Eat Drink Blog Conference 2012 Part 1: Adelaide Central Market Tour & Dianne Jacob workshop

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Eat Drink Blog 2012: Part One | Part Two | Part Three

As much as I would love to be spending more of my time eating and blogging like most food bloggers I have a day job.  I am a veterinarian who is as passionate about my career as I am about food. In order to stay abreast of this ever evolving field I regularly attend veterinary conferences and congresses. Forever thirsty for new information and ways to better practice medicine, these conferences are often quite intense for me and I have been known to go through a whole biro pen from furiously scribbling down extra notes in the margins of our proceedings.

"Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Adelaide food blog""Eat Drink Blog" "Providore" "Adelaide Central Markets" "Dianne Jacob" "food blog conference" "EDB2012"

Sweet nothings including gluten free options at Providore

While I have been a vet for over ten years I have only been blogging for just over a year and my abilities to write and take photos still have a long way to go before I would consider myself “good”.  Keen to improve my skills as an amateur I was over the moon to be invited to join 80 fellow bloggers to attend the third annual Eat Drink Blog Conference (EDB) this year.  Better still the conference was to be held in Adelaide, the city I grew up in and where my darling mother still lives.

"The Yoghurt Shop" "Dairy" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Adelaide food blog""Eat Drink Blog" "Adelaide Central Markets" "Dianne Jacob" "food blog conference" "EDB2012"

Serving hungry bloggers samples of yoghurt at The Yoghurt Shop

Vets are not unsociable folk by any means; however the extroverts are few and far between meaning at a conference I would be lucky if I managed to network with a small handful of colleagues each time. In stark contrast, the energy and excitement amongst the Eat Drink Blog delegates was infectious.  Being more isolated in Perth, there were many bloggers that I had never met. Yet over the past twelve months together we have shared life’s ups and downs via our blogs and social media. Such a warm and welcoming bunch of people filled the room and I sensed a strong sense of community amongst us from the outset.

"Mushroom Mans’ Mushroom Shop" "mushrooms" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Adelaide food blog""Eat Drink Blog" "Adelaide Central Markets" "Dianne Jacob" "food blog conference" "EDB2012"

Mushroom Mans’ Mushroom Shop: I wish we had a mushroom shop in Perth! The variety was incredible. They also stocked black garlic; which was more like fruity vegemite than garlic

This year was to be the first year that the conference spanned over two days and I cannot sing enough praise to the dedicated team of people responsible for making Eat Drink Blog such a successful weekend.

A BIG shout out goes to Amanda, Christina, Alex, Celeste, Erin, Kirsty and Natasha; thanks for all your hard work and dedication. We are all so appreciative!

"San Jose" "Sevenhill Fine Foods" "chorizo" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Adelaide food blog""Eat Drink Blog" "Adelaide Central Markets" "Dianne Jacob" "food blog conference" "EDB2012"

San Jose at Sevenhill Fine Foods, Chorizo

"San Jose" "Sevenhill Fine Foods" "aged style prosciutto" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Adelaide food blog""Eat Drink Blog" "Adelaide Central Markets" "Dianne Jacob" "food blog conference" "EDB2012"

San Jose at Sevenhill Fine Foods, aged style prosciutto

I spent much of my adolescent years in Adelaide and the Adelaide Central Markets holds a very dear place in my heart. In the early stages of coping with a broken home, my Mum and I always found solace visiting the markets together.  Not only did our scant food budget thrive on the cheaper produce, the atmosphere and buzz was always enough for us to temporarily forget our pains and absorb the vitality. Returning to the markets some twenty years later conjured up a mix of emotions as this was one of the highlights of one of the darker times of my younger years.

"O’Connell’s Meat Market" "butcher" "smoked beef" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Adelaide food blog""Eat Drink Blog" "Adelaide Central Markets" "Dianne Jacob" "food blog conference" "EDB2012"

O’Connell’s Meat Market: It felt kind of weird walking behind the counter!

"Duck Gallantine" "Barossa Fine Foods" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Adelaide food blog""Eat Drink Blog" "Adelaide Central Markets" "Dianne Jacob" "food blog conference" "EDB2012"

Barossa Fine Foods: The duck gallantine. Boneless roasted duck filled with a pork and veal base, green peppercorns and garlic. Get some now!

Our tour included visits to a number of South Australian owned businesses and many of these were family run having been in the Central Markets for generations.

"Leos cheese" "woodside cheese" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Adelaide food blog""Eat Drink Blog" "Adelaide Central Markets" "Dianne Jacob" "food blog conference" "EDB2012"

Leo’s is a family owned and run business specialising in Australian and imported cheeses

"Leos cheese" "woodside cheese" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Adelaide food blog""Eat Drink Blog" "Adelaide Central Markets" "Dianne Jacob" "food blog conference" "EDB2012"

Leo’s Cheese of the Week

After the market tour, delegates had the option of joining a winery tour in the Barossa or McLaren Vale, or to participate in a food writing workshop by acclaimed writer Dianne Jacob.  As much as the imagery of a road trip with a bunch of food obsessed bloggers sounded like a dream come true, I genuinely want to improve my writing abilities and thus opted for the workshop.

"Dessert Story" "Taiwanese dessert" "crushed ice" "Gouger Street" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Adelaide food blog""Eat Drink Blog" "Adelaide Central Markets" "Dianne Jacob" "food blog conference" "EDB2012"

Kiwifruit crushed ice

Coming over from wet weather and storms in Perth I wasn’t prepared for the stifling hot day in Adelaide and prickled with sweat as I peeled off my layers walking in the sunshine.  Killing time before the workshop we fortunately stumbled upon Dessert Story; a Taiwanese dessert restaurant. Desperate for something refreshing I ordered the Kiwifruit crushed ice. To my surprise out came a towering pyramid of syrupy bright green ice with chunks of kiwifruit tumbling down the sides like cartoon lava.  I was unable to finish it partly due to its gargantuan size and partly due to its sickening sweetness.  Dessert Story on Urbanspoon

"chocolate coated coffee beans" "Perth Restaurant Reviews" "food photos" "Perth food blog" "food blog" "Chompchomp" "Gluten free" "Fructose malabsorption" "Adelaide food blog""Eat Drink Blog" "Adelaide Central Markets" "Dianne Jacob" "food blog conference" "EDB2012"

Essential study fuel: chocolate coated coffee beans and peanuts.

For anyone interested in becoming a food writer, be it a professional journalist or an unschooled blogger, I can highly recommend attending one of Dianne Jacob’s food writing workshops or at least reading her book “Will Write for Food”. She made us all reflect critically on our writing styles and gave us lots of techniques to improve our style and find our “voice”. Throughout her three hour workshop, she made us all participate in exercises which although hard to do on the spot were effective at illustrating her points.

This is my description of eating a sweet potato chip using adjectives, simile and some emotional significance. Bear in mind this had to be written on the spot!

“The crown of my tooth nearly shatters like glass under the impact of the snap.  I start to salivate as I anticipate a piquant brininess only to be left underwhelmed by the subtlety, wimpy aftermath.  I breathe a deep sigh of relief as memories of my recurrent nightmares of rotting teeth fade back to the distant cobwebs of my mind. “

The other big take home point for me was the fact that gushing is boring.  It’s easy to write a review about a fantastic meal and a terrible one.  But most meals are neither of these and fit into somewhat of a grey area. What distinguishes the more talented writers is their ability to write about these grey areas and still manage to capture their readers.

I have my new challenge.  Mark my words; there will be no more “delicious”, “yummy” or “cooked to perfection” on Chompchomp from here forth!

 

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9 Thoughts on “Eat Drink Blog Conference 2012 Part 1: Adelaide Central Market Tour & Dianne Jacob workshop

  1. Oh dea, I think I overuse the words delicious and cooked to perfection. Perhaps I need to do something about that…. Definitely sounds like you had an amazing time at the Eat Drink Blog conference :) I’m glad you’re sharing the experience with your fellow readers.

  2. Haha I said I wasn’t going to use delicious anymore either but I’m pretty sure it has popped up in a few recent post. It was lovely to meet you and oh what a weekend we had!
    I’m so glad I did the workshop though. Such a valuable experience.

  3. Woahhhhh!! Awesome man! Good job Chomp! Keep posting! I think you are doing really well at the moment. I might neeed to change my blog title soon. Everyone calls me WenY at work now =.=!!!!!!

  4. But I love the word Delicious!? Haha. I really do use too many adjectives when I write. I wish I had written more about the conference on my blog, but my day job is too busy as well! I’m loving you are a vet… I would never have guessed!

  5. @ Tina: totally, same here! Or I tend to say “deliciousness” does it count if its a made up variation of the word? Lol
    @ Claire: right back at you gorgeous, was fab to meet you too!
    @ Lizzy: thanks! Two more parts to come as my lack of succinct writing couldn’t fit it into one. Too much fun! Glad you enjoyed.
    @ Tania: I was gutted we barely got to chat. Definitely have to next time! X
    @ WenY: Naw, thanks, its been such a wonderful journey so far, what are you planning on rename it to?
    @ Amanda: lol I hide it well. It sneaks out from time to time!

  6. Just read all your posts abut Eat.Drink.Blog and relived what a marvelous time we had with your gorgeous photos. I’m so glad you enjoyed my workshop. I’m always impressed by what people come up with on the spot. I think it’s really hard to write under pressure like that. Thanks so much for the mention.

    Cheers!
    Dianne

    • Hi Dianne,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and having a read. You truly inspired me to lift my game and injected new enthusiasm into something I already really enjoyed! Hope you can return to Australia again one day!

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