Sunday, October 06, 2013

IFBC Post #3 Photography and UrbanSpoon

One of the main things I wanted to get out of this conference was tips on making my food photography better. I struggle with natural light in my kitchen in the winter and have too much direct light in the summer. One of my favorite sessions of the conference was the Live Cooking Demo by Chef John Mitzewich of Food Wishes and the A-Z's of food photography with renowned New York Times food photographer  Andrew Scrivani. Both were hilarious in the demo and both gave fantastic tips on food prep and on photography tips. Andrew's set up for food photography is pretty amazing and he uses all kinds of props. However, he did say he uses a lot of cardboard from his T-shirts to reflect light. I, unfortunately, was not one of the lucky few to get up close and personal with the prepped food for photography but I got something even better!
IFBC teamed up with  Bar Sajor on Urbanspoon who put together 25 intimate dinners around Seattle. I think there was a little apprehension about these dinners from a lot of people. Some people brought family with them and wanted to be able to eat with them, others had specific blogger friends they wanted to share a meal with. There was one group specifically formed to be gluten free. I guess it is a good thing I am not afraid to go with it as I jumped on my assigned bus and just went. My group was missing a couple of people but I ended up in the group with both Chef John and Andrew Scrivani! Not only did I get to have an amazing dinner at Bar Sajor in Pioneer Square, I got to talk more with both of these fantastically talented people not just about food and photography but about family as well! Plus I got to meet several other awesome bloggers who shared some of their story! I sat next to the fabulous Daytona Strong and across from Nico Vera of Pisco Trail. I thought this was a fantastic event and hope they will do it again.
Oh the irony of sitting with a renowned food photographer and taking rather poor quality food photos with my phone camera in extremely low light. Chef John held his phone camera over the dishes so I could get at least some light. :) We had a lovely 7 course meal that included wine with every course and a cocktail at the beginning of dinner. Anyone who has read my blog or knows me in person knows I am not a big drinker. I tasted my cocktail and it didn't really appeal to me. It seems that sipping vinegars are a new trend and that is what my cocktail tasted like. I like vinegar but apparently not for drinking. I did taste a tiny sip of each wine with each course but did not drink a lot. Confession: alcohol hurts my stomach the second it touches it. That is one of the biggest reasons I am not a big drinker. These wines went well with the meal and I am glad everyone else enjoyed them. :)
1st course: mild to spicy salami, pickled okra
2nd course:pickled peppers and smoked yogurt
3rd course: sweet peppers, shashito, lipstick peppers, Asian pears
4th course: salmon beets nasturtiums
5th course: ricotta tart with heirloom tomatoes
6th course: roast chicken, kale, roasted apple
7th course: Dessert! caramalized butter ice cream and chocolate chip cookie
And of course Espresso with rock sugar

Each dish was delicious and expertly prepared. At the end of the meal our server brought the chef for us to meet as well. Bobby and I love to eat out and it would be fun to go back to Bar Sajor with him if we get back out to Seattle sometime soon!

The other lovely bloggers at our dinner were:
Daytona Strong who writes A Scandinavian Food Blog and writes for  a travel blog called Wanderlust and Lipstick.
Our spunky, on top of it hostess Myrissa Yamashiro of Almost Fit to Eat.
Nico Vera of Pisco Trail. Not only does he love food, and take meticulous notes, he also loves to run in the mountains. We got to talk a bit about Marin Headlands where he runs sometimes and where I went to science camp! :)
Sutee Dee of Project Dinner Party, who throws dinner parties with different themes each month. He might like my Spam and Anchovies Cooking Club! :)

This was a lovely dinner with lovely company. I would love to do this again!


  1. Karen, It was such a pleasure to meet you at the IFBC. Nice to get to know some of my Dorista friends. I am so jealous that you got to have dinner with Chef John and Andrew Scrivani. That had to be a highlight of the weekend. I loved all the tips that they gave during their presentation! My favorite session!

  2. WOW!! It looks like you had an incredibly fun and filling dinner too! :) How lucky to wind up being able to spend more time with Chef John & Andrew! This was a fun part of the conference, wasn't it?

  3. Hi Karen,

    Your first post just appeared on Urbanspoon! Check it out:

    I encourage you to claim your blog, which allows you to add a picture and change some settings. The blog photo shows up next to your posts wherever they appear on Urbanspoon. Here's how to claim:

    - Make sure you're logged into Urbanspoon

    - Go to your blog page on our site:

    - Click "Claim your blog" in the left sidebar

    After you submit it, we may contact you to verify your claim. Check your spam email folder if your claim hasn't gone through in a day or two. You'll also find some interesting badges and widgets on your Urbanspoon blog page - look in the right sidebar.

    If you have any questions, please contact me via email.



  4. Gosh your Urban Spoon dinner sounded amazing...the menu was terrific and you had a terrific bunch of table mates :)