On Saturday I had the privilege of joining some 80 fellow food bloggers for the Food Bloggers’ Symposium 2010 – the first of its kind to be held in Denmark. The Symposium took place, nestled up against none other than the best restaurant in the world – Noma, on Copenhagen’s North Atlantic Wharf.
Local gourmet produce
I arrived at the conference, like many others present, not knowing anybody. All I knew was that we all shared a passion – a passion for food, good food. The programme for the day catered perfectly to this shared passion with presentations by the Danish winegrower, Anders Selmer from Lilleø and chocolate maker Mikkel-Friis-Holm, who travels to Nicaragua himself to choose the best cocoa beans from the best growers, ensuring them a fair price and a future for their children, and then a welcome visit from the guys from Coffee Collective half way through the afternoon. This gastronomical side of the day was excellently balanced by input from various media experts on the art of blogging – how to be a good blogger, how to inspire, how to stimulate blog traffic and so much more.
Food for thought
The day would not have been complete without a good dose of dietary advice and inspiration. I sat and lapped up every word that Claus Meyer and Charlotte Mithril had to say about the OPUS project – the world’s largest research project on children’s health, aimed at alleviating problems such as obesity, obesity-related diseases and learning difficulties. At its core is a new eating concept, developed by experts, termed the New Nordic Diet. This diet is basically pure common sense and the guts of it were probably already known to most of us in the room. Essentially it’s about getting back to basics and including more locally and organically grown, seasonal fruit and vegetables in the daily diet; remembering to supplement our meals with pulses and wholegrains; and at the same time reduce our intake of meat, in particular low-grade meat. The meat in our diet should consist of high-grade cuts or, even better, be game or seafood. The point hammered home the most this day, not only by Claus Meyer, but also by Mark Bittman from the NY Times, was the importance of HOME COOKING. Research has revealed this to be the key to reducing obesity.
Being a food lover of course I would have to say that the “play” lunch was one of the highlights of the day for me. Paper bags were distributed amongst all participants and chef Mads Nybro from Beta was Skyped in to tell us by webcam how to assemble our lunches. This ranged from having to chuck the small tin containing an udon noodle soup into a big galvanised basin of hot water at the back of the meeting room for a few minutes (to heat it, you see), to taking a small container of baby gem lettuce to another station to get some smoked cheese foam squirted onto it. It certainly got people moving around the room. Both of the afore mentioned tasted divine but the foie gras, served toothpaste-style, on delicious bread rolls totally rocked. I did my darnest to squeeze every last drop out of that tube!
An evening under the bridge
The day was rounded off with an outdoor dinner at Knipps Kaj under Knippelsbro. With the cobbled quayside, the rustic table settings and the musician strumming away, the atmosphere was distinctly Parisian. The steady flow of various biodynamic wines and, not least, the amusement we had in hammering the living daylights out of giant crab claws, ensured that the tongues of food bloggers were loosened and it was an evening of high spirits. Thanks to Heidi, Louise, Mogens (sorry, for calling you Morten!), Kristina and Mia for great dinner company.
The morning after
I’m happy to say that my time in this Danish food blogger universe did not end on Saturday. We had the opportunity to meet again, under more sober circumstances, at the Grønch (vegetarian brunch), hosted by Din Baghave (who as you might know I’ve been known to rant about before), in conjunction with the Eat 2010 food exhibition. This was possibly one of the most delicious and healthiest brunches I’ve ever had, but that’s another story…