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**