And now for the girls and a sweet sponsor for the Food and Wine Blogger Indaba

Jun 24th

Finally, Indaba 2012 is here. I cannot believe that tomorrow we will all be sitting in a filled auditorium listening to exciting speakers talking about their favourite topics. I am not quite there yet, still got a few things to do but my first chore is to introduce the last of said exciting speakers to you, the public and readers of this blog. At the moment Jeanne (cooksister) and I are sitting here together working on different things, her on perfecting her dog entertainment skills presentations for the day and myself tying up all the loose ends.  The day was fraught with nerves and difficult times but also wonderful times filled with cameraderie and fun while a team of wonderful folk all gathered together to pack all the stunning goodie bags. Oh my word…..the delegates are going home with not one bag each but THREE!!! Loaded full. What amazing sponsorship we have received for this Indaba. Be prepared to carry heavy when you leave the conference centre. For that reason the bags will be handed out at the end of the day and not the beginning…..there is no way anyone will be able to lug those around with them for the day! Thank you so much to those who came and gave up the most part of their Saturday to help us with all the heavy work. It is so appreciated.

In the midst of all that Jeanne arrived from London and it was discovered soon after that her entire presentation, that she was working on on the plane last night, had been left on the plane….YIKES!! So much phone calling and to and fros before a way was found for her hubby in London to send an extra large file to a website where we downloaded it once we got home earlier so she is all smiles and relaxed again and working madly….well trying to. Tasha the hound is having so much fun with her.  Now let me introduce you to some fabulous ladies who all have a lot to say about things they love…..

ALIDA RYDER

Alida , author and owner of the fabulous blog Simply Delicious lives in Pretoria, South Africa with her husband Chris and their twins, Aidan & Abigail. She started her blog, Simply Delicious, as a way to share her simple yet delicious recipes with friends and family and it soon gained a large following. After winning awards in two categories in the South African Blog Awards 2010, she has made a move into the food world and is now a freelance stylist, photographer and writer. She has a cookbook being released in September 2012 (published by Penguin Books SA) It has been such a pleasure to watch this ambitious young woman develop her fledgling blog into the beautiful site that it is today and it is just such a pleasure to welcome her aboard as a speaker this year. Alida will be speaking on how to monetize your blog and more importantly how to make your blog look beautiful and attractive to companies looking for blogs from an advertising point of view. This is such an important topic in these difficult times.

CARINE VISAGIE 

Carine Visagie is a journalist, lecturer and digital editor from Cape Town, South Africa. After completing a post-graduate degree in journalism at Stellenbosch University, Carine joined the 24.com group as content editor at Health24.com – a position she held for 7 years. However, a love for decor & design prompted her to join design magazine VISI in 2009 as online editor, shortly after she was awarded the Galliova prize for best health writer in South Africa. Her work on the redesign of VISI’s online and mobile platform, along with digital agency Native and advertising partner 140 BBDO, earned her team 3 Loerie Awards as well as a Silver Bookmarks Award in 2011. Carine is currently the Pick n Pay & Fresh Living digital editor at John Brown Media South Africa, and also lectures part–time at Stellenbosch University. Carine will be sharing with us about her favourite topic, Writing for the Web.

Now for something seriously delicious and sweet……and tempting

last year at the Good Food and Wine Show in Cape Town I tasted my first Sweet Tempations toffee and my love affair with the sweet rich decadence, that just melted in my mouth, began. I couldn’t get enough of these stylishly wrapped bars and I have been stalking Anita every since…..during that time this industrious and lovely young woman has built her toffee empire and this year has  scooped no less than SIX awards……..and it is only June! From the  DSTV Food Network, Eat-In Award for Best Small producer Confectionery in March (where I witnessed her absolute delight at winning) to the latest two -  Mercury Trophy Award for the Best stand overall and Gold award for beautiful display at the Royal Show in Pietermaritzburg in May this company so deserves the recognition that it is getting. GO ANITA! Sweet Tempations have generously sponsored a beautifully boxed assortment of toffees for every goodie bag, as well as a stunning hamper to be auctioned off for the Lavender in Lavender Hill charity auction tomorrow. I am definitely taking MY purse with me :)

And onto still more sweet things………….

SAM WOULIDGE 

The delightful Sam is a freelance journalist who considers herself really lucky to have landed a column in food magazine, Taste.  She is the complex, greedy, needy creature behind Confessions of a Hungry Woman. She once edited entertainment magazines ( Cape ReviewCape etc) relating to life in Cape Town – a city which she adores and she was also the founding editor of Time Out Cape Town.  But obviously she likes the food writing gig the most. I love these words on Sam’s blog header:

FOOD. FRIENDS. ALL THINGS FABULOUS. WEIGHT. WOMANHOOD. AND WHY THE SECRET TO LIVING A BALANCED LIFE, MAY, PERHAPS, PARADOXICALLY, LIE IN LEARNING TO COOK.

I found this excerpt from the final paragraph of her very first blog post and just loved it….it so resonated within me and I know it will with so many of you too……and this is the reason that I asked Sam to speak about Food Writing at this year’s Indaba……………

“And in the winter sunshine, surrounded by those I love, and who will me to do well, I have my picture taken. And I feel good. And beautiful. And hopeful. And I want to lose weight. And I want to learn to cook. And I want to live fearlessly. Because I am a Hungry Woman. And that implies an appetite for life and experiences. An appetite unhampered by insecurities.”

SARAH GRAHAM

Zimbabwean-born Sarah started her blog http://afoodieliveshere.com while living in Noordhoek, near Cape Town in May 2010 (and before having seen the movie Julie & Julia) and from the very first blog post, was unashamedly hooked. Firmly of the ’live to eat’ category, Sarah loves bringing both new and old recipes to life with ingredients that are as fresh and kindly-sourced as possible. Sarah put forward a proposal for a ‘blog-themed cookbook’ to RandomHouse-Struik Publishers in late 2010, and was awarded a contract to publish ‘bitten.’ which went on sale here in South Africa in February 2012.

The journey from her online blog platform to the bookshelf involved a huge amount of time and effort, but Sarah loved every step of the exciting journey. Now living in Bryanston in Johannesburg with her 9 month old daughter Sophie and husband Rob, Sarah is enjoying exploring the culinary world in Gauteng. Sarah’s blog and book have been featured online for Yuppiechef.com and Food24.com, on air with 2OceansVibe Radio, Talk 702, and also in the Woolworths TASTE, Food & Home, Garden & Home, Good Housekeeping and Fresh LIving Magazines as well as the Sunday Times and the Citizen Newspaper. When she’s not blogging or cooking, Sarah can be found watching cooking shows on TV (and, some might say, indulging a not-so-secret crush on Gordon Ramsay), or having fun with family and friends. Sarah will be sharing this journey in her workshop Writing and Publishing a Cookbook. She will also be doing a cooking demonstration using one of the recipes from ‘bitten’

I thank all those who have booked tickets, we have an almost full house and I hope that everyone has a wonderful Indaba experience. Best Jeanne and I get to bed now…we are both still burning the midnight oil and we have an Indaba to run in a few hours ;)

browniegirl