Wow. What a weekend. Strike that. What an amazing weekend. I had the privilege of attending the first ever Big Traveling Potluck in Murrieta, California. And let’s just say it was probably one of the most inspiring, fun, not to mention delicious weekends I’ve ever had.
I have been to a couple of other food blogging conferences in the past. But this one was different. In a very good way. It was more about the community of people rather than the passing out of business cards and blogging techniques. Not that those things are bad, but this was a nice change of pace. One of my favorite quotes was from Chris from The Peche. He said, “I do not need your business card to remember you because after this, I will know you.”And he was right. No one was really concerned with promoting themselves, we were just interested in getting to know each other. And that is what made this conference great.
The Big Traveling Potluck was hosted by the lovely Maggie and Pam of Three Many Cooks and Erika from Ivory Hut. It was the first time the Big Potluck, which is usually held in Bucks County, PA, had traveled to the West Coast. And boy am I glad it did.
The fun started on Friday evening with a lovely welcoming party where we dined on local food as well as food provided by the attendees. I made my Rosemary Cranberry Spread. There was hummus, caprese skewers, meatballs, salads, and strawberries.
Oh the strawberries. Perfectly sun ripened local strawberries, it doesn’t get much better.
Saturday we spent the whole day together listening to inspiring, thoughtful, hilarious and just plain wonderful speakers like Melissa, Matt, Lori, Helen, Barrett and Jeannie and Ree. Or Auntie Ree Ree as she is known to Kellan. To say that these people are inspirational is an understatement.
And then there was the food. Of all the conferences I have been to, the BTP, hands down, had the best food. For breakfast there was an unbelievably good breakfast pizza with hummus. Who would’ve thought that hummus on pizza could be so good? I had two slices in between chasing Kellan around.
Lunch was provided by Whole Foods and was create your own bean and grain salad bar. There were so many choices and everything looked so good, I just started piling everything into my box. I started when quinoa and rice. and was going to do an Asian theme once I saw the sriracha and Thai turkey meatballs. But then there was chipotle cream and I couldn’t resist adding that. Then there was grilled asparagus and roasted red peppers. It was a smorgasbord of goodness. And I can’t wait to try to recreate it at home.
In the afternoon there was margaritas and also a guacamole challenge that was judged by who else but miss Gaby Dalkin. I mean after releasing her book, Absolutely Avocados, there is no doubt that this girl knows her guacamole. I keep hearing wonderful things about the goat cheese guacamole in her book, I might have to try that very soon.
Unfortunately, I missed the dinner hosted by the California Avocado Commission. I got a wicked migraine because of the heat. I’m a PNW girl and I just don’t do well when it gets above 80. But let me tell you something, the people at this potluck are so unbelievably caring. There were people looking for medicine for me, getting me napkins with ice, getting me water and ultimately I got a ride back to the hotel with the lovely Jodi.
On the plus side, at dinner they raffled off a KitchenAid Mixer and guess who won? That’s right. Me! Yahoo! Thanks KitchenAid!
Finally, Sunday morning, I was feeling much better so there was no way I was going to miss another chance to hang out with my wonderful new friends over brunch. And what a brunch it was with an avocado toast bar. Let me say that again. Avocado. Toast. Bar. Oh my talk about heaven.
After a couple of hours of visiting with new friends, eating avocado toast and enjoying an unbelievable view, it was time to head out. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little sad.
It was simply an amazing weekend that gave me a new outlook on blogging and the community it creates. And let me tell you, I am beyond proud to be a part of the food blogging community.
I’ll miss my new friends but I am already looking forward to the next one.