BlogHer Food '10 Agenda

Day 1: Friday, October 8, 2010
Time Event
8:30am - 9:15am Day One Breakfast
9:15am - 9:45am Welcome, featuring BlogHer founders, Elisa Camahort Page and Lisa Stone
10:00am - 11:15am Values – A Good Food Fight: Food safety, food policy, food equality

Become a powerful agent of change. You can go to battle for the food issues that are most important to you: school lunch reform, food safety, critical food policy, and more. In this session, Jennifer Maiser from the Eat Local Challenge moderates a conversation with Kristin Hyde from Good Food Strategies and Naomi Starkman from CivilEats that will arm you with helpful tools from their personal arsenals to help you find timely, accurate information and ways to make a difference…whether in your own kitchen or while communicating with policymakers.

Visuals - Food Photography for Food Bloggers: How to capture your best photo in restaurants and your home kitchens

Photographing food in your home kitchen or restaurants can be challenging, but it's not impossible to capture great shots. With a few simple photography principles, tips on lighting and efficient techniques on making the most of your surroundings, you can create mouth watering photographs in your kitchen or restaurant environment. Diane Cu and Todd Porter, the writers and photographers behind White on Rice Couple, are back to help you make the most of a restaurant setting or turn your home kitchen into a "mini-studio", using simple photographic guidelines to capture your best shot, to tell your food story (and still have a warm meal).

Vocation - New to Food Blogging? How Do You Stand Out In a Crowded Food Blogosphere?

In an increasingly competitive space, how do you stand out among food bloggers? We've done panels before featuring long-time food bloggers who have achieved growth and success. This time we'll talk to food bloggers who have shown growth and success in two years or less, despite entering a crowded field. Learn how these food bloggers accomplish their goals by building a strategy, understanding how to drive traffic and building their personal brand. Natanya Anderson, who dishes at 20-month-old recipe site Fete and Feast and resource blog Austin Food Lovers, will moderate a conversation with Marla Meridith, who launched Family Fresh Cooking 18 months ago; Amanda Rettke, who created I Am Baker less than one year ago, Carrie Vitt, author of the two-year-old blog and new cookbook, Deliciously Organic. Despite the changing food blogging landscape, these bloggers show that you can still find a way to stand out and make a name for yourself. And they're willing to share their secret sauce!

Voice - Writing Tips: The Basic Tools in Any Writer's Gear Bag

Even without an MFA in hand you can author an evocative food blog, where the writing is as tasty as the food you're writing about. Honor your passion for food by serving great writing as its accompaniment. Consider this session part one of a two-part series on writing for food blogs. Join award-winning blogger-author-journalists...Hunter Angler Gardener Cook Hank Shaw, Cheryl Sternman Rule, the blogger behind 5 Second Rule and S.j Sebellin-Ross, who writes at Forme of Cury...for a session that’s about the basics we too often forget: Good clean writing and editing, brainstorming and storyboarding, proper attribution, and much more.

11:15am - 12:00pm Demos and Sampling One
12:00pm - 1:30pm Lunch: Innovator Interview: Dominique Crenn

In addition to being a recent winner of Iron Chef America and a Michelin-starred chef, we are fortunate that Dominique Crenn is the Executive Chef of Luce, the premier restaurant at the Hotel Intercontinental, our conference venue. Carolyn Jung of will interview Dominique during this Innovator Interview.

1:30pm - 2:45pm Values - Our Food Future: Kids, Cooking and Health

The nation’s obesity rates have never been higher, and the epidemic isn’t limited to adults: children are affected, too. But some bloggers are out to change not only how kids think about food, but also what they’re eating. Elaine Wu, from Virgo Blue (and BlogHer) moderates a discussion with Diana Johnson (aka DianasaurDishes) who is pulling a Jamie Oliver in her own community and Laura Sampson from Hey, What's For Dinner Mom?...who helps parents strategize on how to get their kids to eat more healthfully. Finally, this panel will feature Mrs. Q from Fed Up With School Lunch, the anonymous school employee who is documenting what it's like to eat just what the kids eat every single day for a year.

Visuals - Taking It to the Next Level: Professionalizing Your Photography

You've gotten to a certain level with your photography. You're good at it; you know it, and increasingly other people do too. They are interested in your work or encouraging you to pursue photography more professionally.This session is led by Jen Yu from Use Real Butter and Helene Dujardin of Tartelette, who were both in different fields before transitioning into full-time photographers, and who will delve into the nitty-gritty of what this profession is really like. According to them the photography itself is probably only 20% of the job of being a professional photographer. As with any consultant or small business owner, the devil is in lots of details. Learn how to plan your workflow, build your portfolio, make business contacts, represent yourself as a professional photographer, attach value to your work, and essentially become a sales & marketing representative of your own work.

Vocation - How Bloggers Work with Brands and Media: Advanced Techniques to Professionalize Your Blogging

The business of blogging has never been more complicated…there are a myriad of ways to use blogs to earn income and promote your career. These include advertising, freelancing, social media consulting, food writing, recipe development, photography or styling gigs, becoming brand ambassadors or spokespeople, hosting giveaways, reviewing products, becoming ghost-bloggers, working directly with brands on sponsorship or marketing campaigns, managing social networks, creating multimedia…the list is long. Bloggers act as both editor-in-chief and publisher of their online media empire. This session will deal with how to diversify your professional blogging and how your blogging can enhance your profession. Get down to business with Jaden Hair from, Georgia Pellegrini, Anupy Singla from and David Leite from

Voice - Storytelling

Once you've had your refresher course on all the basics of good, quality writing, it's time to bring out your unique voice. Some bloggers excel at telling compelling stories around food that put readers in a specific time and place, preferably with an emotional hook. Whether using words alone, or enhanced by images, telling a story is more than just an exercise in creativity, and it's not just for fiction writing. For food bloggers, it’s a smart strategy to draw new readers in and build ongoing reader loyalty. Learn how to convey the passion you feel and find your authentic persona in this session, from bloggers and storytellers Rebecca Crump of and Michael Procopio, with writing coach Dianne Jacob at the helm.

3:00pm - 4:15pm Values - Blogger Ethics: What are your rights and responsibilities, especially in a post-FTC Guidelines world?

Last year the FTC began enforcing guidelines that brought blogger ethics into sharp focus, and every food blogging segment, including food bloggers, began to consider best practices. BlogHer co-founder Elisa Camahort Page moderates a healthy discussion (and perhaps debate) about where food bloggers are drawing the line...and where that line should be, when it comes to working with brands, publishers and vendors. She'll be joined by Brooke Burton, who co-authored the controversial Food Blog Code of Ethics, Kathy Strahs, who used her blog and her marketing background to form relationships with major brands, and Carolyn Jung, a blogger with a traditional media background, to discuss where you stand, and why it matters.

Visuals - Multimedia: Be Your Own Food Network

You love to try new ingredients while creating in the kitchen…but have you considered adding new ingredients to your blog? As your audience expands, engage them with more than compelling copy and great recipes: add engaging social networking, entertaining podcasts, breathtaking photography and exclusive video. In this session, Jaden Hair from The Steamy Kitchen, Nadia G. from Bitchin’ Kitchen and Dani Spies will speak about the evolution of their blogs and share tips to help you become a multimedia maven.

Vocation - SEO for Food Bloggers (Beginner Level)

In that ever-more-crowded food blogging world, SEO has become a critical component to stand out from the crowd and bring new visitors to your site and everything you have to offer. Publishing great food-related content that’s SEO-friendly (but not stilted or stuffed) doesn’t have to be complicated. SEO is all about understanding the details (and potential impact) of keywords, search engine semantics, why variants are important, and knowing what will work for your blog.Improving your SEO can have direct impact on your bottom line. Join Wasabimon, Stephanie Stiavetti, and Stephanie Manley for a straight-forward discussion about SEO that is specifically geared towards food bloggers and their particular needs and content.

Voice - The Social You: How do you maintain your singular voice across all your platforms and media, from through the lens to 140 characters?

Your blog is the center of your online universe, but in this age of multiple social networking tools, it's got a lot of planets orbiting it. How do Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and other tools help extend your voice and your personal brand, while being more than a glorified RSS feed -- or worse, coming off as spammy or self-serving? Join Sean Timberlake and Ree Drummond and Aida Mollenkamp to talk about how you can leverage various social networking tools in a way that adds value and authenticity to your community.

4:15pm - 5:00pm Demos and Sampling Two
5:00pm - 5:45pm Innovator Interview: Aida Mollenkamp

Aida Mollenkamp is the epitome of a modern food star. A Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, Aida started out her media career as a founding editor of venerable food website Chow. Within a few years, she has attained regular shows on both the Food Network and the Cooking Channel. Her Food Network show, Ask Aida, centers around interaction with her audience via the web, bringing the spirit of the social web to television. Aida maintains a robust online presence outside her cooking shows, and even finds time to work with a non-profit dedicated to addressing child hunger and helping kids learn how to eat and cook healthily. With BlogHer co-founder and CEO, Lisa Stone, at the helm, we'll explore Aida's evolution from chef to online writer to multimedia personality.

6:30pm - 9:00pm BlogHer/Food Fete Welcome Party

Friday evening we’ve partnered with Food Fete to produce our Welcome Party where we’ll be showcasing local and artisanal food vendors in a fun and festive atmosphere. The party will take place across the street from the InterContinental at Elan (839 Howard Street). Food and drink will be served while you mix and mingle with these amazing purveyors (and sample some of their delicious products of course!)

Day 2: Saturday, October 9, 2010
Time Event
8:30am - 9:15am Day Two Breakfast
9:15am - 9:45am Day Two Welcome
10:00am - 11:15am Values - Urban Farming

What started with a few chickens in a couple of urban backyards has turned into a national phenomenon that is changing the way Americans relate to and consume their food. This panel brings together some of the bloggers leading this revolution. Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook Hank Shaw moderates the conversation with Agrarianista Joshua Stark, Margo True, Sunset Magazine editor and "One Block Diet" blogger, and Novella Carpenter, author of "Farm City". They'll promote plant, garden and animal husbandry, and can inspire you to create a deeper connection to and more personal relationship with the food you eat and serve. Join this session discuss how to get started and what you should consider beforehand.

Visuals - Food Styling

An instinctive eye can certainly help you create beautiful food images, but consistent and beautiful food styling also requires understanding the specific intricacies when food is your subject, not to mention strong creative thinking skills. In this session, Delores Custer, Adam Pearson and Tami Hardeman share the techniques of their trade and discuss successful styling tips, such as the use of light, composition and props, plus plating, assembling for the camera, considering camera angle and color combinations. Together, this trio will help you create visually-appealing and mouthwatering images.

Vocation - Recipe Writing

The majority of food bloggers attending BlogHer Food include recipes in their blogging repertoire. What makes a good recipe? What assumptions can you make about the readers' cooking level, such as whether they know how to "fold" or "blanch"? What does it take to take your recipe-creation skills to the next level and actually be hired to be a recipe developer or tester? What are the challenges in creating recipes that are truly yours rather than those that are "inspired by" or "adapted from", and when is it worth the effort? And if you do so: Can you copyright a recipe to keep others from reposting it as their own? Join author Elana Amsterdam, who blogs at, food editor Jennie Perillo, who writes at and personal chef Gaby Dalkin, who pens to discuss the ins and outs of recipe writing.

Voice - Food Diplomats and Cuisine Ambassadors

As food bloggers, we can be profoundly inspired and renewed by the foods that make us each so different...foods we grew up with; foods that speak to our locality; foods that represent who we are as much as what we eat. These dishes represent our cultures, geography, ancestors, adopted philosophies and ethnic diversity. We write in ways that reflect our desire to preserve and share personal food memories and recipes. To pass them on, to our own families but also to introduce the foods we love to our readers who may not be familiar with them. Do you consider yourself a cuisine ambassador? Elaine Wu of Virgo Blue and moderates this conversation with Donna Pierce from, Laura Beck from and Srivalli Jetti, from Cooking 4AllSeasons, about how you can inspire others to enjoy a more diverse diet.

11:15am - 12:00pm Demos and Sampling Two
12:00pm - 2:00pm Excursion to Farmer's Market and Ferry Building
2:30pm - 3:45pm Values - The Old-School Arts: Canning, Preserving, Foraging

Let’s reclaim the old-school arts, one blog at a time. Canning, preserving and foraging are cropping up again, from sour cherry jam to pickled okra, and are bringing about an era of bloggers who are committed to the revival of “putting up” food. Sean Timberlake of Hedonia and Punk Domestics moderates a conversation with Audra Wolfe from Doris and Jilly Cook, and Marisa McClellan from to discuss how blogging communities can help you reclaim the skills your grandmother may never have passed down!

Visuals - Food Photography: Think Outside the Plate

The food we photograph is presumably for human consumption, but how many of us share that human element in our food photography? Food photography can extend beyond the plate to share emotional connections and cultural stories. From open-air markets to foods straight off the cart, Penny De Los Santos will introduce you to thinking about food beyond the plate – combining photography, people, food and geography -- to help tell a richer food story.

Vocation - Do you have a cookbook in you?

If you're developing recipes, you may be harboring the dream of publishing your own cookbook. Whether you're a food blogger, or any other kind, for that matter, blogging and authoring a book are different beasts, each with its own unique challenges. In this session, we’ll discuss the distinctions between writing a food blog and a cookbook, all while maintaining an authentic voice and engaging separate, simultaneous audiences. Join authors Shauna James Ahern from Gluten Free Girl, Nancy Baggett from Kitchen Lane, Dorie Greenspan from, Susan Russo from Food Blogga, and Justin Schwartz, Senior Editor at Wiley, to discover whether you have a cookbook in you.

Voice - The Value of Building Community

No blog is an island; some level of community exists in every corner of the Internet, on every niche blog. But if that community isn’t continually nurtured and maintained, can it thrive? Let’s talk about supporting and giving voice to your community, and how it’s beneficial to you as the community organizer and to the overall food blogging community. Elise Bauer, already running her leading food blog, created the Food Blog Alliance. Considered an expert at growing by giving back, Elise moderates a discussion with Kristen Doyle, from Dine and Dish, who also launched the Adopt a Blogger program and the group food photography site, Culinary Snapshot, Ree Drummond from The Pioneer Woman who started her own online community, Tasty Kitchen and Alaina Browne, founder and General Manager of group blog Serious Eats. They'll discuss the hows and whys of building your community. You may feel like your blog keeps you plenty busy on its own, but there's no denying the power and value of giving your community a bigger voice.

4:00pm - 5:00pm Demos and Sampling Four
5:00pm - 6:00pm Closing Keynote: The Soul, Passion and Heart of a Chef

Setting themselves apart from the chefs and cookbooks we grew up with, many of today's foodblogger-author-chefs infuse their writing with a sense of intimacy and authenticity. They are sharing their lives, not just their recipes. They are giving us a peek into their souls, not just their pantries. We'll talk to some food bloggers who are blogging with as much candor and sentiment as any other blogger journaling their life, and find out why they chose that approach and what the consequences are...from forging more loyal reader relationships to generating the kind of online judgement not usually expected outside the parenting or political blogging realm. Moderated by BlogHer's co-founder and COO, Elisa Camahort Page, find out what makes Shauna Ahern, Molly Wizenberg and Michael Ruhlman tick, and how they share that on their blogs.

7:00pm - 10:00pm Closing Party

This year BlogHer is sponsoring an official closing bash hosted by Ree Drummond, Jaden Hair and Elise Bauer, the hosts of last year's after-party. We’re thrilled to be partnering with them to bring you an amazing closing party at the California Culinary Academy, home of Le Cordon Bleu.