Katie and I had the great pleasure of meeting nearly 30 food bloggers from around the country on Friday. They were in town for the BlogHer conference taking place at Navy Pier, and were nice enough to invite us to join them for dinner at Lao Sze Chuan in Chinatown.
At first, Katie was going to go solo, but I was able to get off work early and join her. We were on schedule until traffic kept Katie from catching her train. I jumped on the expressway and drove to the burbs to pick her up, and we quickly headed back up to the city. Unfortunately we got there 45 minutes after everyone else, so we had to grab our own table and quickly order some food. Several women were nice enough to come chat with us while we ate, including Alanna Kellogg, Claire Blaustein, Anne-Marie Nichols, and Katie Khoury.
I also got to meet a couple of other Chicago bloggers, Gemma Petrie who writes one of my favorite blogs, Pro Bono Baker, as well as Terry Boyd of Blue Kitchen. They’ve mentioned getting other Chicago food bloggers together for another dinner, which would be pretty damn fun.
Hopefully, the food will be a little less spicy next time. Katie’s Ma Po Tofu was so hot that it nearly brought her to tears. I of course took this as a challenge, but even I had to admit that it was almost too spicy to enjoy. I ordered, on a whim, the bok choy with black mushrooms. Mine was much more edible, but I was full of bok choy in no time. Eating some of the deep fried bread with cream sauce probably didn’t help matters.
What I found most interesting was the cross section of people that food blogging brings to the table. These are people who not only love food, but have experienced so much that at times, we felt out of our element. Here we were two kids from flat-lands Illinois, a modicum of life experience, talking to people who have seen the world, grown their own vegetables, even packed their own meats. But, ultimately none of that mattered as we were welcomed in with open arms.
I want to thank Alanna for inviting us. While we didn’t get a chance to talk one on one with everybody, it was still a great treat to be introduced to such interesting people. I can’t wait to get some time (curse you work…and Harry Potter) to check out all their blogs. And I hope you do the same. I’ve included a list of everyone who came out Friday night.
You can check out photos of the evening, taken by the daughter of Susan Voisin, over at her Flickr page.
Shuna Fish Lydon
Tery Spataro and Aliza Sherman