Saturday, February 12, 2011

Social Media Week as Told by a Foodie

It's no big secret that I'm a food junkie. I love everything about it; eating it, photographing it, writing about it, cooking it. What you may not know about me is that I'm also a huge Social Media junkie. I love Facebook and Twitter, and I am always looking for the latest & greatest. So when I realized 2011's Social Media Week was upon us, I began to look over the events. I was so excited and happy to see how many great panels were being planned, and many of them were centered around food; food apps, food writing, sustainability, food blogging, etc. I signed up for several events & panels and waited for Social Media Week to roll around.

Here is a recap of the food-related events I attended:

Date: Monday 2/7
Event: Sustainable Flashmob, Hosted by Foodspotting and Whole Foods Market
-Moderated by Foodspotting’s Co-founder and Head of Partnerships, Soraya Darabi
-Award-winning celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson
-Ben Leventhal, founder of and The Feast
-Amanda Hesser, food columnist at The New York Times & founder of
Details: The Food and Social Media panel discussed sustainability, food blogging, technology & how it's changing the face of the industry as we know it. After the panel, the first 100 people that posted a picture of Marcus Samuelsson's meatballs on Foodspotting received a $10 gift certificate to Whole Foods, which I used to buy lunch. Overall, a great conversation between the panelists, and I had a total "geek out" moment when Ben Leventhal & Marcus Samuelsson answered my question about food blogging. They advised me to set myself apart, and write what I'm passionate about. Amazing!

Date: Tuesday 2/8
Event: Eats & Apps - A Food (App) Lovers’ Roundtable
Apps in Attendance:
-Hosted at 4Food
-Gourmet Live - Recipes, stories, interviews with chefs & more
-Foodspotting - Rating the best dishes & where to find them through food photos
-Food Network - Archive of Food Network recipes, tools & more
-Dinevore - Discover, organize & share restaurant advice
-Snooth - Using image recognition technology to find out where a particular wine is sold near you
-Gojee - Recipes, deals, tips & news based on your grocery store receipt
-Ratio - The simple codes behind the craft of everyday cooking
-Bread Baking Basics - Personalized recipes for making bread
Details: The event was a showcase of the newest & most useful food apps in the market today, from recipe archives to restaurant reviews. Each app had a representative showing off their stuff on iPhones & iPads, and answering questions from the attendees. 4Food provided delicious food including Edemame Sushi and Burger Patty bites. Each company that was represented at the event created their own signature burger that were on sale for $7 each. It was a great event for networking with fellow foodies and techies.(Photo Credit: Emily Cavalier, Mouth of the Border)

Date: Thursday 2/10
Event: The New Food Reviewers: Is Social Media Making Us Savvy or Snarky?
-Moderated by Maile Carpenter, editor in chief, Food Network Magazine
-Jeffrey Steingarten, Vogue food critic; author of The Man Who Ate Everything and It Must’ve Been Something I Ate
-Alex Guarnaschelli, executive chef, Butter restaurant; host of Food Network’s Alex’s Day Off and frequent judge on Chopped
-Ben Leventhal, executive editor, The Feast; co-owner, the Curbed Network (including Curbed, Racked and Eater); co-founder, Eater
-Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff, founders, the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck
Details: Overall, this was one of the best panels I have ever attended. Ms. Carpenter did a fabulous job moderating, even when Jeffrey Steingarten attempted (several times) to steal the show with long-winded comments. Alex Guarnaschelli had the attendees roaring with laughter, and she brings a fresh (if not sarcastic) view to the food industry. Interesting questions such as "Do you just wish Yelp would go away?" were asked and Alex told a great story about how Prince ended up on the stage at the Darby after his MSG show earlier this month. For the lucky (and smart) few of us who stayed put after the panel, we were delighted to see Wylie Dufresne was in attendance, and I even got to speak to him and thank him for the incredible meal I'd had at his WD-50 a few months earlier.

Date: Friday 2/11
Event: "It's Lunchtime! Now What?" Presented by NearSay & SideBAR
-Moderated by Trevor Sumner, Co-Founder of
-Lea Marino, Community Manager at Bizzy
-John Buchanan, Co-Founder of Signpost
-Jane Kwett, Director of NYC Marketing at Yelp
-Lauren Drell, Social Media Manager at Luke’s Lobster
-Amy Cao, Head of Social Media at Foodspotting
-Emily Welby, Social Media Coordinator at SideBAR & Village Pourhouse
Details: The panel was great, and they discussed many interesting topics such as how to best interact with followers on Twitter, how to rise above all the "noise" in their markets and how to go about listening to the voices & opinions they trust. The event was very interactive, with a small, intimate networking session following the panel, and the panelists proved why they are good at what they do; every one of them was friendly, informative & took time to meet the attendees.
(Photo Credit: Jane Kwett, Director of NYC Marketing at Yelp)

Overall, this was an amazing week. I feel so inspired by all the people I met, and I feel so lucky to be a part of such a strong community of Social Media enthusiasts, foodies, writers, bloggers & all-around awesome people. I can't wait for Social Media Week next year! Thank you to everyone I met and connected with this week for being so darn great, I look forward to collaborating with you all very soon.

Did you attend any events during Social Media Week? Did you learn anything new? Please share your experiences with me, I'd love to hear about them.

Let's Eat! (And write! And connect on Social Media!)
-The Fabulous Foodie (@FabFoodieBites)

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