Food Blog Forum 2014 in Asheville, NC

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Have you ever had so much fun that it was hard to sum it all up? I’ve delayed writing about my experience at the Food Blog Forum in Asheville, NC,  because really, there were almost too many good things to tell!

But before the great memories fade away, I decided to try to capture a few, in hopes that someone else might enjoy hearing my story.

I had never attended a Food Blog Forum before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I tell you this: Asheville and the Biltmore House set such a high standard of hospitality, that any future venue will be hard pressed to match it. Do you hear me, Mouse? Yeah, I’m talkin’ to YOU, Orlando, in 2015. 🙂

The event was kicked off by a Moonshine Tasting Party in the courtyard of the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville-Biltmore , where the no-longer-illegally-produced beverage flowed freely, to the strains of live bluegrass music, and some tasty hors d’oeuvres. These pictures should give you a hint as to why I had SO much fun. It wasn’t the ‘shine: it was the ‘ship. The FRIENDship. My friend Anne and I met on a homeschool forum online over 10 years ago. We met in real life in 2006. And we’ve been buds ever since, meeting up from coast to coast. And I mean that literally, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and points in between. We have an unspoken tradition – that I just ruined by speaking of it – of posing beside statuary whenever possible, and the campier, the better. So, you’ll be treated to forced to see a bit of that.

That glow you see might be us sweating moonshine.

That glow you see might be us sweating moonshine.

Sooze n Ann

She keeps me in trouble. Or, at least, in stitches.


Anne, Bossie & Sooze: our own little tribute to the Biltmore Dairy

Anne, Bossie & Sooze, in our own little tribute to the Biltmore Dairy.

The Food Blog Forum conference was actually held on the 8,000 acres of The Biltmore House, a venue I’ve personally visited  6 or 7 times, through the years, and a place I still JUMP at the opportunity to visit! The builder, George Vanderbilt, was known for his hospitality, and I like to think that he would have been proud to have hosted a group of people who are so deeply appreciative of great food, wine, and hospitality. 

Here’s a picture of the gorgeous house that George built – and no, I didn’t take it. No helicopter. But the Biltmore House graciously provided it:

Biltmore Facade2

The conference venue, hosts of the Food Blog Forum in Asheville. What a shame they couldn’t find someplace nice.

 Poor us, right?

Here’s the venue on the Biltmore property where the event was actually held. Lioncrest used to be the barn on the Biltmore property. If this is what a barn looks like, let me have been born HERE.


The Lioncrest was a great conference venue.

Some shots of our hosts and speakers, then and in particular Jaden and Scott Hair of Steamy Kitchen, and Diane Cu and Todd Porter of White on Rice Couple

Scott & Jaden Hair

From left to right: Scott Hair, Jason Leake, Lisa Leake, and Jaden Hair.

Todd Porter & Diane Cu

Todd Porter & Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple. I know this is out of focus, but I love the look on Todd’s face.


The sessions were extremely valuable. Really, the conference alone was so worthwhile – but Asheville had planned so much more for us! Plus, what a pleasure to get to hang with people who are both knowlegeable, and friendly!!! In fact, that I hope to attend next year, in Orlando. (Don’t hate me, Asheville! I plan to come back and see you again, as soon as possible!)

One of the best parts was the opportunity to connect with both OXO, and KitchenAid, who gave away marvelous merchandise to some very, very lucky conference attendees. And when I say marvelous merchandise….think dishwasher. Think refrigerator.

I have so much more that I’d love to tell you about this conference, that I can’t seem to keep it all to one post, so I’ve decided to break up what I have to say into a few posts. More pictures to come and a pretty great story or two, as well!


  1. imnotasupermom says

    Real friends crop your butt out of pictures. You are a real friend.
    And who are you calling a hors d'oeuvres? I am a married lady!
    My recent post 5 Tips for Tailgate Success

  2. Diane Barlow says

    I expected pictures of food!? from a food bloggers forum? You are teasing us aren't you? Saving them for later? Or did ya'll just talk about food and writing about food. So looking forward to hearing more about this fabulous trip…and seeing pictures of actual food.

  3. Makes me almost sad I didn't go. That view of the Biltmore is stunning too!
    My recent post Ground Beef Stuffed Bell Peppers

  4. The Biltmore house is on my list–can't believe I've never been!
    My recent post Book recommendations to warm you

  5. Looks like you and Anne had an amazing time. Love the photos!
    My recent post My Top 10 Skinny Recipes of 2013

  6. Susan…I love your life! Through your good writing presentation, I can vicariously enjoy the fruits of your labor. Thank you so much. Judy

  7. Its All About The Pretty_Yummy says

    Looks like you had a blast! Looking forward to your next one!

  8. Oh, that part of the country is so beautiful. I stayed in the area once, and I still remember how gorgeous the views are of the mountain ranges stacked one behind the other. I didn't get the the Biltmore. It's a good excuse to go back. Congrats on having the opportunity to spend time with good folks and good food in such a great venue!
    My recent post Exercise Enlightens

  9. Rena McDaniel says

    Oh I'm not a food blogger but I would have loved this plus it is only down the road for me! Looks like such a great time!

  10. What a blast. I wonder if they'd count wine bloggers. We just did that conference and it was wonderful. Sounds like you guys had a great time.
    My recent post The Last of our WBC14 Posts. We Hope.

  11. Susan, it was such a pleasure meeting you guys!!! Thank you for coming and having a great time with us.
    My recent post Giveaway: GelPro Elite Cardinal Mat

  12. What a fun time we had, didn't we? Glad we got to meet. Don't know about you, but I'm ready for the next one already! Bring on the food and fun!
    My recent post Food Blog Forum Asheville 2014 – Part 2

  13. I really think that Asheville was the perfect location for this event. This community is very passionate about the foods we cook and using locally sourced ingredients, and that level of passion is something that I think you can easily distinguish and taste in the finished product. I wish I could have attended the forum, but it sounds like Biltmore Estates was an incredible host! I have family that lives near Orlando, so maybe next year's event would be a possibility.
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