First off, apologies for the disappearance. I’ve been on vacation in Vermont the past few days and I’m actually leaving for Cape Cod this Friday so I may be vanishing again…
BUT I wanted to catch up on a few things including a very very cool thing I did two weekends ago
SpoonUniversity’s first BrainFood Conference!
If you haven’t heard of SpoonUniversity, definitely go check them out! It’s a fairly new online food publication for college students, with articles written by students on things like awesome food combinations, how to eat clean on a college budget, “20 Reasons Why Peanut Butter Is Better Than Your Significant Other” (obviously my favorite), etc. Lots of new chapters have been opening up and I’m reallyyyy hoping one will start at UMass soon (hint hint hint to any UMass readers)
The conference was all day long and involved workshops, some really interesting speakers, and FOOD. Delicious food. It was Saturday and Sunday but I just went for the Sunday conference–I wish I could have gone to both!
But I thought I’d give a lil’ review of my day at AlleyNYC (which looks like an awesome place to work aka there is a room called “The Couch Room” ??)
First, the most important,
Breakfast was catered by Chobani, Donut Plant, Oatworks and HappyTree Maple Water
Where I learned that this exists:
This flavor was a little too sweet for my taste, but I LOVED the oats in it! Hoping the other flavors won’t be so sugary when they hit the shelves
I’d never even heard of maple water and was a little hesitant because I hate coconut water, but this has a much more subtle, slightly sweet taste and I thought it was delicious!
I was expecting big chunks of oats in liquidy form (yuck) but OatWorks “drink your oats” was actually smooth and tasty! Again, a bit too sweet for me, but its made with natural ingredients, totally vegan and GMO free! There were other flavors like strawberry banana and peach mango too (which I wish I had tried, gah!)
Lunch was catered by DigInn, a restaurant that works “Farm To Table” style with its food.
Oh my gosh, it was good
I grabbed a little of everything: lentil salad, sauteed kale, ratatouille, salmon, and brown rice!
There was also lots of RUNA, which was all delicious!
(And free, so naturally I took one of each…)
Dessert was catered by 16Handles, which of course I had to have some of
And as if that wasn’t enough sweetness, I then went to a workshop after lunch with the owner of Kicky’s Kitchen (who has a little shop open now at 47th & Lex for all you NYC people!!). She makes these awesome cupcakes called “Caketails” make with alcoholic frosting to calm down all of the stressed New Yorkers who visit her shop
We decorated some of her cupcakes at the workshop with “CarBomb Frosting”
I may or may not have had a taste anyways
The Free Stuff
Any of my friends can tell you I am a sucker for all freebies…but the swagbags at Spoon were actually awesome!
1 Pair of Bombas socks
I tried these on for a run just a few days after and I actually love them! The little tab on the back keeps them from sliding down, and they are suuuper comfy
1 bar Awake chocolate
Holy hyper…this chocolate is serious about the caffeine. I’d already had some coffee that day but decided to have a square later on in the day, and I was hyped up! Proceed with caution if you have a low caffeine tolerance because it is delicious
1 Chia Bar
I wasn’t crazy about it when I tried, but I think its a great, healthy way to get energy! Chia seeds are great for you and this was a convenient little bar–I just don’t think the taste was anything fantastic
A Copy of Food Network Magazine
Really excited to try some of the recipes in this because I really want to get into cooking more and they look awesome!
2 Awesome Totes
Other than this Turnip Down For What bag, I also got this one:
Swag swag swag
The first speaker was Tyler Gage, the creator of the company RUNA, which is a drink made from a plant in the Amazon to provide “clean energy”. The plant that RUNA is made with, guayusa, has three times the antioxidants of green tea and provide as much energy as a cup of coffee, but without all of the harsh chemicals.
Tyler and his friend started the company just out of college and now sell their product all over the US. So basically, he really got his shit together. But he made it really clear that the business is still tough and even though it looks like companies like RUNA are successful on the outside, it doesn’t mean it is smooth-sailing on the inside.
(He’s still awesome)
Tyler’s talk was followed by two panels: “Starting a Company Right Out Of College” and “How Technology is Changing the Way You Eat”
To sum up everything I learned from Tyler and the two panels:
- It’s okay to have NO idea what you are doing at first–you can figure it out
-Your major does not have to define your future (Tyler and his partner knew nothing about entrepreneurship at first!)
-You won’t be successful if you have no passion behind your product/company/plan
-We need to embrace the changing culture with technology and accept it when it comes to advertising, planning, and developing a product–work with technology to help make something new
-But we can’t let technology take away from how we interact with one another as families and friends
The companies talked about in the second panel were really interesting! One delivers ingredients to people for perfect food preparation, another offers daily recipes and tips through emails and website updates…
Definitely check out Feastly.com, Caviar, Blue Apron and Food52 !
After lunch I listened to another panel called “The Real Differences Between Advertising, Marketing, PR and Event Planning”
I learned there that Public Relations is no fun in the beginning, but if you eventually want to plan parties for people like Ashton Kutcher this may be the field for you to try to survive in It was really interesting hearing about all of the experiences and struggles of the panelists–it’s all definitely a lot of hard work, but you gotta work for the perks
I could go on and on about how cool the last keynote speaker Michael Cirino from A Razor A Shiny Knife was with all his projects like an NYC pizza party and a 100 course meal but this post is getting real long and you’ll just have to see for yourself on his site
I LOVED meeting all of these awesome foodies, speakers and bloggers at the conference! I even got to meet Skyler Bouchard (middle), whose instagram I worship @nycdining !
On the left in this picture is Jessica Danto, who blogs at Small Chick Big Deals!
Everyone was so friendly and fun to talk to–if you’re ever considering going to a conference like this but are worried you will be alone, don’t! Plenty of people showed up without friends and got into conversation with one another in no time!
This was the first conference I have been to as a blogger, and I’m so glad I went! Can’t wait to start checking out more and attending Spoonniversity’s next Brainfood Conference!
- Have you been to any food/blogger conferences?