Food Blog South, a regional conference for food bloggers from and about the South, will bring several hundred attendees and speakers to its fourth annual event in Birmingham, Ala. on January 25, 2014. A lineup of hands-on workshops, seminars and labs is designed for novice and experienced bloggers in this fast-growing field. The keynote speaker is Molly Wizenberg, whose blog Orangette was named best food blog in the world by the London Times. She is a best-selling cookbook author and owner of two restaurants in Seattle.
To accommodate a variety of skills and interests, the sessions are divided into three tracks: Creativity, Technology & Business, and Blogging Basics. Topics include photography and food styling, succeeding as a freelancer, food trends, and recipe development.
Exhibits and social events will provide invaluable networking opportunities for writers and exhibitors. Food from some of the South’s best restaurants will be featured at the breakfast and lunch sessions, and the pre- and post-event parties at local venues. The afternoon social hour features a session on absinthe by Ted Breaux of Viridian Spirits.
"Last year, we had bloggers spilling out into the hallway at our food photography session,” said conference organizer Shaun Chavis, a cookbook editor for Time, Inc. “We took it as a sign that Southern food bloggers are eager to hone their creative skills, and that’s what we’re delivering.” There are two photo and food styling sessions, so more people can attend. Chef and award-winning writer Martha Hall Foose of Mississippi will talk about food and fiction. Media professionals Marion Laney and Dana Popoff, who worked on Alton Brown’s show “Good Eats,” will share tips on How to Win a James Beard Award.
Two optional in-depth workshops are set for Friday before the conference. Dianne Jacob, author of “Will Write for Food,” will teach a four-hour intensive writing workshop from 1 to 5 p.m. An advanced food styling and photography workshop is sold out.
FoodBlogSouth 2014 will be held at Rosewood Hall in the SoHo section of Homewood, just south of Birmingham, Ala. The conference hotel is Aloft Birmingham SoHo Square.
FoodBlogSouth donates a portion of its proceeds to Desert Island Supply Company, a nonprofit writing center for children and youth in Birmingham.
For details and registration information, see www.Foodblogsouth.com
From Left: Emily Laborde, Cheri Leavy, Amber Wilson, Jay Ducote
We had a great time attending last year and hope to see more familiar faces this year. Let us know in the comments section if you will be attending Food Blog South this year!