What a special, whirlwind weekend.
I went to one of my favorite cities in the world (the city that never sleeps) to attend a special celebration hosted by Saveur Magazine.
On Thursday evening right when those in the City began heading home from work, the Saveur offices on the 12th floor in Midtown transformed from a busy, productive working area into a lively spot filled with winners and nominees of the Best Food Blog Awards.
I'm still sort of in shock that I was actually coming as a winner. It was surreal to walk into the offices of such a revered publication as someone they were honoring.
We mingled, we sipped, and we sampled.
We greeted those whose blogs we admired. We made new friends.
Of course I had to sneak a peek at the Saveur kitchens.
Jaw dropping gorgeous.
Better yet, while you're cooking you can look out the window into the New York skyline.
Bellagio provided all the food and cocktails for the night, mostly dishes from Sensi, one of the restaurants in the Bellagio. The kitchen was aflutter with activity as Executive Chef Royden Ellamar of Sensi (pictured below) and his team prepared plate after plate of exquisitely presented tiny bites.
Tokyo Rose - Zibibbo Sparkling Pink Moscato, Nagomi Yuzu, Wild Hibiscus Syrup, Hibiscus Flower
Cocktails were fantastic. I loved my "Tokyo Rose" cocktail so much I actually got seconds (a cocktail with hibiscus, yuzu, and sparkling moscato? Yes please!).
Everything was really, really good. People especially raved about the fois gras dumplings. I loved it all, and definitely took second helpings of several of them. On the bottom right corner is a fried apple "doughnut", which won "Best Single Recipe" by Joy the Baker.
It's sort of like onion ring batter, but inside is fruit (apples and pineapples). The resultant "doughnut" is dusted with sugar and served.
So incredibly tasty.
Vietnamese steamed rice flour cake with chorizo, chicken chicharron, and dried figs
And then Helen Rosner (editor of Saveur.com) and James Oseland (editor of Saveur Magazine) addressed the crowd that had assembled here on the 12th floor at the Saveur Offices.
"I absolutely love food blogs. I think I read 400 food blogs a week." said Helen.
James affirmed, saying he's been reading food blogs for a long, long time. He told us he was thrilled with how food blogs have really become a force in the food writing world, offering seriously quality content that rivals a lot of the best writing out there.
"You keep us on our toes."
And then Helen whipped out the cleaver.
"For the first time, we have a special gift for the winners - your own engraved Wusthof cleaver!"
The audience gasped.
I was beyond thrilled. How awesome is that?
Of course, we had to pose with our new acquisitions.
Winners acting a bit crazy with Helen Rosner and James Oseland.
Winners and Nominees! They took the knives back and told us they would ship it to us. "Imagine trying to bring this onto an airplane . . ."
Aside from tasting some incredible food, I also had the chance to chat with several food bloggers who also attended.
Tim from the beautiful food blog Lottie & Doof (winner of best cooking blog) flew here from Chicago (yay, Midwest!) to attend this celebration as well as to visit friends. Uhhh, I had no idea that cleaver was so close to my ear (!)
Aubergine from Kitchen Vignettes (Winner of Best Single Video) is currently living on a farm in Maine for a month, even though she usually lives in Canada. Check out her great video of the event. There's something about video captures these moments so much better than still photos could ever do.
Fellow nominee Eric Isaac (left) writes Snap Food, a New York based restaurant blog (with a focus on Brooklyn!) that is filled with tons of great photos. He promised to show me the best pizza place in New York the next time I visited Brooklyn. Erik Trinidad writes Fancy Fast Food (nominated for best humor blog) where actual fast food transforms to look like gourmet food. You have to see it to fully appreciate it. It's downright hilarious.
I also met Cara from Big Girls Small Kitchen, talked briefly with both Helen Rosner and James Oseland (who thought I looked familiar because we had met earlier this spring), and met several other folks at Saveur.
Saveur - I cannot thank you enough for recognizing all the hard work that food bloggers put into their blogs. Blogging is not easy. It's insanely time consuming, hardly pays anything, and really requires discipline.
At the same time, it's addictively fun (no joke - I don't watch TV but enjoy processing photos as a way to relax), and there's something really special about sharing the love of food together with such a tight-knit community.
I will carry my cleaver proudly, and work my hardest to continue delivering quality content on this blog. Thanks again to all my readers for your support in voting for this blog.
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[…] and much much more. For dinner, I was thrilled to visit Chef Roy Ellamar (who I first met at Saveur’s Food Blog Awards in 2012) at his newly opened restaurant Harvest inside the Bellagio. The food, which involved […]