Eat Drink Blog 2013: Recap & Thoughts

Eat Drink Blog (“EDB”) is an annual event that brings together food bloggers from across Australia in a forum to listen to various speakers discuss the state of food blogging and relevant topics, meet like-minded people, and enjoy some great food. EDB 2013 was held in Perth from 9-10 Nov at Perth City Farm and I was lucky enough to be able to attend this year. I was actually back in Perth to visit family and friends so unfortunately couldn’t attend the dinner on Saturday night or one of the Sunday master-classes however I was able to attend the main part of the event which ran all day Saturday.

Eat Drink Blog 2013 Perth

In a rookie mistake for any blogger where photography forms an important part of the blog, I arrived in Perth on Friday night and realised that I had left my trusty camera in Melbourne. Thankfully my camera phone was on hand and it managed to last just long enough despite a constant stream of photographing and Twittering (#EDB13 was actually the second highest trending topic on Twitter that day – 80 food bloggers in one place = watch out Internet!).

The various sponsors of EDB 2013 kept all of the delegates fed throughout the day and did a great job of providing us with quality food and drink throughout the day.

Eat Drink Blog 2013 Perth

Eat Drink Blog 2013 Perth

The team from Five Senses Coffee kept us all suitably caffeinated throughout the day with espresso, filter, siphon and every other kind of coffee imaginable. Jeremy from Five Senses gave a great, detailed talk about what exactly goes into getting a cup of coffee from bean to cup amongst other things.

Eat Drink Blog 2013 Perth

Eat Drink Blog 2013 Perth

The first of many speakers of the day below. I won’t go into detail on every speaker and what they discussed. A full list and summary can be found on the EDB website. All of the speakers knew what they were talking about, and all had something interesting to say. One of the best parts of the presentations were the Q&A sessions, where the delegates got to ask questions of the panel and some really insightful discussion occurred.

Eat Drink Blog 2013 Perth

“Perhaps the most photographed pastries in the history of the world” courtesy of Littlesweet Baking. These little cupcakes were just one of a huge selection of pastries and cakes that we were able to choose from. My favourite was the salted caramel, peanut butter and chocolate slice.

Eat Drink Blog 2013 Perth

Lunch was a huge spread put on by European Foods that contained an impressive selection of continental delicacies. It was very impressive.

Eat Drink Blog 2013 Perth

Eat Drink Blog 2013 Perth

So, what did I take away from EDB 2013? The debate between Cynthia (The Food Pornographer) and Phil (Last Appetite) on ethics and working with PR was very relevant to me. As my blog increases in popularity I’m finding myself invited to events and to review restaurants on a regular basis. Trying to figure out how to approach this in a way that allows me to maintain my reputation is something that I’m still trying to figure out. Is this something that I want to do? Will the perception of my blog’s independence be compromised if I write about something that was free, despite full disclosure? These are not easy questions to answer.

Thang (Noodlies) gave a very interesting talk on where blogging is and where it’s heading. How do we move with the times and stay relevant? Do we risk becoming “old media” in the same way that traditional media has/is? There was a lot that I hadn’t thought about that I’m going to be taking into account heading into the new year.

Simon (The Heart of Food) provided delegates with some great tips on food photography, some of which I will definitely be taking on board, and Adam (Amateur Gourmet) had some excellent stories about his blogging experiences. It was interesting to hear about how intertwined his real life and blogging life have become after several years of blogging.

The best part of the day for me was meeting all of the other EDB delegates. 80 food bloggers, like-minded people from across the country all in one place and the vibe was both friendly and communal. Blogging often gets a bad rap from those who aren’t involved in it. They see it as “wanky”, “pretentious”, “over-rated” and a variety of other things. Speaking to my fellow bloggers though, the aforementioned adjectives could not be further from the truth. Everyone was really down to earth, and driven by real passion and a genuine desire to tell the world about the things that interest them, in their words.

It’s been 5 years since I left Perth and from my perspective it was great to see how things in Perth have changed as far as food, drink and blogging goes. I met a lot of great Perth based bloggers and Perth’s food and drink scene has really come a long way (although it still has a long way to go – more on this in a future post). Overall, the developments in my home town are really encouraging.

It was also great to finally meet some of the bloggers that I’ve been following online for a while but had never before met in person before – Ai-Ling, Matt and Simon.

I think that the explosion in the popularity of blogging, and food blogging in particular is a great thing, and the fact that so many people were willing to attend an event such as EDB in order to take something away to help them with their blogging, to give them some different perspectives on what they do or meet like-minded people can only be a good thing. All in all, it was a job well done by the organisers. I had a great time.

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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