Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Food Blog Forum Orlando Recap {Part 4}

{Click here for Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of my FBF Orlando Recap!}

As if we had not been completely pampered the entire weekend with oodles of food and fun and gifts, we were invited to an evening dessert reception complete with a VIP viewing of Hollywood Studios' Fantasmic.

They escorted our group through a special entrance and this is where we ended up:


A large, elevated deck set up with glow-in-the-dark tables, a hot chocolate/coffee/liqueur bar, and some very creative {and mouthwatering} desserts.

Chefs making s'mores spheres.
More Mickey-shaped goodies & Rice Krispie pops.
Oh, we fancy, huh?

The two "show stoppers" were the Chocolate Risotto & the S'mores Spheres. I wish I could have gotten a better picture but there was a lot of weird lighting with the color-changing tables & stations. The S'mores dessert was a delicious little brownie, marshmallows, and graham cracker dust encased in a spherical chocolate shell. {It was dipped in a vat of liquid nitrogen and topped with warm chocolate sauce to help "crack" it open.}

The chocolate risotto was equally as delightful... and I think I may have to try to recreate it at home.


Yes, there is chocolate risotto underneath that mound of vanilla ice cream.
I was in such a tizzy over all the food, and so busy chatting with Vijay from NoshOn.It and Jen from Balancing Beauty & Bedlam that I hardly even noticed this was going on:

Mickey fighting off the dragon.
Just kidding. It was kind of hard to ignore.

After the reception, Sloane convinced me to go on the Hollywood Tower of Terror ride... one I had never been on in my many previous visits to the park. Lucky for her, it wasn't as bad as I thought. ;)

Exhausted {and on a sugar high}, we headed back to the hotel for a nightcap at the Grand Floridian's lounge and called it a night. We had more eating and mingling to do in the morning!

.....................................................................

For our final Food Blog Forum event, Whole Foods Orlando hosted a beautiful Sunday brunch at their store's outdoor patio for the attendees and their families.


Though it is hard to outdo a weekend spent surrounded by Disney magic, Whole Foods totally stole the show with their menu. 

I'm not even kidding. I was super impressed -- the presentation, flavor, and creativity was on point. {Confession: If pressed, I'd have to admit that the food I ate at Whole Foods was the tastiest I had all weekend.}

Just look at this cuteness.

Perhaps they knew that gelato is the way to this girl's heart. 
Hey look! That's Christine from Cook the Story! And my tasty Bananas Foster Gelato. Mmm.
It obviously doesn't take much to weasel your way into my affections. ;)

We ate, chatted, and listened to final words from our organizers. I made my way around to each table to make sure I got one last chance to meet some of the bloggers I still hadn't spoken with throughout the weekend... there's just not enough time when your mouth is chewing for 90% of your visit!


I got to thank Scott and Jaden {I totally pulled a fan-geek and told her about how she linked to one of my recipes a while back and sent me into a swoon-fest. :::blushing:::}, and had an impromptu career counseling pep talk from Jeff Houck {The guy is a hoot. Read his stuff!}. 


And then, just as quickly as it began... it was over. 

I felt a little bit like kids do on the last day of summer camp. I didn't want the fun to end.


Since it was still early in the day, Sloane, our new blogger buddy Heather {from Heather Likes Food} and I went to the Animal Kingdom park to squeeze the last bit of Disney fun out of our weekend. We were pretty efficient and got to ride a few of the key attractions including this:

Expedition Everest.
When it started pouring rain, we knew it was our cue to head home.

I can't put into words how wonderful the weekend was for me. It was my very first food blogging conference and I think all others will have a hard time living up to its greatness. It's so refreshing to feel like you finally found your true passion, and equally as incredible to connect with people who feel the same way you do.

The whole FBF Orlando crew.
If you are a food blogger, I highly recommend looking into attending Food Blog Forum next year... it will be held in Asheville, North Carolina, so start making plans. ;)  I hope to be able to have this magnificent experience all over again!

1 comments:

Katie said...

Awe it was so great seeing you again! Sad I missed the dessert party but got to have an impromptu date night with my hubby!

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