Food and the Fabulous turns 2 years old this month!
Oh, and the stories to share.
UPDATE: CONGRATS TO THE WINNERS!
And the winners, drawn out of my new blue bowl, are:
1. Bronwin Marsh, Luxury Hamper 1
2. Zirkie Schroeder, Luxury Hamper 2
3. Maida, Luxury Hamper 3
Please expect an email soon to arrange collection/delivery and enjoy!
I’m off to Girona
Exciting news Fab Friends! I’m leaving to Barcelona today en route Girona on the Costa Brava, home of El Celler de Can Roca to attend my first international Travel Blogger’s Conference, TBEX GIRONA. I’m thrilled/nervous (flight from Paris to Barca just been delayed, I will be the new kid on the block)/haven’t finished packing and did I mention, grinning from ear to ear?? I subscribe to the general world view of travel bloggers – they share a respect for the earth, how small its circumference really is, they encounter the reality of the world’s problems and challenges first hand and since many will cover similar destinations, travel bloggers are a personification of room for different styles and opinions: budget, luxury, eco, couple travellers, families who travel, glam packing, back packing, solo travllers and food travellers too.
I’ve seen my interest in food and people evolve in the past few years and the aspect about food and wine that fires all my senses and passion is the connection between food and culture. I feel I operate on my travels as an undercover food anthropologist. How pleased my Mom would be if I take this up as formal study. Ha!
Incredible Prizes for You
Thank you for sharing this space with me, your support on the blog and via the other social media channels. I have, in conjunction with some amazing, generous sponsors who have been part of my journey, gathered a set of three ultra luxurious prizes for you. Details of the hampers and how to win, below.
These are some of the things I have learned and drawn on in the last two years:
1. There must be an eternal supply of chicken salad varieties. For as many people blog about food, as many tastes exist. And it’s the endless options that make having a blog and belonging to a blogging community rewarding. There’s a slice of the pie of everyone.
2. On that note, not everyone believes that pie can be cut into that many slices. You can choose to believe that. Or you can make your own pie and eat it and soon enough someone or lot of someones will come over to ask if you’ve really added figs/brambleberries/pink peppercorns (insert your latest food ingredient obession) to a Julia Child classic, intrigued.
3. When you run a business/ or someone else’s business or work a 9-5 job (mostly the case, I’d hazard a guess), consistency is tough. I don’t run a tight schedule of posts, despite having a bulging drafts folder, with our line of work-on-the-move I can not. I aim for 2 times a week but there have been weeks when I post less or 3-5 times a week. Find out what works for you – a schedule, inspiration, obligations to clients, time on your hands. I think finding balance here will be on-going for me.
4. Food is about sharing. And it’s mighty assumptive of me to say so, as not everyone who enjoys food will have a partner, a gaggle of kids with finely tuned palates or a home they feel comfortable to host dinner parties at. Cook your favourite roast chicken and visit your cousins, bringing your meal with you. Reach out beyond the industry events and PR invite restaurant tables. Find ways to share your love of food and cooking/experimenting with like minded individuals. Or keep drooling at the endless supply of salted caramel cakes (many of them yours) behind your computer….in a way that’s sharing too. You’re adding to someone’s hits. Yeah!
5. Speaking of hits – I know I have a niche audience, not a mass one. Despite good advice, I have never been able to “optimise” or post what is popular according to google search words. I figure the world has a dearth of posts on chocolate, cupcakes, sriracha and salads with arugula. I’m being smart – going to hit them hard when they’re on the downward curve. You too? Post what catches your eye for the moment. The blog is about you, your kitchen, your life right now after all.
6. Twitter is a magic tool. It transformed the way I connect with people in the food blogging/travel community and beyond. So many of these people, from all corners of earth and life, have come into my life because of it. I’ve lost contact with some, which is always a pity when you extend the hand of friendship, despite how you met. But I am closely connected to a dear circle too. And some I have hopped on a plane to meet in the flesh as well. Twitter. is. incredible!
7. Making true friends as a result of a connection on Twitter is not always the norm. If you have, then high *5* to you! This is what I think about social media. First and foremost, it is social. Show people who you are, but keep the cleanest and dirtiest of laundry off it. Know what I mean? If you tell me you’re drunk-as-a-skunk-on-a-dance-pole-wooohooo!!! I expect your subsequent tweets to be bitingly funny and not to have you regale the timeline about your commitment issues/ eating disorders etc. Contact me via the blog and I’d love to engage further about the ‘Fab Rules’….just made that up, btw.
The bottom line: those “followers” are not fans. Unless you are a world-size celebrity. They are people like you and me, with ups, downs, grief and joy and possibly a level of education/life experience you may not know of. You have an ideal opportunity to share information about your field of interests/expertise and your own life, in a manner that could make your followers chuckle or ponder and if they are feeling like it, engage. The most embarrassing thing to witness on any social media platform (apart from the drunkie skunkie above) is someone with an elevated sense of importance speaking hogwash and speaking down at someone who, off the time line they’d never have the opportunity to have an audience with. Make your point heard but do not abuse public figures who use their Twitter accounts to assist with community issues and upliftment.
8. Was that bossy, prescriptive, patronising, condescending, lecture-ish, yawn-some? You betcha! Social media can be, too.
9. Make your own opportunities. Take the risks and make the sacrifices you need to get what you want. The crowd is important but if you think about it, the crowd may not necessarily be doing what you want and may not share the exact sentiments on how you see the future of your blog. If you see yourself as a dedicated food blogger, spend some pennies on your blog design, in much the same the way you would on kitchen gadgets, linens, crockery or your home. The blog is, after all a virtual representation of your kitchen.
10. Your sense of integrity is light years more important than what an individual or group expects of you or what you think they expect of you. You do not have to attend every event or feature every product offered to you. The only thing that matters is if you are happy with the choice and that in making these choices you do not willfully hurt anyone in the process. Freshly baked cookies can solve most things, top tip.
10. Be kind. If you spot an “ego” on a foodster, run for the woods, climb a tree and military crawl up said tree – hufpuff. Then pummel them with something squishy that has gone off in your fridge. I mean that happens to real cooks, right? Things go off. As for the egos? It’s only food, I’ll say it again. And have fun!
11. ‘eck, what do I know? I’m making it up as I go along, and you should too.
What can you win?
Luxury Box 1:
Dinner for two at Reuben’s at the One & Only Hotel
R200 Spar Freshline voucher
Selection of Sasko Flours and Quick Treats products
Luxury Box 2:
Tea for two at Azure and the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Spar Freshline Voucher R300
Sasko selection of flours and Quick Treats Products
Luxury Box 3
Wellington’s Picnic Kit
Yuppie Chef voucher worth R250
Selection of Sasko Flours and Quick Treats products
Competition Rules **
1. One entry on the blog, per person. Prizes are Cape Town based, so keep this in mind. You will have to make travel arrangements and fetch your prize yourself if you live outside the Western Cape.
2. If you have not liked the Food and Fabulous FaceBook page yet please have a visit here.
3. Leave a comment on this post, mention you liked the FB page, with your FB user name and tell me which Luxury Box 1, 2, OR 3 you would like and why. Mention the sponsors and get creative.
4. Tweet this for an additional entry (you can enter as many times as you wish via twitter, just include my handle and hashtag so that I can trace it)
“RT WIN incredible luxury prizes with @FoodandtheFab and her 2nd Blogoversary. I entered here: http://bit.ly/Qi3R4A #FoodFabBirthday!”
5. Competition will be open for exactly one week.
6. Winners will be elected via a random draw. If you get your friends to enter, more chances of them taking you to one of the dinners etc.
7. For the prizes not handed out by the agents directly, the remainder will be awarded upon my return to Cape Town in mid October.
8. The Fab Kitchen’s decision will be final!
Thank you to:
*Note: I have arranged these prizes for you and will receive no kick-back or similar as a result. Hope you enjoy them!*
** Terms and Conditions Apply**
I’d like to win luxury box 1. Reuben Riffel is undoubtedly my favourite chef and visiting his restaurant has been on my bucket list for ages. My mom’s birthday is coming up in November and it would be such a treat to take her there. With the R200 Spar Freshline voucher and the selection of Sasko Flours and Quick Treats products I’d try some more of your fabulous recipes.
Luxury Box 1:
I live in Durban but would love to win this for my parents. I can just picture my parents all excited but nervous …mostly because they’d feel too simple to be sitting at such a fancy place. But still I’d want them to have that experience. ;-))
Thank you for this apportunity. xoxo
Europe is waiting for you 🙂 Any chance to squeeze Munich in your travelling plans? would love to welcome you in my very humble but warming apartment.
Paula! How I would love to. I shall put it on the wish list! Thank you x
oh, and of course, have a great time in Barcelona 🙂 rock it!
Luxury Box 1 please 🙂
I have always been a fan of Reuben and i am dying to have an awesome dining experience and share it with my better half and with the Sasko treats i could be dessert (grin)
Awêh! It goes without saying that I would love to win box 1. This is not purely coincidence! I have never eaten at Ruebens, and for that I am ashamed. It needs to be rectified dammit! I am also just a poor boy… from a poor family… garamouche… and therefore I can absolutely use the Sasko flour to bake luxury breads for my one armed girlfriend. And Spar… ooh Spar… they have the best cheese grillers. I would be able to stock up on it if only I could win box 1! And because I LIVE for social media, I’ve already liked your Facebook page like a million and one years ago, and even linked it to my own page. And just to be safe… I am going to tweet right now.
But seriously – enjoy the Europe excursion and take lots of photos!
Happiest of happy blogoversaries! I’ve liked the page since its inception, and relish in the slew of gloriousness that it adds to my newsfeed. I’d love to win Prize Number 2 – not only have I never had the pleasure of seeing Azure in the day, but I’m a sucker for a great view, as well as a daytime outing 🙂 Over and above that, Spar is my happy place, and a voucher could salad me up for a good long while. I’m also in the process of learning how to diversify my cooking skills, with a particular emphasis on desserts, and as such, the Sasko package will serve me well in this endeavour! Have a fab trip! Looking forward to reading all about it 🙂
Congrats on a very successful year 2! Hamper 3 would be perfect – a picnic hamper to share with my wonderful fiance, and a Yuppiechef voucher to put towards kitting out our new kitchen once we’re married!
Cool comppetition :). I have liked the FB page, user name: Candice Kotze. I’d love Luxury Box 1 to spoil myself and my PIA (Partner In Action)as we both have birthdays this month and move into a new home in Oct. Reuben’s is on my wish list, Spar supply summery salad stuff and I’d gift the Sasko to my mom. Here’s hoping!
luxury box 1 🙂 Liked the FB page username Anthea Brinkman. I would love luxury box one. I already have Reuben’s cook book and now I would love to taste his version of the meals , in the mean time I’ll get my cooking supplies from Spar and make sure to include Sasko products for the dessert. Here’s to happy taste buds 🙂
Many congratz on ur achievement and may the happy blogging continue 🙂 me and my partner are celebrating our 4 year anniversary soon and a dinner at the famous Reuben Riffel’s establishment will be an awesome treat, so i pick luxury box1. That R200 Spar voucher will come in handy at the end of the month as we are all running on a shoe string budget after all these petrol hikes, nobody can keep up with this. I have a very sweet tooth and love baking desserts over the weekend, so i can spoil everybody with the Sasko flours and quick treats range 🙂
I liked the fb page – user name Neil Basson
Congrats on your 2nd blog-o-versary!
Luxury box 1 would be my 1st choice. I’m such a huge fan of Reuben Riffel and have heard many great things about the One and Only, even though I’ve never been… I also really like the Spar Freshline range.
I’ve like your facebook page too – username: Sonja McKaiser
ps, happy travels! 🙂
Congrats Ishay! I can’t believe it’s only your second blog-o-versary, it feels like this blog has been around for much longer than that.
I already like Food and the Fabulous on Facebook, under the name Nicola George. I’d love to win Luxury Box 1 as I’ve never been to Rueben’s. The Wellington’s picnic kit and Yuppiechef voucher in Luxury Box 3 are also very tempting.
Happy blogaversary! I liked your FB page under Angeliqueca Roux, I would love to win Box No 3, as I am not in the WC, but box number 3 would be used well!!!
Well done on 2 fab years!
I would love to go to Ruebens (1), yum yum, but I just can’t say no to picnics and yuppiechef (3)
oops: I have liked. My fb is Melanie Pieterkosky
And Why box 3: Picnics are my idea of the perfect meal. It doesn’t have to cost much, especially not with Wellingtons pocket friendly but very tasty treats, and can be romantic or family friendly just based on the venue. And if it rains: picnic inside. Add a few Yuppiechef items and some Sasko products and get creative with making your own picnic treats.
I have liked your page and my name on FB is Samantha Chef Hartmann, Id love to have luxury box 3 – I think this would be great for mum and me and since its a picnic our two new additions to the family, our little furry angels could join and I am sure they allowed to go for a picnic,moms bday is 1st Dec and mine the 10th, we celebrate our Bdays always together and since this is my last bday with mum for awhile we can go on a picnice together, Im moving to NZ for work so this would be great, I’d love the Yuppichef voucher they are the best there deals and equipment is to die for and been a chef I WANT everything on their site, the sasko products will always be used, I love to make breads and goodies since studying pastry at the moment and lots of testing is going on so that would come at a perfect time. Thanks for the comp and congrats on the BIG 2 …
Congrats Ishy! So stoked for u 🙂
As you know, I too have been a FB fan of FoodandtheFab for quite some time 🙂
As for my choice, I choose box 3 🙂
Much like you, I enjoy a great dinner out, but on the other hand, I love spending time in my own kitchen, and seeing as I’ve just moved, another great appliance from Yuppiechef would do wonders for inspiration! And with Sasko & Wellington on board for ingredients, I’m sure I can whip up some confectionary of some sort!! Yes please! 🙂
Luxury box 1 or luxury box 2
they are both fab 🙂
I LIKEd your FB pages ages ago
and mine is https://www.facebook.com/BettyBakeBlog?ref=hl
have a fab trip and congrats on the 2 years blogging
I just saw your facebook page now… It mainly makes me hungry =b which is good cause that inspires me to nom… How have I not seen your blog before =( ??? It’s awesome to have someone with a real passion for food show you their favorite places and adventures =)
Luxury box 2 sounds the best to me.. I LOVE trying new types of tea. And baking (go go sasko!)… And And And… Freshline makes THE BEST brownies.. ever… Ever!
I may be missing something, but do you have a mailing list for your new posts?
Hi there. You can subscribe to my feed here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/foodandthefabulous/DETg Thank you and good luck!
I like your blog. I like your Facebook page, I like you. I like to read what you eat. I like to read what you tweet.
I would like to win box THREE because I want to treat my husband to a Yuppichef Shopping spree. In return he will bake me cakes with the Sasko goodies and I will send you some of it too.
There, I said it. I will bribe you with Henry’s cake. Shameless I know.
This is the first time i saw food and the fabulous and i must say i am so impressed, being a baker myself makes this so much more interesting and enjoyable and i love to cook food as well, being a family of 7 allows me to explore even more i love aromas, textures, flavors and color…witch all adds up to the perfect dish…i’ll be watching you…
[…] For all the details, click here […]
It’s the last day to enter guys! Good luck to all who have and thank you for the lovely comments 🙂
Ishay, I love reading your posts almost as much I absolutely love chatting to you on the odd occasion I’m at one of those ‘foodie’ or social media events 😉 Twitter is indeed a magic tool!
ps. I liked your fb page of course and I think box 1 would be my choice! Why? There’s a wedding anniversary looming and ever since we moved out to the burbs, I need a good excuse and a good restaurant town side to visit!
Congrats on your two years hun! xx
A huge fantabu-la-mazing 2nd Blogsday…
Love your blog and recipes and adventures, have take many a recipe home with me for a test run on the Man… Which have always been a hit… Unfortunately don’t have FB.. so cant “like” you… But do love your Blog… I would prefer hamper 3 if I were to win. Although I Absolutely lurve Reuben ;-)… I just dont live in the Cape so that would be rather hard to do…
Thank you again
I would love to win all three boxes but one has to choose you say. After long and hard consideration I decided on Luxury box number 3, You see that Yuppiechef voucher did the trick. I can add to my baking tools stash, with which I will be creating marvelous sasko treats and then go on a nice picnic with that Wellington’s kit. I liked your facebook page, Maida Boois.
My goodness but time flies, I enjoyed your sage advice and concur that we are all pretty much just making it up as we go along. I really don’t mind winning any one of your beautiful prizes but must take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Blogaversary and love travelling the world with you and hubby and find all the food along the way so inspiring. Love from the East coast xxxx jan
I would love Box number 2 as I would love to send my Mom for tea with a friend. She’s been through a rough time lately and could do with a little spoil.
Baking goodies and a Spar voucher will also always come in handy to spoil my own family.
My FB name is Tania Roux and I have liked and tweeted 🙂
Stay as awesome as you are!
Ishay, wonderful post and congratulations once again on 2 years of blogging. It is very difficult for me to choose between the prizes! I love the Sasko range and luckily their products are available in all 3 boxes! I also like shopping at Spar and of course at Yuppiechef!
It would have been wonderful to go to Reuben’s restaurant, since he is one of my most loved chefs! (actually I am a groupie, following him forever! 🙂 )
It would also be lovely to take hubs on a picnic! But after careful thinking I think I would prefer box 2 (1% above the other wonderful prizes), because I will take my sister to the tea and pay for my two daughters to join us!! I can just imagine what a wonderful girly afternoon the four of us will have!