IFBC 2015 Part I: Food Swap

by Mary on September 22, 2015

apricot almond energy bites

apricot almond energy bites

IFBC! I could write ten posts about this year’s International Food Blogger’s Conference. With all the passionate presenters and bloggers and their wealth of knowledge about food, writing, and photography, I’ve gotten a powerful knowledge infusion that’s a little overwhelming– and I’m not talking about Chef Jeremy Cooper’s talk on Cooking with Cannabis. I got to meet so many food bloggers this year, including Emily Paster of West of the Loop who organized a food swap for us. Stayed up the night before making these apricot almond chia energy bites.

Energy bites labelled and in hand, ready to go.

Energy bites labelled and in hand, ready to go.

At lunch we set out our foods along with bid cards where we could describe our offerings and express interest in items we might like to receive. Emily started a food swap in Chicago and has a book about food swaps in production. She was hoping to inspire others to start food swaps and gave us some tips on how to organize one.

Her rules clarify that a food swap is a private event, like a cookie exchange, not an open market. She recommended to give out tickets to each attendee for entrance, prohibit buying or selling of items, and ensure that every item was personally made by the attendees.

food swap

IFBC food swap

Among the items on offer were several varieties of toffee, including green tea toffee and a vegan coconut-based toffee by Dr Jean Layton (sampled most- they were excellent), ancho chile smoked salt toffee by Emily (regret not trying that one), and a variety of jams and sauces. (Quality caramels must be a trend– we later were treated to some fine samples from Jonboy Caramels.) Check out the incredible labeling and packaging on this beautiful collection of jams. I think (can sort of half-read the label) they must be by Carrie of Fresh From Oregon.

a beautiful selection of jams

jams by Fresh from Oregon

Our little food swap was a fun introduction to the idea and a nice chance to meet other bloggers, but I can see how a big swap would provide more matches for the actual swapping. I’ve since found out that Seattle has a monthly swap sponsored by Seattle Tilth called Backyard Barter. You might want to poke around and see if there’s something similar in your community, or follow Emily’s lead and start one.

I had plenty of leftovers since I brought about 80 bites and we only had one table of food to swap. I left them out for other bloggers to pick up and sample and was happy that about half of the energy bites disappeared, with positive feedback from folks who’d tried them.

Brunch with new friends at Loulay didn’t suck, either:

Roasted Root Vegetables with Poached Egg, Hollandaise, and Harissa

Root Vegetable Hash with Poached Egg, Harissa, and Hollandaise Sauce

Loulay is Thierry Ratureau’s newest restaurant, conveniently located right in the same downtown Sheraton as our conference. Love the guy (he cheerily dished out his food at our Culinary Expo) and wouldn’t want to pass up anything he makes.

Note to readers: I committed to write three posts about IFBC in order to receive the blogger rate for the conference.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily Paster September 22, 2015 at 1:38 am

What an awesome post! I’m so glad that you joined in the food swap and I hope that it inspired you!
Emily Paster recently posted..Everything You Need to Know about Olive OilMy Profile


mary September 23, 2015 at 12:09 am

Definitely, just had one of Myrissa’s delicious toffees!


Eva September 22, 2015 at 1:51 pm

So jealous that you got to go to IFBC! I would love to attend a blogger’s conference some day but just haven’t been able to make it. Can’t wait to read about the rest of your time there!
Eva recently posted..Lemon blueberry Greek yogurt muffinsMy Profile


mary September 23, 2015 at 12:08 am

If you want to, I’m sure you will get to one eventually. Having IFBC right in my area where I don’t need to get a hotel makes it very easy for me, that plus the blogger rate which makes it quite reasonable. Next year it will be in Sacramento so we’ll see, though I may be hooked!


Susan | LunaCafe September 24, 2015 at 1:27 am

Thank you! So glad you shared your experience at this event. I’ve been wondering what it’s all about. Would love to participate next year.
Susan | LunaCafe recently posted..Feast Portland 2015: Oregon Bounty Grand TastingMy Profile


mary September 25, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Next year is in Sacramento, I’m thinking about it!


Erica September 24, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Yum!! That food swap looks amazing! I’m so sorry I missed it. I couldn’t fit much in my suitcase, but I hope we do it again next year since SAC is so close to me. That bennie looks devine too – wow!
Erica recently posted..International Food Bloggers Conference: Year 2 Part 1My Profile


mary September 25, 2015 at 2:44 pm

If we do it next year, giving folks more lead time, I’m sure it will be much bigger. The bennie was very light and fluffy!


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