The Internet Chef Bridget Davis was right in her element as she crossed between cooking live in the kitchen and speaking about her increasing online presence at the inaugural Media140 for Foodies event at Electrolux’s Sydney headquarters.
Guests at the event were treated to samples of Bridget’s culinary prowess, matched with wines from Robert Oatley Vineyards.
University of Canberra lecturer Julie Posetti introduced and interviewed guests throughout the evening, starting with Bridget. She explained that she started using Twitter while working as head chef at Bills as a way of keeping in touch with her Twitter-enthusiast partner Mahei. Now a freelance chef, Bridget uses social media to connect with foodies from all over the world, helping people find great recipes to cook seasonal ingredients in their countries, sharing foodie links and talking to Sydney friends about what is currently available at the markets.
Tim Elwin from Urban Food Market supplied the fresh ingredients cooked by Bridget and her team and Mei from Brasserie Bread cooked bread on site while everyone chatted.
Franz Scheurer is the self-professed first to start blogging about food and said food blogging was about building relationships with people in food through interaction. Lorraine Elliott from food blog Not Quite Nigella shared how she is almost at the point of feeding the family with her blog, but not quite paying the mortgage. Michael Shafran @gosstronomy said food blogging was not about ads, but building relationships.
Reem @reemski says lots more people know what she is cooking and eating now. Stephanie Wood @elegsufficiency said she started using Foursquare, but stopped when those tweets started clogging up her stream, however saw the benefit for restaurants in building customer loyalty. She added that food blogging was overstated because it’s not as influential as it could be yet, which was met with disdain by the audience, because the mainstream media wasn’t doing enough to tackle issues about food, such as palm oil or GM food. However Stephanie also said the communities that were created around food blogging were very important. Christie Connelly @figandcherry said there were still plenty of people who wanted to know where to eat and which dishes were good. There are more than 150 food blogs in Sydney alone, Christie added.
Restauranteur Chris Cranswick-Smith said said real-time web had positive implications for his business in getting people through the door. The advantages of food bloggers and passionate people far outweighed waiting for the review from Sydney Morning Herald, which he has done twice. He has Facebook, Twitter and newsletter links on the restaurant website and also writes a blog, which is both foodie and personal. He uses social media to monitor, measure results and gauge opinion regarding his restaurant.
The menu included:
Seasoned Australian salmon on an avocado tartar with crispy kale furikake (chip) served with Wild Oats Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Warm roast chicken finger sandwich with a lime and tarragon fresh organic egg mayonaisse with Wild Oats Chardonnay 2008
Duck confit with a red wine reduction (Twitter Pie) with Wild Oats Tempranillo 2008
Miniature Wagyu burgers with onion jam and a piquant cheddar with Wild Oats Shiraz 2007
Reviews of Bridget’s food:
“I had two of eveything!”
“Absolutely fantastic, as always.”
“Bridget should be running a lot more events like these.”
From Media140 for Foodie blogger @JohannaBD’s point of view, the food, wine and company were divine.
Johanna Baker-Dowdell (@JohannaBD)