For the second year, the IFBC conference was held in Sacramento and we all had a great time. Two days filled with information, new people to meet, fantastic experiences, and jam packed sessions. I came home exhausted and happy. Glad to be home but so grateful for the time I got to spend with friends old and new.
The conference kicked off with an inspiring talk from Nick Papadopoulos of CropMobster, an organization that helps small farmers and producers connect and share their products, bringing together the CrobMobster community. A great speaker, Nick got us all revved up and ready to learn!
Nugget Market hosted a beautiful picnic lunch at the California State Capitol Park with an array of sandwiches, chips, salads, and cookies to choose from. They even had a selection of gluten-free sandwiches! I was delighted not to have to break into my stash of jerky (I always carry it just in case there is nothing I can eat).
I was delighted to learn about real Italian balsamic vinegar from Modena – and get to taste two types, fresh and aged. And know how to tell if they are trying to sell us a knock-off that isn’t worth the money. I chatted with Federico Desimoni after and we are hoping to visit their facility when we are in the Bologna area of Italy during this trip!
Gabi Logan of Dream of Travel Writing, another San Francisco food writer shared her process for finding the best companies to target, how to price the projects competitively, and write a compelling pitch letter. She also discussed contracts and the importance of protecting ourselves for every project.
Day One ended with the Expo and Taste of Sacramento, a lovely opportunity to chat and mingle with other attendees and try samples from some of the top restaurants in the city. What a treat! The chefs were there to share their foods and boy did they go all out for us. Again I was thrilled to find lots of gluten-free options to try and they were delicious!
I think the most creative were the Beet Choux Buns with Trout Prosciutto, Horseradish Yogurt, and Pickled Mustard from Grange Restaurant. Beautiful and delicious … the fish was cured with a pastrami-style rub! There was also a remarkable Vegan Poke from The Red Rabbit with beets, daikon radish, onion, cabbage, soy vinaigrette, micro cilantro, togarash and sushi rice! The three offerings from Downtown and Vine were tantalizing and quite inventive. They offered the crowd their Edamame & Roasted Grape Crostini, Chilled Corn Soup with Chive Oil, and Cat’s Polenta Bites!
My favorite dessert was the candies from Puur Chocolat – ahhhhhmazing! I love trying new chocolate and these were perhaps the best I’ve ever had. If you are in Sacramento, be sure to stop by, tell Ramon Hi for me, and sample some!
Come back next week for more impressions from the IFBC conference and nuggets of wisdom I learned!!
None of this would have been possible without a huge team of sponsors, here is half of them … check out these incredibly generous and talented folks:
- 9 Run 6
- Allergen Inside
- Amador Vintners
- BREAD SRSLY
- Cabot Cheese
- California Strawberries
- Capay Valley Ranches
- Chile Avocados
- Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters
- Citrus from Chile
- Classy Hippie Tea Co
- Cobram Estate Olive Oil
- Dave’s Gourmet Specialty Foods
- Destination El Paso
- Don Bugito
- Eat Farm 2 Fork
- El Dorado Wines
- Endorfin Chocolates
- FishPeople Seafood
- HestanCue Smart Cooking System
- Idaho Potato Commission
- Ironstone Vineyards
- Kind Snacks
- La Tortilla Factory
- Lindsay Olives
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Disclosure: I received a reduced conference fee in exchange for sharing my experiences with you. All opinions are, as always, my own.
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