miles away, I now feel like I was there. Wonderful quote from Shauna “Cook to connect rather than to impress people and the experience will be so much better.”


  18. Wow Lora looks like you had great time..Love your photos, and what an extraordinary experience..wonderful!!!