What makes you feel more welcome than someone recognizing your work? Fiona of Gourmet Pigs greeted me by name, recognizing my picture. Her review list is like my dream try list of places in LA. Hal of This Man's Kitchen remembered my churro post. Talking to him, I could see the charisma that makes him an actor. I got to hit up Ila of I Nom Things for her stash of shiso leaves.
Then there's the big-shot names I've only idolized from afar thus far. A woman in a sleek black dress came up to me an introduced herself as Sarah. Covering her eyes, I was startled to find the Sarah of The Delicious Life and Tastespotting. Talking to her, I could tell she had all the enthusiasm in person that she exudes on her blog. HC of LA & OC Foodventures and I talked about many of the great events coming up in LA and his extensive coverage of these events on his blog. I met Wandering Chopsticks who regaled me with stories of stalkers staking out her favorite joints or e-mailing asking to come over for dinner. Considering she hosts 80,000 hits a month, the crazies don't seem too far-fetched. I only got to speak to Bee of Rasa Malaysia briefly, but I could tell her personality was just as beautiful as the pictures on her site. Abby, who hosts meet-ups on Pleasure Palate told me of the budding food tourism industry in LA, something that I might want to look into in the future.
There were people with such specific focuses that it was inspiring just to see their dedication. Sitting next to me was Kathy of Panini Happy who drove all the way from San Diego to attend the dinner. I had an educational conversation with Matt the Rum Dood about some of his favorite drinks. His encyclopedia knowledge of rum completely floored me. Sarah of Go Eggless has specific dietary restrictions that inspired her to blog about places that suit her needs. It was fun trying to figure out why the restaurant's paella had aioli as an ingredient.
Although the crowd was foodcentric, it was good to see the other varied interests of the participants. Anyone can be a foodie. David of An Easy Recipe managed to quit his day job to pursue blogging full-time. He also writes about personal finance, travel and golf among other things. Seeing someone pursue his loves in life is always a great feeling and makes me optimistic for my own future. Nicole balances Art and Aioli an appreciation of the culinary and the visual arts.
Now I also have some blogs to consult when eating in the OC. Griffin of Griffin Eats OC and Daniel of Eat in OC gave me some recommendations right off the back, including some Peruvian places where I could find Inca Kola. And if you're looking for a Mexican restaurant in the OC, there isn't a better resource than Christian's Orange County Mexican Restaurants.
All this great company, did I mind that the food wasn't worth writing about? Nah, I gained much more than a full stomach. Although I will note that Blanca's lemon drop amuse-bouche was creative and unique. I hope to see all these people again. Check out their blogs.
|An Easy Recipe||http://aneasyrecipe.com||David|
|Art and Aioli||http://artandaioli.blogspot.com/||Nicole|
|Eat in O.C||http://www.eatinoc.com/||Daniel|
|Griffin Eats OC||http://www.griffineatsoc.com||Griffin|
|I Nom Things||http://inomthings.blogspot.com/||Ila|
|LA and OC Foodventures||http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com/||Hiu Chung|
|Orange County Mexican Restaurants||http://ocmexfood.blogspot.com/||Christian|
|The Delicious Life||http://thedeliciouslife.blogspot.com||Sarah|
|This Man's Kitchen||http://thismanskitchen.com||Hal|