There’s something about being in a room of bloggers who get what you do.
Who all stop to take pictures of food before devouring it and who
appreciate good food. A meeting of like minded people and a
learning-filled few days. That’s what I got to do a couple weekends ago. I
headed to Montreal for the third Food Bloggers of Canada Conference. I
had such a great time at my first one last year in Vancouver and
couldn’t wait to go again.
I was happy to discover that a few fellow Calgary bloggers also made the
trek – Heather, Merry and Bernice. I also finally met Ginni, who I
somehow never connected with when she lived in Calgary.
I reached Montreal on Friday
and met Nicole at the airport. Luckily she reached out
so we shared a cab to Le Westin, in old Montreal. We
quickly checked in and registered and got an amazing swag bag. Thank
you to all the great sponsors, you totally spoiled us!
We had a couple of hours before the party got started and so headed out
with a group of bloggers for an informal tour of Old Montreal, led by
Aimee. We stopped at Olive and Gourmando for a quick pastry. The place
was crowded and for people who wanted to dine in, there was a 45 minute
wait. Nicole and I shared the chocolate ginger bar. It looked like a
We then headed to Maison Christian Faure, a French pastry
shop. It was a beautiful store with macarons, cakes, ice cream and
pastries. I had the almond croissant which was buttery and delicious.
then headed to the maple shop, Canadian Maple Delights. We were able to
sample some of their syrups and were given a little tutorial on the
difference between the dark syrup and the light. My favourite thing in
the shop was the maple taffy. They poured the maple syrup on ice and you
were able to roll it into a wooden stick. It was so good! It was a nice
introduction to Montreal with the cobblestone streets and the old
architecture and a fun way to meet my fellow bloggers before the
conference got underway.
Before dinner, there was a cocktail reception where we ate delicious
appetizers and met with some of the sponsors. It was a fun event, meeting with people who I only knew of online.
Dinner that night was sponsored by the Turkey Farmers of Canada. Our
appetizer was Turkey confit rillette with a blueberry basil vinaigrette,
crostini and a sundried blueberry and arugula salad. It was very tasty.
Our entree was Turkey paupiette with goat cheese and butternut squash
purée and turkey sausage wontons with sage buerre blanc. It had looked
like I had licked my plate, so that should give you an indication of how
delicious it was.
Dessert was a little bit different as it also included some Turkey. The
brioche bread pudding was served with dolce de leche, carmelized apples
and a smoked turkey skin brittle. I was surprised to find that
underneath the apples, there were chunks of Turkey! Dinner was followed
by a preview of Devour the Food Film Fest.
morning’s breakfast was fantastic! Sponsored by Burnbrae Farms and
Gourmet Garden, we were treated to a poached egg breakfast bar. Chefs
made us a bowl with roasted potatoes, a choice of vegetables and Garden
Gourmet herbs. This was then topped with a poached egg and cheese. A
great start to the day for sure.
We were inspired (and fed) by keynote Ricardo, entertained by emcee
Mairlyn, motivated by Meghan Telpner, educated in copyright and contest law by Lesley Ellen Harris and Sarah Huggins and SEO by Casey Markee.
Lunch was sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Canada and we were spoiled
with some great grilled cheese sandwiches. I had the duck with
carmelized onions alongside some roasted tomato soup. Comfort food at
My sister came to visit me from Ottawa for the day so we spent the
afternoon walking and exploring. We made a stop at Juliette et Chocolat.
There was a wait for a table so we opted for take out. It was fun
watching all the creations come out of the busy kitchen. We shared a
very rich hot chocolate and a brownie cookie. It was a nice time to be
in Montreal, all the leaves looking beautiful in red, orange and yellow.
Dinner that night was sponsored by Canadian Lentils. The food was great
but my pictures were not, there was no light to take the pictures.
You’re just going to have to trust me that it was all beautiful.
started with smoked and fresh trout tartar with brown lentil blinis and
an apple lentil sprout and fennel salad. Our entree was a lentil strudel
curry on braised beef cheek in a lemongrass coconut sauce. Dessert was
lentil chocolate cake. During the courses, we were entertain and amazed
by Cirque Eloize – the strength and contortion abilities of the
performers left us in awe.
breakfast was sponsored by Half Your Plate and was another winner. We
had bagels from St. Viateur with lox and cream cheese and a huge
assortment of fruit.
We had another great day of sessions learning about photography from
Andrew Scrivani, enjoying a panel discussion from Farm and Food Care Canada, and being inspired by Davida and
Ayngelina who turned their blogs into a business.
To get the true Montreal experience, they brought Schwartz’s Deli to us
and we enjoyed smoked meat sandwiches complete with pickles, coleslaw,
chips and black cherry cola for lunch. We had the opportunity to meet
with brands and make connections, a new thing they tried out this year.
All in all, it was a great conference. I met some friendly, inspiring
bloggers, ate some really good food and learned a lot! The weekend was
about taking a leap and from what I learned, I was able to set some
goals in order to do that.
A huge thank you to Melissa and Ethan, who planned another successful
conference. All your hard work definitely paid off. Looking forward to
the next one in Toronto in 2016!