Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Epic Sydney Food Bloggers Spring Picnic 2010

I am a failure of a food blogger. The one time where it was socially acceptable, and even applauded to snap snap snap away at a wonderful array of dishes on offer I came home with a total of 25 photos. 25, hastily shot, blurry photos which does not do this epic mega event any justice at all! I had been looking forward to this event since it was organised by Billy @ Table for Two and Karen @ Citrus and Candy (and for that we are all eternally grateful!!) It takes alot to get  a big group of people together for a picnic and you guys did such an awesome job! I mean..just check out the prizes that were on offer for starters!
It was a a blustery day in Sydney and Im sure I was not the only guest who was praying to the Food Gods to keep the sky clear - there was eating to be had! I had spent the morning preparing my blue sangria and greek lamb pies that I was running unfashionably late. By the time I had arrive the picnic was in full force, and there we so many delicious treats on offer! Take this cake by Anna @ Diary of a Ladybird - simply amazing! It features a scene so familiar with all the attendees - a mini laptop, camera and cake!
This beatiful cake was a creation of Ayana @ Oh Ayana - It was an earl grey chiffon cake, but I only got to try the delectable white chocolare macarons - as soon as I saw them, I had to have one! It was the first dish I tried and it was delicious - Off to a good start indeed :)
These hand moulded tea-ramisu cups were made by Tammi @ Insatiable Munchies. These cups were entirely made out of chocolate an the handles were "welded" on by Tammi. Such a unique dessert and such fun to eat! She also won the prize for best hat with her gaga inspired head piece!
The lovely Sugarlace ladies introduced me something so equally delicious and so very pretty. The cake pop. What is a cake pop? Its a beautifully decorated work of art for one, but in the inside is the gooiest butter cake and then its dunked and covered in chocolate. Yummo indeed! Each of the cake pops were each decorated in pretty details such as flowers, mushrooms, hundreds and thousands - all unique and made with love!
1/5th of the picnic spread
Fiesta Time! Nacho hat by Eliza @ Boomerang Banquet
The lovely Rhonda @ The Dainty Baker made these chunky brownies, and this is one recipe to steal kids! There is a fine line between a basic brownie and an extraordinary brownie and this is just the bomb diggety! Chewy and Chunky, I was lucky enough to sneak some home for a midnight snack!
There was a prize for the best blue dishes and there was fierce competition in the blue cupcake arena. Jacq @ Penguin says feed me brought a yummy version above - and this was the one I was able to try at the picnic - such a cute cupcake idea right?
Sook @ Nommy nom nom also had these awesome cupcakes on offer - and she gave me one to take home..another midnight snack! Oh I want one now!
Behold the famous fruit bowl that Laura @ Starloz put together! Such a delicious treat, and we were not at all guilty for attacking this signature fruit porn dish! Laura told us she would feel like a fraud if she brought something unhealthy to the picnic! Love it!
Rhonda and I take turns to pose with the fruit bowl, It went well with my hat of course! The Picnic was a "Mad Hatter's" theme and I rented my over the top fruit hat from the local drag shop. It was so heavy, and you gotta hand it to the drag queens that parade with this on - I should have rented the whole Carmen Miranda outfit. 
The chilli brownies made by Betty @ Sugarpuffi had a hidden super extra chilli piece so I was very cautious when picking one. It was brownie russian roulette- and luckily I didn't get the chilli bomb but the piece I tried was super yummy - would have had two but knowing my luck...I wonder if anyone got it?
I could have had 10 of the S'mores tarts that Phuoc @ Phuoc'n Delicious made. Smores have to be one of mans best inventions, and her tart was just filled with chocolate and marshmallow goodness. Congratulations to Phuoc as well for winning the prize for best new blogger!
Anita @ Noredmeat won the big prize of the day from Nuffnag for he popular fish cakes. I missed out on this but Anita has posted the recipe on her blog so i'm sure I wont be the only one trying to replicate it. Her reaction to winning the prize was priceless! It made everyone's day and was a memorable highlight.
My fruit hat won the runner up prize, and although many will argue that it suited Demos much better than it did me - we both took home an awesome prize from Chefs Armoury. These photo's above, snapped by Simon @ The Heart of Food still make me laugh. He even documented some of the fruit falling off throughout the afternoon! It was such a fun day and everyone got into the spirit - that's just how Sydney Food blogger's roll. This was our first big food bloggers event and it was just awesome putting faces to posts - Rita aka Mademoiselle Délicieuse must have thought I was a nutter when we met. Its like those ICQ chat room meet ups back in the day.. but way cooler and you could actually trust the candy that these strangers were feeding you. But, there were no strangers here of course -  we all knew each others eating habits and rage outbursts well! 
Demos missed the first part of the Picnic because of work, but he was still able to sample the Blue Sangria and the Lamb Pies I made. The sangria went down a treat and I was very happy that my new friends enjoyed the happy juice!! I also received some pats on the back for the lamb pie. I decided to make a savoury dish because any dessert I would make would fail in a crowd of this calibre! The sangria was a last minute decision because I thought it would go with my hat and bring extra fun to the party! Arriba!! Oh and Demos and I cannot wait to play mad scientist with the Alinea Cookbook and spherification kit - such an awesome and generous prize!! Watch out Chef Heston!! Props also to Demos for rocking the fruit hat - it takes a real man to rock a fruit hat the way you do! But nothing beat The Ninja's legs in a sexy skirt, that's for sure!  
Unfortunately the epic day had to come to an end and we all left with full bellies and new friends. I never thought starting a blog would open such fun new doors. Everyone is so friendly, humble and as crazy as they are in person as they are on twitter - Amazing! It been more than a week since the picnic and when I look at photo's not only does my tummy grumble, but I smile to myself and think - "Thank God I am not the only nutter out there who obsesses, takes photos of food and is up until all hours of the night to write about it. Cheers Sydney Food Bloggers, here's to macaron's, midnight munchies, degustations, and an endless appetite for fun! May you all be blessed with good lighting for your photos!

If you haven't yet - you must watch THIS VIDEO that Billy made with everyone "Passing the hats" 

My Recipes are to follow can be found HERE but do have a look at more photo's and posts by the other awesome bloggers:

The food bloggers over in Melbourne also took part, and they too had a fun day! (With a particular blogger citing my blue sangria..but then proceeded to knock my city..hmm) Coast to Coast fun and for the 1000th time thanks to Billy, Karen and all the wonderful sponsors! Until next time! 


Anita said...

Great review Gianna. I luv the first photo of you!!!!

Julie said...

I am still craving that blue sangria of yours!

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

Haha, great to meet you! But it is always a bit weird when you only have a vague idea what people look like...

The blue sangria was definitely very popular - I am most guilty of going back to it for taste 'samples' =p And the lamb pies were lovely with their pastry!

chocolatesuze said...

hee great to finally meet you in person dude! your pies were awesome!

Jacq said...

I loved your blue sangria and you're totally right about it being stealthy, I could honestly not taste the alcohol in it at all! So great to meet you and congrats on winning the prize for runner up best hat!

Simon @ the heart of food said...

Fun times! Was an absolute pleasure to meet you.

Until next time... :P

Phuoc'n Delicious said...

Woohoo! Food blogger events are quite fun hey when loads of yummy food is involved! It was nice meeting you darl. Here's to more foodie adventures to come :D

Gianna@TheEmptyFridge said...

Thanks everyone!

@Anita - cant wait to see what magic the kitchen aid and yourself create!

@Julie - I think im going to bring double the serve the next time

@mademoiselle délicieuse - so nice to meet you too! Im so happy you enjoyed my dishes!

@Suze - I was so excited to meet you and your domo-kun friends! Our Domo has been complaining that we haven't taken him out but he keeps on misbehaving!

@Jacq - i should call it avatar sangria! Im going to investigate what other kinds of liquor I can add to it, and ill need a professional tester! I shall be in contact with you and julie!

@Simon - fun times indeed and I hope its not too long 'til the next time. Thank you for sending me the photos!

@Phuoc - so much food! I really will have to pace myself next time to avoid a food coma although I think that would be impossible! lovely to meet you too!

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