Food Fight Write Summit Experience Diary Day 2
I was one of 50 people selected to join World Food Championships Blogger Summit and Cook-off. Over 2500 people applied to join. I feel ecstatic that I was even selected.
The first day of the summit was fabulous! You can read about it here. It was all about learning and I truly enjoyed it.
Day 2 started out VERY early! We had to be on the bus at 7am! The bus was a BRAND new big “coach” bus with a nice driver. There was wifi and outlets for us all! This bus drove us to our first stop; Long & Scott Farms in Mount Dora.
We were greeted off the bus by one of the owners. She directed us to a great little market, gave us a quick history, and ushered us to a continental breakfast. Next up…..why a hay ride around the farm of course! Along the ride we learned that the farm has been going for over 52 years and is still ran by the family. Brother and Sister duo have teamed up with a niece to run all aspects of the farm including land, store, and activities.
Long & Scott farms main product is pickling cucumbers. They grow cucumbers for many pickle companies around the nation. They also grow a nice supply of corn and cabbage. We were also able to tour the plant where they unload the cucumbers to wash and sort. After this we all loaded back on the bus for another ride.
Next stop was Seaworld! At the park we were all given water and separated in groups of about 6 people. We were then allowed to ride the Manta! I have motion sickness and choose not to. Those of us that didn’t want to ride were able to walk through a neat little aquarium. I even got a selfie with an octopus!
We were then escorted back to the Shamu tanks and to where you Dine with Shamu. This was one of my favorite parts of the entire FoodFightWrite experience. Seaworld brought in their executive chefs from each of the restaurants to prepare their signature dishes. It was pure heaven. The lobster macaroni and cheese was divine! I absolutely loved the cheesecake too! There was so much food and I tried a little bit of each.
There were 3 Orca’s in the tank while we ate. Each table at Dine with Shamu had a different park official to eat with us. I had the pleasure of sitting with the man the rescues the manatees and occasionally dolphins that need help in the wild. It was great to chat with him and see his passion for the animals that he saves. He has worked for Seaworld almost 2 decades. Actually most of the people I encountered there had been with Seaworld for many years. Must be a good place to work for!
After we were done eating. The trainers of the Orca’s did a little show for us. They showed us the ways that they care for them and how they handle teaching them tricks. The orcas at one point wouldn’t listen to the command and everyone laughed. It was like watching little kids or puppies, they listened and followed commands….for the most part.
After lunch with Shamu we walked toward the exit and they stopped us in the area where we started. Next thing we knew in came a few animals. An owl and anteater. Those left and two huge predator birds came in. The one was a beautiful bald eagle!! When those left in came the sea lion on the back of a cart! He was “talking” to everyone and seemed to have a real bond with his trainer. The trainer seemed to love him too! He hugged the sea lion a few times. Seaworld sent us on our way with a cup that cares. Its a cup that you can reuse wishing the park.
Off we went to the bus again for a trip to Champions Gate. This place is amazing! If your in the Orlando area its a must visit. I actually recommend staying in one of their vacation rentals. We got a tour of the club house first. That place was like a cruise ship on land. There is a full restaurant, gym, movie theater, play/daycare for kids, and bar upstairs.
We then got to tour two homes that were fully furnished with some amazing stuff. We had different hosts in each area of the two houses. They broke us into groups and off we went to each host. My group started with Manuela Kjeilen from passion4baking.com She is so sweet and amazing! She made with us some of her Norwegian Almond Cookies and Vanilla cupcakes. Beth Peterson from yummienation.com was hanging around. Manuela talked to us about instagram and just following your passion.
From there we went to the second house with Emily Ellyn from emilyellyn.com She is so much fun to be around. My kids were so jealous that I was with her again! She made some yummy cupcakes and drinks for us. The amazing Michael Rizzo (Emily’s right hand man) talked to us about one of my favorite new app’s. Its Periscope. I love it and have been using it ever since.
From there we went up stairs to Krayl Funch who also had food and drinks! Oh my I tell you I ate and drank so much on the 3 days of Food Fight Write! I honestly can say that I ate some MARVELOUS food the entire time. Not a bad thing at all. Krayl showed us the importance of using pieces you have to set the stage for amazing presentation and photos.
Billy Parisi from billyparisi.com was in another room. He didn’t feed us and it was kind of good because I was so darn full! He let us kick back in recliners and showed a presentation on video skills. This one also changed a lot of how I am working now. He also covered pictures which is helping me a lot. Billy also writes recipes for The Inspired home where I house his pumpkin cheesecake. I made it for Thanksgiving, oh my gracious is that amazing!!!
This was all sponsored of course by Beth at yummienation.com and The Inspired Home. The inspired home http://www.ihainspiredhome.org is a great place to get everything from recipes, household tips, and even purchase the latest housewares! They sent us home with a bag of goodies. If you follow me on social media just use the hashtag #theinspiredhome to see all the stuff.
I then loaded my exhausted booty back to the bus to head to my hotel room for a nights sleep. It was about 7pm when I got back to my room. What a long amazing day. I was sound asleep by 8:15. To find out what happens on the BEST day of Food Fight Write stay tuned for Day 3/cooking in the Kenmore kitchen arena.