Wednesday, June 4, 2014

TechMunch NYC 2014

To say I had a great time at this conference is a major understatement. So happy I made the decision to ditch my plans to attend BlogHer in Miami and signed up for this conference instead. It was local. It was one day. No schlepping on a plane. More intimate setting. Best of all, no missing out on one of our beloved weekends at our PA house. It worked out perfectly.

The best part (aside from the food and I will get to that later) are the fun and interesting people I met and all the great information imparted.

I have never been to a blogging conference before. It has been on my bucket list for years but the timing never seemed to work out, especially when I lived in Germany.  When I was visiting stateside, the dates were off and the international ones all seem to arrive at a time when my husband was home on leave from the UN Mission in Iraq.

Babette Pepaj, founder of TechMunch put together several wonderful panels of speakers, all who were fun and highly approachable. We laughed, we took lots of notes and we ate. OMG did we eat. Babette and the fabulous sponsors fed us like it was our last day on earth.

I love hearing about people's journeys in life and their stories. It's the byproduct of 20 plus years spent interviewing guests as a daytime talk show producer. There were lots of clever and talented people in the room, all with interesting trajectories. The common thread, aside from being food related, was most followed their passion leading them to satisfying success in their careers.

The topics of the panels were Getting Organized: How the Pros Create and Distribute Mouthwatering Content,  This was led my Nichelle Stephens of Cupcakes Take the Cake (who also co-produced the conference), and featured (from left to right) Siobhan Wallace of Blondie & Brownie, Chitra Agrawal of The ABCDs of Cooking, and Emily Farris of Feed Me Creative.

How to Repurpose Your Content and Making Money With Your Blog content was the second panel moderated by Karen Seiger of the Markets of New York. Participants were Dan Pashman of The Sporkful, cookbook author Jennifer Perillo (In Jennie's Kitchen , Food Curated's Liza de Guia, and Emily Fleischaker from BuzzFeed.

For the How to Leverage Social Media panel, Steve Green of Foodie Chats was beamed in via Skype with some helpful social media tips.

There was also a funny, informative and dishy talk expertly moderated by Nicole Taylor, the Food Culturist, with former NY Times staff reporter, Allen Salkin regarding his book "From Scratch: Inside The Food Network". I bought a copy off him on the spot.

Erik Deutsch from ExcelPR and Babette (cutest engaged couple btw) also the founder of Bakespace, gave a very intriguing presentation on her newest project, Cookbook Cafe. A great concept where bloggers can create and market their own cookbooks within a DIY publishing platform. It's a unique product and worth checking out if you are at all interested in publishing a cookbook.

The last part covered some great tips from two talented photographers, Clay Williams and Evi Abeler from Whip & Click. Clay focused on social media photos and Evi on tips for shooting food.

Some creative talented people I had the pleasure of sharing a table with were, Sonali from Leaf & Lemon,  Urvashee Patel from DessArts and Gwynn Galvin, Swirls of Flavor.  

And it's always a blast to hang out with Miss Vicki from the Vicki Winters Show and chat with the Diva that Ate NY, Jackie Gordon

Ok Now let's circle back to the food. We walked in to a spread of croissants, crumb cake and muffins.

Driscoll's was there to provide some amazing berry support. Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries for starters.

Lunch was an epic spread of creative sandwiches from Tom Colicchio's 'Wichcraft,  debuting their summer menu, a with pole caught tuna, tasty chicken salad among others

Robicelli's bakery showed up with am embarrassment of riches, three flavors of cupcakes (hello Tres Leches), Blueberries & Cream bars, tasty, adorbs Chocolate Cream Pie Shots and definitely THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE I HAD EVER TASTED IN MY LIFE. They were. That good. I may or may not have had more than one and was so buzzed on sugar, you can see how the shot of them came out bottom right.

The oversized Fridge was stocked with water, soda, Izze, Starbucks and also contained something called Frava, a mix of fruit juice and caffeine. 

A Brooklyn-centric foodie side show also included samples from Brooklyn Dehli's scrumptious flavor packed new line of chutneys. This line was created by panelist Chitra Agrawal of The ABCDs of Cooking,

Lovely mini salads with choice of Momo's Dressing, homemade Japanese salad dressing made in Brooklyn.

Barry's Tempeh was there with three different types topped with Barry's peanut sauce. The Buckwheat, Quinoa, Brown Rice variety was my fav.  Made in Brooklyn.

The popsicle people were generous with a large selection to choose from. These Austin based  GoodPops were not too sweet, but flavorful. I went for the hibiscus mint variety and had to hold myself back from scarfing down another. The popsicle lady even cracked a smile when I pretended to run off with the cart at the end of the day. 

Sonya Samuel was there showcasing her luscious Bacchanal Pepper Sauce (made in Brooklyn) with a WOW guacamole served with plantain chips. I may or may not have eaten practically the entire bowl and not even one bit ashamed. 

Circling back to Driscoll's they set up a make your own strawberry shortcake bar. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Look how gorgeous. Could you dive into that whipped cream?

And because the food selection provided was so meager, there was this bowl of goodies on every table. Trick or treat.

After the last presenter was finished we all wined it up and had some fun. Vicki and I stayed behind along with some others to help clean up, because, like Vicki said, we're "good party guests". It also gave us a chance to have more personal conversations with the lovely Babette, whomever else was left and drink more wine.

Great People. Great Food. Great Information. TechMunchNYC, I'll be back next year for sure.


  1. Thanks for the mention Lora! It was a pleasure to meet you also and all of the great people at TechMunchNYC! It was my first blogger conference and I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned so much! Babette did a fantastic job and it was great to see her again after many years. I'll also be back again next year for sure! I hope our paths cross again soon!

  2. This is a great recap! Thanks so much for linking up! I am still thinking about those Blueberries and Cream bars. Yum! It was SO wonderful meeting you and I can't wait to see you again soon!

  3. This is a great recap! Thanks so much for linking up! It was SO wonderful meeting you and I can't wait to see you again soon!


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