012 Shinecast: FoodBlogSouth Preview and More

012 Shinecast: FoodBlogSouth Preview and More

Share the joy

Episode 012 of the Shine Springs Farm Shinecast features a preview of FoodBlogSouth 2013, one of the premiere food blogging conferences. Sheree talks with FoodBlogSouth co-founders Jason Horn and Shaun Chavis about the upcoming event.

Shinecast listeners can pick up a 10% discount on conference registration. Listen to the interview with Jason and Shaun to get the discount code. I moved the feature segment to the beginning so you don’t have to listen to the entire podcast to find out the discount code (but I hope you will).

After the FoodBlogSouth segment, Sheree shares a recipe to help use up those cranberries you’re buying on sale and talks a bit about some of her favorite cookbooks.


Shaun Chavis and Jason Horn created FoodBlogSouth in 2010 as way to raise funds for the Desert Island Supply Co. (DISCO), nonprofit children’s creative writing program modeled loosely after 826 Valencia and Austin Bat Cave.

Shaun is a cookbook editor and Jason is a Birmingham-based food writer, known online as The Messy Epicure. Shaun and Jason volunteer with DISCO and wanted to do more to help the nonprofit get its own writing space.

Aside: DISCO was established by another local food writer, Chip Brantley, whose book The Perfect Fruit: Good Breeding, Bad Seeds, and the Hunt for the Elusive Pluot, (affiliate link) is a great read. Chip takes a seemingly-obscure subject like plant breeding, commercial agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley and the quest for creating a sweet, tasty and commercially-viable stone fruit and turns it into fascinating tale of commerce, agriculture and the culture of food.

FoodBlogSouth 2012 Program CoverThe first FoodBlogSouth event, held in January 2011, was a huge success. I was one of the volunteers who helped direct attendees around Woodraw Hall so I didn’t get to attend the morning sessions, but I had a great time conversing with food bloggers and food aficionados. I made a point to attend FoodBlogSouth 2012 as a paid registrant, so I could really enjoy all of the sessions. I think the 2012 edition was a huge success!

FoodBlogSouth Registration Discount Code

FoodBlogSouth 2013 is set for Saturday, January 26, 2013 and registration is now underway here. Listeners of the Shinecast can get a 10% registration discount off the regular registration of $175. Listen in to the Shinecast for the discount code. Or click here to register via a link with the discount code built-in.

This year’s main conference activities will take place at Rosewood Hall in downtown Homewood, just over the mountain from downtown Birmingham. There’s also a pre-party and an after-party where you can enjoy more great food and conversations with FoodBlogSouth attendees and speakers.

FoodBlogSouth Speaker & Session Highlights

We don’t cover every FoodBlogSouth conference session in the podcast (there are over 30) but here are some of the highlights mentioned by Jason & Shaun:

The keynote speaker is J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats. You know FoodBlogSouth folks are serious when they bring in a keynote speaker from Serious Eats.

Another highlight is Martie Duncan, runner-up in Season 8 Food Network Star competition. Martie is a Birmingham native who specializes in party planning.

Adam Roberts, the force behind the long-running blog, The Amateur Gourmet will talk about writing killer blog posts. Adam’s blog has led to books, regular contributions to The Huffington Post, Salon and other publications (online and off), and web TV success. Adam’s latest book is Secrets of the Best Chefs: Recipes, Techniques, and Tricks from America’s Greatest Cooks(affiliate link).

My favorite quote from Adam Roberts:

being a food writer is way better than being a lawyer.

Dianne Jacob, writing coach and author of Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Reviews, Memoir, and More (Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Blogs,) (affiliate link), will lead a session on the ethics of food blogging. That’s a super-important topic, because so many bloggers (and others) don’t know that it’s not OK to grab a photo from another website or reproduce a recipe verbatim from another site, without attribution.

Although recipes aren’t protected by copyright, an ethical food blogger will give credit to other recipe developers, if he/she isn’t the original source for the recipe. Copyright does protect photos and the original creative work of other writers, such as blog posts or the compilation of recipes in a cookbook. Bloggers are also required to make disclosures about cash, in-kind receipts or affiliate relationships.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m eligible for a discounted registration to attend FoodBlogSouth 2013 (which I received after I invited Jason and Shaun to do the interview, not before). Unfortunately, FBS 2013 conflicts with the Southern-SAWG Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, so I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to FoodBlogSouth this year, but my plans are still in flux.

Two Photography Sessions at FoodBlogSouth 2013

Birmingham freelance photographer Beau Gustafson will lead a session on food photography using your iPhone or Android.

More advanced food photographers and food stylists will be interested in the session by Helen Dujardin of Tartlette and Tami Hardemann, a food stylist who blogs at Running With Tweezers. Helen is a professional food photographer at Oxmoor House, a well-known lifestyle publishing house based in Birmingham, and author of Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling (affiliate link).

Three Tracks at FoodBlogSouth 2013

Those are just some of the sessions on the schedule for FoodBlogSouth 2013.  The schedule is built around three tracks:

  • Food Blogging for Beginners
  • Business and Technology of Food Blogging: Including sessions on SEO, Monetizing and Advanced Technology (like video production and video streaming)
  • Creative: Food styling, photography, recipe development

Recipe Telephone

A unique feature of this year’s FoodBlogSouth is the opportunity to participate in Recipe Telephone. The idea is to adapt a roast chicken recipe, in accordance with the Recipe Telephone rules.

Sign-up for Recipe Telephone here. Recipe publishing begins November 21, but it’s not too late to join in the fun.

The goal is to publish a cookbook featuring recipes that emerge from the Recipe Telephone blog-a-thon.

Pre-Conference Media Training Workshop

If you’re serious about food blogging and want to learn more about personal branding, media appearances and related topics, you might be interested in attending the extra pre-conference “Honing Your Edge” Media Skills training seminar led by Virginia Willis and Lisa Ekus. The cost for this optional, extra event is $125. (Shinecast listeners: Your discount does not apply to this pre-conference seminar).

Space is limited so pre-registration for this add-on event is highly-recommended. The pre-conference workshop sold out last year.

In Other Shinecast News

In the second half of episode 012 of the Shine Springs Farm Shinecast I talk about some of my favorite cookbooks, including several mentioned in this recent blog post, Favorite Cookbooks.

Although I don’t mention it in the Favorite Cookbooks post, I included Foods From Foreign Nations in the feature photo of my favorite cookbooks because it is significant in my food history, which I talk about in this post from 2011.

I bought the Foods From Foreign Nations cookbook through a school Home Ec cookbook sale program when I was 13 or 14. My mom and grandmothers were so willing to let me experiment in the kitchen and make just about anything we could find the ingredients to make. I learned recipe substitution through that experience, as well, because a lot of the item needed  for cooking “international” cuisine weren’t available in my hometown in the mid-1970s. We didn’t even have a Walmart back then (which, in retrospect, was a very good thing, in my opinion).

The best way to learn to cook is to just do it. Practice. With practice comes proficiency.

Another key to long-term cooking success is experimentation. I was lucky in my childhood, tween and teen years to have a mother and grandmothers who let me practice and experiment.

So as we move into the holiday season, I encourage parents and grandparents to “turn the kids loose in the kitchen” and let them learn to cook real food for themselves.

What To Do With Cranberries

Cranberry Whole Wheat MuffinsI’d like to say I can’t ever get enough cranberries. In fact, I bought way too many last year. Fortunately, they cranberries can be frozen with ease. Just move the bag from the produce bin to the freezer.

Lately, I’ve been busy baking these cranberry whole wheat muffins so I can use up all of the remaining frozen cranberries from last year’s holiday buying binge.

Thanksgiving at Shine Springs Farm

Episode 013 will include highlights of Thanksgiving at Shine Springs Farm.

I know I keep saying the show notes are moving to Shine Springs Farm website, and I really do intend for that to happen. But I thought a lot of readers of The Ben Franklin Follies would be interested in learning more about FoodBlogSouth 2013, so I included the details here.

How will you celebrate Thanksgiving this year? Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear them (and share a few in upcoming Shinecasts, if you don’t mind!).



About Sheree

Change Catalyst, Idea Explorer, Dot-Connector, Square Peg