IFBC Liveblogging: Day 1

So I’m going to be liveblogging IFBC, which will be posted below the fold to remove the issue of spoilers. Consider it one giant sponsored post, because there’s a lot of swag being given out during the con and that’s effectively what the schedule looks like.

4:15 am: WHY AM I UP. Thank you, Jess’s bad timing, for returning from Norway yesterday. (And by the trip’s standards, this is sleeping in. Yay!)

I’m rereading the con agenda to kill time/wake up, which includes snippets like:

“Butterball spokesperson and Dad Blogger RJ Jaramillo will demonstrate how to prepare and serve a simple gourmet appetizer with the help of Butterball’s new recipe app, Butterball Cookbook Plus.”

It all feels like one giant commercial. (Yes, that’s a sponsored demonstration, but it is all very keyword-intense, even for brands I already like.) Here’s to hoping it won’t be. Maybe I’ll hide off-twitter with my pancake hat.

4:30 am: Decide today’s IFBC attire will include not only octopus nails, but an octopus shirt. I am just that stylish.

5:00 am: I’m alert enough now to remember that last night I was too tired to grab free cake. FREE. CAKE. Note to self: naps, take them.

5:30 am: Why is Noosa trying to replace pumpkin pie as their presentation’s main point? Pumpkin pie is tasty, their yogurt is tasty. I see no problem here.

6:15 am: All hail the triumphant return of Pancake Hat! This time with added nail art bonus that matches the octopus arm shirt I’m wearing that you can’t appreciate. (It’s before 7 am, you’re not going to get great pictures from me.)

Pancake hat redux - IFBC

7:00 am: Made it to con, so this marks official streaming, I guess. Also, on the way out the door I noticed that the IFBC 2013 badge looks exactly like last year’s, so I nearly ran out the door with the wrong badge. Good times.

7:09 am: I think I grabbed the only outlet reasonably close to a table for breakfast. MWAHAHAHAHA!

7:20 am: Spouse reminded tired me that it’s liveblogging. I accept that I am REALLY tired now.

7:30 am: Hanging out with Sara Kirkconnell of Gazing In, who is AWESOME. We’re talking about how much we didn’t do for our weddings.

7:45 am: Now we’re on a chat about the food industry and instagram. I think the person serving us, Titi, should give a lecture here.

7:55 am: WE HAVE AN ANN PEAVEY. Woot!

8:00 am: And she’s already being more fancy than we are with her yogurt. I can handle this.

8:05 am: Noosa talk has started. ALL THE YOGURT. Also: “dairy baby.”

8:10 am: And now we have Lorraine Goldberg. This is becoming the Round Table of Awesome.

8:11 am: I feel like I should sneak out all the yogurt.

8:14 am: My laptop cord is catching everyone, despite my efforts to keep it contained. Plus side: fully charged laptop at a conference with mass tweeting.

8:33 am: Realization has set in that we won’t be moving from this room until 1. Time to stretch.

9:04 am: Keryn brought a power strip and we LOVE HER.

9:08 am: Intro talks, which are being spent rapid-fire tweeting. And fist bumping.

9:12 am: Talk #1, with Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. They seem chill. AOL References!

9:15 am: “The mission of being a food writer: learn/educate, entertain, inspire.” I’m more about puns and snark.

9:30 am: I dissolved into twitter rambling and adding “squid” to quotes. Ann declared I needed a nap.

10:00 am: Todd Coleman, talking about Dracula lighting and working at the Olive Garden.

10:17 am: First useful tip: aluminum foil and a speedlight for improvised light.

10:20 am: Why is there so much hate on natural light going on? Natural light is AWESOME.

10:40 am: Todd Coleman is encouraging us to NOT GET PERMISSION TO SHOOT PEOPLE. I am so freaked out right now. We have to get consent on these things; it’s so critical.

11:00 am: If you’re following me on twitter, I’ve been receiving harassment for my opinion that this photographer is encouraging us to not get consent first for dealing with human subjects. The weird part here is I’m getting it from women.

11:30 am: Here’s the deal: we need to be able to be critical of work, especially things that are ethically up in the air. This was a man who was opting to ignore ethics in favor of the shot, and it really makes me wonder what he thinks about photography ethics in general.

Thankfully, The Chef in the Hat is here, and there’s duck confit as a mental break.

12:00 pm: We’re starving, and they did not bring lunch-sized amounts of duck confit. The twitter action is getting silly again.

12:09 pm: “It’s good but it tastes like not enough.” It doesn’t help that we’ve been smelling your food for over a half hour and we only got a nibble the size of a chouquette. WE WANT ALL THE FOOD.

2:30 pm: Took a mental break during lunch, in which things were blended. On to butchering!

3:20 pm: Fled from butchering to Krusteaz, which has mainly involved eating brownies and watching pancakes get dowsed in butter and cinnamon sugar. SO… why not make cinnamon sugar pancakes? Or tiny cinnamon rolls? The world may never know.

3:30 pm: CHEESEBURGER TURNOVERS. Okay. I think we’re far, far away now from the health focus of this morning, even farther than Thierry’s love fest to butter.

4:00 pm: The writing room is taking over what once was the wine tasting space. You can feel the sadness of the room increase as the bottles depart.

4:08 pm: Spending most of the time snarking with KitchenMage, who is lovely and even more snarky than I am. I offered to send her chocolate, and she’s figuring out creative ways to implement Todd’s “suggestions.”

4:10 pm: YES! REAL TIPS! Dianne Jacob, you are a light in this madness. She’s recommending using very specific adjectives, like briny or astringent, rather than “gooey.” Also: “Use adjectives, but make them count.”

Bonus: “Murky.”

4:16 pm: “My favorite subject is powerful action verbs.” And “now restaurant reviewing is big again.”

4:20 pm: Yay for decent writing and discussion of real components to writing!

“You want action in your writing.”

4:23 pm: Seriously, you’re okay with comparing crystal chandeliers to “crystal tits” in a food review? That makes me uncomfortable, especially as it’s not about the birds.

4:31 pm: “I like to quote dead people so no one gets offended.”

4:40 pm: Working on a practice of writing about lunch for ten minutes.

Random plus I forgot to mention: before session some people came up to me and thanked me for all the tweeting on consent. Neat!

4:52 pm: We’ve been given one nut, a lone pecan half. Ann suggested we split the crumbs; I wanted to suggest a gladiator battle.

4:53 pm: Bonus: we have almonds! More than one!

4:56 pm: And… we have been asked to write a prompt about the senses. On almonds.

They’re slightly dry almonds, so the wreckage that is my throat is threatening to mutiny unless I get more water soon. Seriously, this hotel does not understand that food writers feel parched at all moments.

4:59 pm: Ann Peavey joined my descent into tweeting madness.

5:02 pm: Next we have a – get this – Pre-Gourmet Fair Reception. We will eat before we eat some more.

5:03 pm: So we might have erotic almond readings coming up next. Really.

5:04 pm: Spoiler alert: it’s not erotic. Instead, napalm metaphors and ginger candy.

5:10 pm: I think I’ll stop live-blogging for the day at the end of the Pre-Gourmet Fair Reception. I think I’ll be crashing soon after it anyway.

5:18 pm: “Alcohol, over here, is the answer.”

5:20 pm: Deadlines: the eternal debate. They’re evil, yet we still love them, because procrastination is just that effective.

5:30 pm: So the reception is more an excuse to drink wine – and, for those who have a hotel room nearby, time to nap.

Since it’s a 1.5 hour gap between now and the next event, I’m going to end the live-blogging here.

I was going to live-blog tomorrow, but I will instead be working on a post as a response to the morning discussion on photography ethics. The chaos will most likely continue tomorrow on twitter, which had some pretty interesting commentary today already. And, hopefully, I’ll wake up after 4 am.

This entry was posted in Conferences, Uncategorized.


  1. dave gonzalez September 21, 2014 at 9:32 am #

    Thanks for saying something about Todd Coleman. I went to the conference and this particular aspect of his presentation bothered me to no end. I even left and didn’t come back. The picture he showed of the three Asians, (possibly Asian American? We don’t know because Mr. Coleman doesn’t even bother to talk to them, because why bother, when you can just snap a photo of them and show it to the world?), offended me the most, because he then makes an off-handed joke about them being Yakuza. I don’t need this. Ugh.

    • Jess Tupper September 21, 2014 at 11:11 am #

      Thank you for posting this! I admit I missed this comment from Todd, but I was pretty deep in tweeting/responding to tweets by the time that particular picture went up. That doesn’t make that kind of commentary remotely appropriate; I just am bothered that I didn’t catch it. I’m hoping IFBC posts a recording soon so I can cross-check everything before I publish my post-IFBC commentary.

      If you ever want to talk about media, I’d love to join you for tea.

  2. Apron Strings Blog September 21, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

    How timely, I came here to post this, and the writer has already commented here. Thought you would appreciate regardless. http://davebakes.com/2014/09/21/ifbc-2014-and-why-i-wont-be-going-back/

    • Jess Tupper September 21, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

      Thanks for the link; I appreciate it! I admit my post-IFBC thoughts will take much longer, as I’m hoping to talk to my ethics professor, though I’m really curious to see if others post comments as well.

  3. Cher @ Paleo + Life September 21, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

    You know, I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I suspect a lot of people laughed 1)because of his delivery (which is fantastic, despite the potentially harmful message), and 2) because they were shocked and uncomfortable. Laughter is not an uncommon reaction in those instances.

    • Jess Tupper September 22, 2014 at 6:33 am #

      Thank you for bringing this up! Groupthink and group dynamics are INCREDIBLY powerful things, especially in a crowded room.

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