I live in a constant state of panic. It's exhausting. It's thrilling. It's nerve wracking. It's exhilarating. It's like a drug addiction [or so I've been told by concerned friends and family members].
I love Meeting and Event Planning. I love seeing months of work culminating into one event - a visual confirmation of all your efforts. I love the idea that one little mishap, one little screw up can upset the balance of the perfectly organized event and that tens [or hundreds] of thousands of dollars hang in the balance of anything that I may have forgotten to do. Best. High. Ever. It seriously makes me giddy.
Assisting three of the most high profile bloggers in the blogosphere is a whole new ballpark of crazed panic. You need to have your act together because if you don't, it's not just hundreds or thousands of people who know...it's MILLIONS. Right. "Jenny the F*!k Up" would be your new twitter handle...or at least it'd be mine.
Just between you and me, inside my own mind I'm huddled in a corner, rocking back and forth with my thumb in my mouth, chanting, "no, no, no...this isn't going to work" for
weeks months leading up to an event. Outwardly, I may say to Elise, Jaden and Ree that everything is fantastic and that things just couldn't be more swell but inside my brain is screaming, "LIAR, LIAR, YOUR PANTS ARE ON FIRE!!!"
Luckily, when you've got great partner sponsors and BlogHer making this party THE OFFICIAL party, things are almost guaranteed to be perfect. With the generous support of the piggy goodness of the Pork Board - moist tender bites perfectly seasoned with McCormick spices, how could we go wrong?
The students and staff at California Culinary Academy/Le Cordon Bleu were so excited to have all the bloggers there that they went above and beyond to be so helpful to us. Do you realize that they were there prepping from 7:00am?? Most of them left together at 11:30pm. They wanted this event to be the fete of the year. I heart everyone here. Chef Michael Weller took everything we threw at him and improved upon it in ways I could never have imagined. The team recap at the end of the evening was so freaking inspirational that it had me crying off on the sidelines. I saw the look of sheer exhaustion on each of the students faces, each of their faces beaming with pride at their success that evening. I was so inspired that I had to physically restrain myself from signing up for culinary school right then and there.
As with last year, we also had the generous support of HP with their awesomely fun photo booth. I would've stayed there all night long but I didn't want to risk being talked about by all the bloggers who were waiting in line [you know, the fear of millions of people knowing that I hogged a photo booth All.Night.Long].
|Chef Weller with his student [photo from the HP photo booth]|
|Set up by HP|
Chefs once again exceeded expectations with their marvelous goodie bags, topped off with their eye popping number of giveaway items. I have to admit, I was almost tempted beyond what I could handle - you could dump $10,000 in my lap and I can guarantee you that it'll still be there when you came back for it a year later. You dump a Kitchen Aid Mixer there...well, you can kiss that thing a fare thee well.
|Each of these suckers weighed TEN  pounds. They were packed SIX  to a box. You do the math.|
Lori Luna, the [sane] planner for BlogHer, provided me with resources that I can only say kicked @$$. I hope that you will drop her an email thanking her for her hard work! She's the behind the scenes rockstar and she did a fantastic job managing all the small details that most people don't ever notice, unless it's not there...then there's hell to pay. What? You didn't notice anything? Right, because she's awesome.
Throughout the weekend, I developed little celebrity foodie crushes - Aida Mollenkamp, Penny De Los Santos, Dorie Greenspan, and Michael Ruhlman. Thanks to my photographer and longtime friend, Darrell Miho, who was quick on his feet and thought to get this photo [the only picture that I have of myself with one of my celeb crushes] with Michael Ruhlman. So here's my sadly giddy [and gratuitous] photo [don't be bitter kids]:
But even better than my celebrity foodie crushes, I got to reconnect with my friends whom I've had the pleasure of getting to know over this past year and even make a few new ones. There wasn't as much time as I would've liked to get to meet and greet but that's what is so great about technology...I will meet, greet, and interact with you all. The food bloggers are a great, wonderful, supportive group of people and I feel so blessed to miraculously be grouped together with 'em.
|Brooke, FoodWoolf.com; Gaby, WhatsGabyCooking.com; Susan, TheUrbanBaker.blogspot.com; and yours truly|
Lastly, no [wo]man is an island unto themselves. Without the support of some of my BFF's flying up to SF and helping me carry 60 pound boxes, this event would never have been ready in time. Thank you, Christy and Fuyumi, you guys are my heroes, i love you, love you, love yous!
|Christy, me, Fuyumi [photo from HP photo booth]|