I was telling my lovely friend Jamie Schler about Food Wine Conference in a video chat this morning. About how much we missed her and how hard it was to say goodbye to everyone on Sunday. I told her we were all hugging and either welling up or spilling right over. She said, “Like summer camp,” and that is it exactly.
Unless your mom was Super Mean and makes you attend camp against your will, most kids go to summer camp to swim in the lake, canoe, sing, hike and play Spin the Bottle once the counselors go to bed. There, they meet up with other kids who are also at camp to swim in the lake, canoe, sing, hike and play Spin the Bottle once the counselors have gone to bed. Friendships forged at “sleep-away camp” can last a lifetime, even after only one summer of spending time together, because these kids are all of one tribe. Shared interests, shared passions and even shared growing pains make for strong and lasting friendships.
This is what Food Wine Conference is like. We all go to the conference because we work in our pajamas, pitch to brands, feverishly work to improve our photography and social media games, and think about food almost constantly. At the conference, we meet up with others who work in their pajamas, pitch to brands, feverishly work to improve their photography and social media games, and think about food almost constantly. When we all converge on the Big Pink Palace that is Rosen Shingle Creek, we have found our tribe. Nobody else understands what we do like members of our tribe. Not our oldest and closest friends, not our former or “day job” co-workers, neither our kids nor our parents, and often not even our spouses or significant others.
What we do is still pretty new. It’s still a little bit Wild West. We’re all forging our own way in a new industry that doesn’t enjoy the time-honored legitimacy of college programs, of degree tracks, of a long and storied history. We don’t live in a world where, when asked by their auntie or uncle what they want to be when they grow up, a kid will look up with passion shining in their eyes and say, “I want to be a….Food Blogger!”
But, if you are or were one of those kids who wants to share your passion about food with others, either as a hobby or as a job, know that you will find your camp buddies, your kindred spirits, at Food Wine Conference (click for schedule).
Form and strengthen relationships with your peers and with brand representatives, learn to up your photography and food styling game, overcome your fear of shooting video, explore the ins and outs of social media platforms, both (relatively) old and brand new, find inspiration, camaraderie and of course excellent food and wine at Food Wine held at the impressive Rosen Shingle Creek.
While there are plenty of other blogging conferences to attend, I return to Rosen Shingle Creek and the Food Wine Conference to hang out with my people, my camp buddies, my tribe. And we’ll laugh and eat and drink and talk into the night, and when it’s time to leave, we’ll hold each other tightly, and we might even cry, because it’s so hard to say goodbye to folks who really get you. Please join us next year, and you’ll see that it’s true.
I also want to give a shout out to Workman Publishing. I was honored to be their brand ambassador this year. Thank you so much for sharing copies of The Vegetable Butcher or Project Smoke with us all (affiliate links). That cauliflower hummus from The Vegetable Butcher was pretty happening!