2016 World Food Championships Blogger Summit NEWS!
This year at the World Food Championships 2016 Blogger Summit, Bloggers were treated to the WORKS in Orange Beach, Alabama!
Blogger Summit’s Amy Green, Staff and Mike McCloud owner of MMA Creative, showered fifty Food, Style and Travel Bloggers to luxury accommodations at the TURQUOISE PLACE. Located on some of the most pristine white-sugar, sand beaches in the area. Our accommodations were over-the-top luxury, three bedroom 2400 sq. ft. condominiums, complete with beautiful ocean front views, living room, gourmet kitchen, washer and dryer, outdoor cooking area and hot tub. The master suite was as large as some people’s homes not to mention, the opulent master bath and walk-in closet. Wonderful accommodations, perfect for Family reunions, and holiday travel, left us all feeling very pampered!
Intensive training with Kay Maghan, Public Relations Manager, Gulf Shore, Orange Beach Tourism, Dr. Bill Walton (“Dr. Oyster”) Auburn University Shellfish Lab as well as, Hydrogen Power Project, renewable energy study with President Ted Wampler, Jr. Wampler’s Farm Sausage. We were also treated to a stellar demo by Hormel Chili’s “BroTorch Boys” cooking two dozen hotdogs with a 50 foot flame thrower in the new food trend “Brotorching!” We all got a chance to fire up the Brotorch which was quite exhilarating. Hormel and the Brotorch Boys gifted all the bloggers with their own blow torch! Thanks Hormel!
Michael Sewall, renowned UK photographer shared tips for food photography. Our final challenge of the day, create a tailgate sandwich with WFC 2016 Food Sponsors, Saucy Mama and Wickles Pickles then photograph our delicious creations. I made an Orange Habanero Pesto Italiano Wrap, it was a giant sandwich, delicious and well received by my fellow bloggers.
Then this happened….Luxury Coffee Break with Chef Brian David Scott and his cup of luxury hand-picked, hand wash, hand roasted coffee. This 5-star cup of coffee cost $1200 per pound. I was quite sure that this coffee was none other than Kopi Luwak aka cat poop coffee however, I was unable to get an answer to the origin of the coffee blend. Needless to say, it was very tasty and a treat but I’d be hard set to pay $1200 per pound to experience it again. Special thanks to Amy Green for this delicious indulgence!!
We had a full day tour of beautiful beautiful Bayou La Batre, Alabama; Murder Point Oyster Farm, the Olympic Shellfish crabmeat processing plant and the Graham Shrimp Company. That same day we enjoyed some sweet southern hospitality at a Low Country Boil, hosted by Graham Shrimp Company and members of Organized Seafood. We ate piles of fresh oysters, fried and steamed shrimp, potato salad corn and all the fixings, plus homemade banana pudding for dessert. It was some kinda delicious!
Stuffed to the gills, we all rolled back on the bus headed for the Homeport Marina and one of Alabama’s favorite restaurants, LuLu’s. Lucy Buffet is sister to the renowned singer-song writer, Jimmy Buffett and owner of this very popular tourist destination. I honestly didn’t think I could put another bite of food in my mouth after eating that amazing Lowcountry boil but once I tasted the red snapper, I was done for! We learned that the red snapper was the fresh catch of the day and to prove it, all we had to do was check out the FISH TRAX app.
Fish Trax™, an electronic fishery information platform that helps industry, marketers, and fishery managers collect, analyze, and share information that is critical for the success of their fishery.
Developed initially by a collaboration of fishermen and scientists for managing fisheries in near-real time, the Fish Trax™ system has evolved to become an important tool for consumers who want to know more about the seafood they eat –including the origin and harvest area of a particular fish.
Needless to say, we ate some of the freshest fish a restaurant can produce! I’m hoping the idea catches on in other coastal regions.
Blogger summit was all about World Food Championships 2016. We attended the media kick off in the morning where we met the Mayor and listened to three Experts share their knowledge. Suzanne Clark, owner of Living a Creative Life , award-winning home cook and two-time 10 K winner of the Pasta World Food Championships as well as, TV personality. Suzanne shared insight on what it takes to be a TV personality, and award winning competitive cook. I love that she’s a star and my friend too!! Donna Bennar, owner of SWOON Talent spoke about her agency and shared her tips on how to become a successful blogger and tv personality. We also heard from Darie Loretta O’Connor owner of Try The DisH Radio which airs 9PM CST Saturday’s out of St. Louis on 1380ThePulse!
The Blogger Summit finale was ripe with a food champ judging class and the honor of judging the first round of World Food Championships Dessert category. I’m now a gold card holding E. A. T. certificated judge! EAT™ methodology, the scoring system that allows any WFC entry to be judged consistently using three key criteria: Execution, Appearance and Taste. I’m thrilled to be a certified food judge but I can honestly say that I’d rather be a food competitor than a judge; judging is entirely more stressful!
At the end of the day, the WFC Blogger Summit 2016 was another wonderful event thanks to Mike McCloud and his staff. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2017.