Last night was Tech ‘n’ Taste, the food blogging workshop hosted by TalkTalk for budding food bloggers such as myself. As well as a series of helpful and inspiring talks, there was also a small exhibition from a range of food and drink companies offering fantastic tasty samples (as well as quite unique giveaways – see below for more details).
The speakers all specialised in a certain area, offering advice on issues related to blogging. Elisabeth Winkler, author of Real Food Lover was on hand to tackle the nitty-gritty on how to write a good and interesting blog (including tips from her ‘Writers’ Rules’ – available on her blog). Lee Smallwood provided useful advice on optimising search engines to your advantage, for example adding comments which help to add value to other blogs but also drive traffic towards your own (however, not to be confused or used as spamming). My favourite talk of the evening was by professional ‘food bomber’ Giles Phelps (visit his site for an explanation of the term!), who demonstrated how you can create fantastic food photos with very simple technology (for example, a smart phone and a decent app such as Hipstamatic).
The massive highlight of the evening was the food and drink sampling. There was a stunning range of companies who were lovely to chat to and obviously very passionate about their product. Hummingbird Bakery was there with their autumn ‘Carnival’ range, and I managed to sneak a few cupcakes home (all in the name of research!) including Strawberry Milkshake, Jam Doughnut and Toffee Popcorn. They were all devoured about 5 minutes after the below photo was taken……
I really enjoyed meeting the guys who have very very recently (literally in the last week) set up House Bites, the new way to order takeaway. With a network of chefs, you go onto their website, find a chef in your local area and order homemade food (to restaurant standards) which is delivered to your door. All chefs have to be of a certain level to be included in their directory, and it is all based on ratings so if a chef should get bad ratings then they will be removed. It is such an innovative concept as it supports the local community and ensures that the food you are eating is a lot healthier. Definitely one to keep your eye on!
Tea Pigs were at the event, a company I have been wanting to meet for a while. As well as being really bubbly and helpful, their range of teas was impressive, and all the flavours looked yummy. I sampled their Peppermint and Liquorice tea which was sweet and delicious, and took a cup of just peppermint to bed with me last night (and had a lovely night’s sleep). I look forward to buying some more of their tea at the weekend!
The most innovative stall of the evening was Capricorn Somerset Goats Cheese. I strongly dislike goats’ cheese, however I decided to give it a go and it was deliciously mild and creamy (similar to Brie or Camembert). Their twist on the evening was by giving you the opportunity to re-create one of their cheese recipes. They had a little recipe book from which I indicated which cheese recipes I would like to make, and then they are going to courier all the ingredients to me next week to try at home. Follow their ‘goats’ on twitter @EthelTheGoat and @BerylTheGoat (and watch this space for my post next week about cooking their recipes!).
And to finish off, definitely my favourite food stall was Helsham, a luxury chocolate company based in Leicester. Their Chilli Chocolate had the perfect kick, and we got to take home some of their luxury truffles which I will be sampling with a cup of tea at some point over the weekend.
As well as all the above, I also got the chance to meet fellow bloggers! Some I had already met over Twitter, such as the lovely What Kate Baked (a great blog for those with a sweet-tooth), and new interesting bloggers such as A Glass of Wine and A Good Book, an amazing new blog which matches wine and books together (and will no doubt get you thinking about pairings of your own!)
All in all, I found Tech n Taste to be not only interesting but also really helpful in showing how I can really advance my blog, not only for myself but also for my wonderful readers. So I will be trying out all the tactics I have learnt, and I hope that you enjoy them!