Wednesday, September 03, 2014

What was the Day 2 like at the #IFBM2014?

 A corner piece at Aloft Cessna Park, Bangalore our venue for IFBM2014

Day 2 Started with raised expectations from the previous day.

From our horrid experience of getting stuck in the Marathahalli traffic for 2hrs the previous night we decided to first reach Aloft Cessna Park and have breakfast at their restaurant, The Nook. The breakfast buffet was really large and varied with Indian as well as continental items. I enjoyed the croissant with my coffee a lot and was all set for a full day like the schedule promised.
I am glad to share that I won a two day bed and breakfast plan at Four Point Sheraton, Vashi for reviewing Aloft Cessna Park in my last post on Day 1 at IFBM2014. Thank you! Starwood Hotels, looking forward to enjoying your hospitality once again.
The day began with a professional guidance session on Search engine optimization (SEO) by Ashish Verma. It was one session that the bloggers totally focused on like they were in a classroom in college. There was lots to learn for everyone, from tools to analytics and tips. Hoping to use them well to market the blog and tune well with my audience.

Following it was a session by Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal on Good food writing. She had structured the contents well and gave some good tips for writing. She pointed out how crucial it is to be able to describe a flavor and that the experience around food is only secondary. Not just that she was the only one of the speakers to hand out notes. Just as we were looking into the brown paper envelops to refer to the notes as she begun; the room was filled with squeals of joy. Rushina had gifted each one of us 4 of her foodles, yes those food doodles that she is famous for. I plan to get them laminated and use them as table-mats and recipe cards too.

After these two lovely learning heavy sessions we were moved to the Refuel corner, its supposed to be Aloft's grab and go offering but by now we were slowly getting used to the lingering. Once again an elaborate spread of freshly made apple crumble, blue berry cheesecake, passion fruit almond financier, Pineapple cake, Rum and raisin fruit cake, sandwiches etc. were laid out for the bloggers. We were learning the trick now of trying to taste more than to eat more. So we picked a few things we liked and shared a few morsels of different items from others plates to avoid wastage.

Post tea was a session by Aparna Jain of Partrige Publishing. This turned out to be my most favorite session. Aparna's honest experience sharing on publishing her own 'The Sood Family Cookbook' and the travails and (not so many) tribulations of a cookbook writer. Her hilarious style of presentation got the audiences engaged and involved too in her stories on self publishing vs finding a publisher. OK and she also busted some myths, like I could become rich by writing a cook book. My dream, my poor dream, I heard a voice hum continuously in my head somewhere. Ha! but I will still write even if I publish or don't. Readers I am asking you, would you buy my book?

We carried this light mood into The Nook. All the aspiring cookbook writers in the avatar of food bloggers had got a reality check and yet our energies were high. High enough to devour the lavish buffet. Aloft Cessna Park yet again was sweeping us off with their hospitality. These here are just the starters...

Thank god! after lunch it was an interactive panel discussion with food bloggers from within the community. They were up there at center stage to discuss the scene beyond blogging. It was interesting to hear how Sanjeeta KK of Lite Bite has blossomed into a professional food stylist, Kalyan Karmakar is now full time into food walks and how his market research background still helps him get some other assignments.

There was Harini Prakash, who made us privy to her dream which is soon to be a reality.  The Tadka Pasta girls who shared their story on getting their book published and they are already onto their second one!  Then ofcourse there was Rushina again this time to share her story of setting up the A perfect bite cook studio. A totally inspiring session as most bloggers are trying to go professional with avenues thrown open by blogging.

I would like to mention here, if you have missed my past posts on my Experience with me sessions. Check them out. I do Koli food and culture events and if you are in Mumbai I'd be glad to do it for you. 

Also hope you have already noticed the E-Shop tab on top of this page. There are some truely authentic ingredients there that you will die to have in your pantry. If you haven't ordered yet you must now!

The final was with a Master class by Aloft Cessna Park's own Executive chef Sameer Luthra. The set up for this masterclass was very well thought out. Unlike the last one bloggers did not have to clamber to get a view of what was cooking. Bloggers were seated at a level higher than the workstation for the chef. The camera projected a view of the work area and so we could watch larger than life display. Chef Sameer created two dishes Eggs baked in hash browns with glazed bacon and Sole en pappillote. Pappilote is a techinque to cook in paper. The bloggers requested me to explain to them what Sole fish (follow my #knowyourseafood on Fb and twitter) was, so I spoke on how to identify, its habitat and availability. This was my moment of respect from the bloggers as a expert on Fish, felt chuffed about it!

It was time for the team that took care of the food fests at Aloft to take a bow.

With that ended the 2 days of Indian Food Bloggers Meet. We were loaded with gifts from our 24 sponsors and this is how my friend displays it before we packed it into my check-in luggage.

This entire event was excellently organized by our Fab4. Take a bow ladies...

Finally we hugged and parted with promises to do it again and again. So long farewell, until the next time.

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