Last week I attended "Tech N Taste", a food blogging workshop hosted by Talk Talk at their offices in London.
As well as some inspiring speakers all specialising in different areas of food blogging, there was also a host of different food brands displaying their wares and offering samples.
As the event was hosted by Talk Talk, the company showcased their Home Safe product, which is a really innovative piece of software which offers ground breaking Internet security for the whole family. They spent over 20 million on this piece of software and yet roll it out free to all their customers. It protects the whole family by creating a firewall at the point of entry to the house so that all mobile devices are covered too - great if you have under 18's and want to monitor what they are accessing. You can also cut access to certain sites at different times of the day to encourage kids to do homework without being distracted by social networking and email. I definitely think this piece of software is a reason to move to talk talk!
Chef Jesse Dunford Wood from The Mall Tavern in Notting Hill shared his tips on twitter and social networking and relayed to us how twitter has impacted his restaurant and his life! Cow Pie and Arctic roll anyone?
Next, Lee Smallwood, an SEO expert imparted his infinite wisdom on increasing blog traffic and getting your blog found by google - this was a fascinating talk for me.
Elisabeth Winkler who writes at Real Food Lover shared the "Do's and Don'ts" of blogging with us, as well as showing us some of her photography and proving that not all photos need to be amazing to be effective. I thought that Elisabeth was really interesting.
To counteract any bad photography, Giles Phelps then shared the art of "the angle of the dangle" and "food bombing" with us - proving you don't always need to have a fancy camera to take great shots - better get some practice in I think!
There were some wonderful food brands at tech n taste with some wonderful products.
My first mention must go to Tea Pigs. I think that being nice and friendly goes a long way when you have a product to sell and the lady at Tea Pigs was so friendly and lovely, plus she really knew her products. Tea Pigs sell fine green, white, black and organic Teas and have some yummy flavours like creme caramel, popcorn, chilli, liquorice and mint and my personal fave, spiced red winter tea. I would urge you to give their tea a go because it's fab and also follow them on twitter @teapigs
My next mention goes to Capricorn Goats Cheese. Made at the Lubborn Creamery from the milk of West Country goats who graze in one of the best dairy farming regions in the UK, Capricorn Goats cheese is lovely - creamy. mild, and doesn't taste too much like feet! It is also approved by the vegetarian society. Capricorn have some fab recipes on their website already and I shall be reviewing one of their delicious recipes in the next couple of weeks. You can follow them on twitter @berylthegoat @ethelthegoat
The Hummingbird Bakery were also at Tech N Taste, featuring their new "Carnival" range inspired by the tastes and flavours of the fairground. With flavours like toffee apple, strawberry milkshake, cotton candy, popcorn and cherry cola float, these cupcakes tasted absolutely yummy and had my mouth salivating just looking at them. Hubby and the kids were all thrilled that I bought them a cupcake home. I just wish I lived closer to a Hummingbird Bakery shop! @hummingbbakery
Also exhibiting were Helsham chocolates, a lovely chocolate company situated in Leicester. Their chocolates were so luxuriously rich and tasty and came in many different flavours and forms. I tried a delicious salted caramel truffle and also Sicilian lemon and peach schnapps - divine! You can buy Helsham chocolates here, or follow them on twitter @helshamchocs
An alcoholic drink on display which intrigued me was St Germain Liquor, which is an all natural elderflower liquor made in France. You can make the St Germain signature drink by mixing sparkling white wine or champagne, St Germain, and sparkling water or club soda. This liquor tastes heavenly over lots of ice, although beware as it is 40% proof!
Also exhibiting were Little Melton Gourmet Yogurt whose passion fruit yoghurt left me hankering for more. Follow them on twitter @littlemeltonyog
It was fab to meet up with other food bloggers, after having been to quite a few Mummy blogging events. Only a food blogger knows how hard it is to cook great food, take great photos and then write a great blog post about what you have cooked - it's a much longer drawn out process. My Food blogger shout outs go to Working London Mummy who it was great to see again, Laura at How to Cook good food and Kate from What Kate Baked who it was fab to meet and I have added all to my blog roll so you can keep up with their super blogs.
Despite some of the comments on twitter, I think that Talk Talk did a fantastic job organising Tech N Taste, especially @kat4pr & @GugsS at Citigate PR. The food speakers were all really interesting and the SEO talk was great info.
The few who were slating of the event has really bothered me, because as a newbie food blogger, I am always happy to be invited to a FREE event where it's pretty clear that I will benefit by going, gaining knowledge, blogbloggers and also lets face it, get a few freebies along the way. It is interesting that of those who complained, most made sure that they were around to collect their goody bag at the end of the night. If you are invited to a lovely event, at least be gracious enough to not slag it off on twitter - especially when there is a live feed twitter wall right in front of you.
Sadly my camera gave up the ghost, so I don't have pics of this event but needless to say, I had a great time and would love to go to any further Tech N Taste events.