I am the unlikeliest of food bloggers - I don't deny it. I've always preferred eating to cooking, and the hubby is the main chef in our house. (Though, strangely, I do like reading cookbooks, and cutting out recipe articles ... for James to make!)
But my cooking is improving, and the powers-that-be at Tasting Australia (South Australia's world-class food and wine event) let me tag along to its two-day Words To Go blogger conference as part of its festivities this May.
The first day involved a forum with speakers including US foodie author Mark Kurlansky, renowned food bloggers Jennifer Lam, Jacqui Lim and Thang Ngo, travel editor Max Anderson, and more. Then it was on to an evening feast fit for a king at Hilton Adelaide's Coal Cellar + Grill (and, yep, we checked out the cellar!)
The next day included breakfast with TV chef Poh Ling Yeow at her Adelaide Central Market eatery Jamface, a market tour, a loooong lunch at institution Lucia's, and a meander around Le Cordon Bleu's Regency Park campus (including a chocolate tasting, in case we had any more trouser buttons to pop open).
Some things I learned about food blogging along the way:
* Forget dimmed, mood lighting at restaurants - bloggers prefer the lights blaring so they can get the perfect shot of each dish. Pray your makeup's looking flawless ;)
* Digging into a share plate straightaway is a no-no - wait until everyone has got a pic before going anywhere near the fare with your fork (and get used to eating your food slightly cold).
* Sometimes it's more about how the food looks on a particular plate than the actual taste - it's all about the perfect pic, non? Bonus points for taking your dish outside to capture the natural light when photographing.
* Staring at your phone at the table (and anywhere else) is perfectly acceptable.
* "Naughty talk" among food bloggers includes competing over the weirdest dish you've ever eaten (deep-fried tarantula, anyone?) and the most expensive.
* Fact: you can feast for two days straight and have it all laid on for you at a bloggers' conference, and still be hungry for dinner (I can personally vouch for this!).
Anyway, I had a blast and met a bunch of lovely, interesting folk. Here are some pics from my foodie journey to tantalise/taunt your tastebuds!
Photos: James Elsby
Finding my inner peasant...