Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chocolate Breakfasts and Food for Bloggers

This year I was lucky enough to be able to attend the New Zealand Food Bloggers Conference. This was the second time running after a successful first round last year (which I didn't know about at the time). It was held in Wellington and run by the amazing duo Shirleen (from Sugar and Spice) and Allison (from Pease Pudding) along with a tonne of amazing sponsors and venues.

We started off both days with a chocolate breakfast which was a bit full on but I'm not one to turn down good chocolate! We got to experience the New Zealand Chocolate Festival and sample some of the finest chocolate from all around. We were so spoiled by NZ Chocolate Festival, they even gave us all goody bags full of delicious chocolate to sample!

Food Bloggers Conference
Juan Balsani demonstrating how to make fancy chocolate tapas

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Juan Balsani's work of art

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Delicious drinking chocolate

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Chocolate fountain

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Chocolate without the calories (soap!)

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Chocolate!

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Schoc Choc!

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More hand made chocolate 

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These guys had award winning salted caramel chocolates

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Jandal chocolates!

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My favourite packaging

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A new and delicious take on chocolate covered almonds. The white ones were amazing!

Food Bloggers Conference
Chocolate chess!

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Hair drying chocolate to keep it warm, why didn't I think of that?

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Look at that cake!

On day two Jo Coffey from L'Affaire au Chocolat showed us the ins and outs of real chocolate tasting as we sampled some of the finest chocolate from around the world. How spoiled are we?! I think my favourite (and everyone elses) was the chocolate coated cocoa bean. Can't wait to get my hands on some more of those bad boys! Learning about what REAL chocolate should taste like gave me such a greater appreciation of delicious dark chocolate. I think I have expensive taste now!

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Jo Coffey telling us all about good chocolate

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Chocolate sampling - it's a hard job but someone's gotta do it!

One of the highlights of going to a food bloggers conference I found, was the amount of great food on offer there was. Wellington on a Plate was wrapping up at the time we were there and we were lucky enough to be sponsored by some of the finest Wellington restaurants for lunch on Friday. I was chosen along with Kate (Mama's Pantry), Margaret (With Love, Mags) and Celia (Ultimate OmNoms) to go to lunch at Coco at the Roxy. There we met the lovely manager, Valentina, ate a fabulous lunch and got a personal tour around the restaurant and theatre. The food was absolutely amazing and I have to say, this was one of the highlights of the conference for me!

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Coco at the Roxy

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Silence of the Lamb Burger

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Delicious ice cream with berries, peanut brittle and Whittakers dark chocolate

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Celia, Me, Valentina, Kate and Margaret enjoying our dessert

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Fabulous architecture in the Roxy 

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Movie merchandise gets changed often

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Lovely archway

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Vintage movie artwork on display down the halls

Later that evening we were taken to a secret location (Floyd's Cafe in Island Bay) for a Pop Up Dining experience (something I had never tried). Pop up dining is where chefs use someone elses kitchen to serve up food in a fun and exciting way. The dinner was amazing, though I had to leave early so missed out on dessert sadly. We were also treated to a cocktails mini master class by Justin McKenzie from Liquid Winks who served up a wickedly satisfying cocktail for all of us.

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Rustic and cute

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Justin McKenzie whips up some fresh cocktails

The conference was definitely every foodies dream come true! Chocolate, good food and drinks, what more could you ask for? All up I took 632 photos (don't worry I won't be posting them all!) But I do have lots more to share so stay tuned for the next two instalments of the fabulous NZ Food Bloggers Conference...

18 comments :

  1. Great reportage. Makes me realise how few photographs I took :o(

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    1. I took far too many! Haha! Still got two more posts to do too!

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  2. Hi Lydia, love the photos....they really capture the weekend. Was great to meet you & look forward to catching up sometime soon.

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    1. Hi Mairi!
      Was so lovely to meet you too! Thank you so much! Can't believe how many photos I took, still got two more posts to do too! Argh!!

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  3. Oh wow, look at all that chocolate! Yumo :-)

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    1. It was pretty amazing chocolate! I missed your Skype about your blog unfortunately but looking forward to reading up your latest post though!

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  4. Crikey, that Spanish chocolatier is a bit of a dish. No wonder you were all swooning - I thought it was just the chocolate!

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    1. You think he was yummy, wait till you see pics of the pastry chef! (don't worry, photos coming soon ;-)

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  5. Feeling rather flat after such a weekend so your post was just what I needed. Shame that Lucy (Kitchen Maid) couldn't hear the accents of the two chefs, then she'd be swooning too! I agree with Domestic Executive - you have such a lot of good photos. Great post and look back on a fantastic event and so lovely to meet you!

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    1. Hi Lesley!
      It was so lovely to meet you too! I was SO tired after that weekend. I think I actually took two days to recover! Thank you for your kind words!

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  6. Great post Lydia... I had forgotten quite how much chocolate there was on Friday morning... Jemma @ timeforalittlesomething.com

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    1. Hi Jemma!
      It was so nice to meet you! Yes there was a heck of a lot of chocolate wasn't there?!

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  7. Looks like you had quite a feed. I would love to try some of those great looking chocolates!

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    1. Hi Spencer,
      You'll have to check out next years NZ Chocolate Festival! It was amazing!

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  8. Hi Lydia - great post, and some really good photos. I must admit I was a bit lazy, and although I'd brought my good camera to the conference, I really didn't use it ... just a few rather poor snaps with my iPhone instead. Still it was an amazing weekend and it was lovely to meet you and a whole lot of other "new to me" bloggers.

    Sue

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    1. Hey Sue,

      It was hard to remember to take photos of everything, most of the time when everyone else got out their cameras/phones that's when I realised it was a good photo opportunity!

      Yes it was a lovely weekend wasn't it? I had such a great time meeting you and other food bloggers, I really can't wait til next years conference!

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  9. Great post Lydia, it's nice to read all the blogs and see photos after the event, it was such a whirlwind of a weekend.

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    1. Thanks Alison! It was such a great weekend, thank you for all your organising and input, was so well done!

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