I just recently received news that I have been invited to ShiftCon 2018! If you follow me on Instagram, you know I pretty much geeked out on my Insta-Stories. I went to ShiftCon 2016 in NOLA this past year and fell in love! This is THE conference to go to if you are a) a blogger, journalist, social influencer; or b) a human being who cares about their food or this planet. I am pretty much obsessed with this platform and just had to share my top five reasons that ShiftCon is the must-attend conference!
The food at ShiftCon is without a doubt the best I’ve had at any conference. Not only is every meal organic, but mostly sustainable, responsibly farmed, or locally sourced. Did I mention delicious? In a room full of media, we all couldn’t stop talking about food. I mean, I cover food on my blog at all times, but I was wowed by the selection and presentation of the food at ShiftCon 2016. They were also able to make sure and really add some local flair to the prepared food. We dined on some of the finest N’awlins Oysters from the infamous Dre’s, and I tasted my very first gumbo!
Which ever way you slice it, the ShiftCon attendees and community are some of the most supportive I’ve come across. I truly found my tribe in NOLA last year and have been talking about it ever since. It wasn’t just the media, but also the brands. They were completely engaging, and I’ve made some very real connections in a fast-paced industry where it’s easy to get “lost in the sauce.” The Expo hours were separate allowing brands to sit and dine with media during keynote speeches, or learn alongside each other in various workshops. The connections made were very real and organic. Pun totally intended!
ShiftCon is structured in such a way that there is plenty of time to experience the local culture. They’ve also made it possible to include a bit of the local culture in workshops, scheduled tours (I was able to enjoy a local ghost tour in the heart of N’awlins y’all), and special guided activities. All putting you in touch with your surroundings, and the good folks trying make #ShiftHappen in these cities. It’s both inspiring and eye opening.
There is so much education at ShiftCon. These folks are passionate about the cause and have lined up an array of educators to help you to spread the good word. They’re fighting the good fight all over the nation and have come from far and wide to share it with all the ShiftCon Shifters. These are some of the most passionate and engaged educators teaching us about anything from soil degradation, agricultural news, and farming practices, to social media growth and SEO courses. A wide range of all things “shifty” if you will. The ways and means on how to report your news and the most effective way to get it to the masses. The panel’s were jam-packed with CEO’s (not marketing reps) from major organic brands answering some tough questions about their practices, and future plans for remaining authentic in a consumers market. I left each session feeling as though I’d learned something new, and feeling more connected to the brands that I use and write about.
If you’ve ever spoken to someone whose attended a ShiftCon conference, then no doubt you’ve heard of their infamous swag bag. I kid you not, I couldn’t begin to even go through it all. There was something inside from every beloved (albeit pricey) organic company I could think of. The swag alone outweighs the cost of the ticket, and is well worth it. I actually had to ship it home to myself because it was way to much to haul in an airport all on my own. The swag bag is given to you on the first day you arrive (perhaps so you have time to figure out how to get it home), and it doesn’t end there. Each day / night there is a new raffle or opportunity to win a new prize. This year, there will be an awards ceremony for the media that is attending, I can’t wait to see what they get to take home!
Either way you slice it this event is a “gotta be there” kind of event, and this year it’s returning to its roots in the OC. Yours truly will be there getting all of the scoop and sharing with all of the other “shifters” via social media. You can join the #ShiftHappens movement by getting your very own tickets here.
See you in California!
The Las Olas Wine & Food Festival is back! This is my first year attending this big event and I am so psyched!.Where there is wine, there is fun! I will be in attendance with one of my favorite assistant photographer’s (my hubster), and bringing you all of the latest in wine and food directly from Las Olas. I’ve been instructed to get there early, and wear comfy clothes (duh). Here are some deets you should know about #LOWFF so you aren’t just sitting from home watching my Insta-stories wishing you bought tickets in time.
60+ restaurants and 40+ wineries will take over Las Olas Blvd for one night only on Friday, April 21st from 7:30 – 10:30pm to benefit the American Lung Association. The theme for the 22nd annual festival is Everyone’s a VIP at #LOWFF. With the flash of LOWFF’s signature wine-holder-lanyard credential, guests will gain access to the luxury tasting pavilions along each block as well as ALL VIP LOUNGES, hosted by participating sponsors along the boulevard. There will be one price ticket available for purchase at $125.
Spanning over five enclosed blocks, LOWFF will treat guests to 45+ wineries and 60 restaurants with a culinary journey to showcase the talents of South Florida’s finest chefs. Signature wine-holder-lanyard credentials are required to enter into any of the pavilions, BUT there are 2 more blocks of pavilions to enter with lots of ground to cover and explore, so event VIPs should be ready for an unforgettably spacious evening on the town. Each private pavilion will be made up of restaurants, wine sampling stations, and MYO interactive experiences with an increase of flair featuring live music, DJs (DJ Irie is spinning all night-long), culinary and mixology demonstrations, interactive retail displays and more.
15th Street Fisheries
180 Degrees at the DRB
BAO Bar & Asian Kitchen
Chima Brazilian Steakhouse
Indigo Fort Lauderdale
I <3 Mac n Cheese
JWB Prime Steak & Seafood
Lobster Bar Sea Grille
Mama Mia Italian Ristorante
Menpaw Hot Sauce
Spa Juice Bar
Temple Street Eatery
The Chimney House
Wild Sea Oyster Bar
The 2nd Annual Best of the Best Chef Competition returns to the main stage this year. The 2016 Champs were Chef Dustin Ward of BLT Restaurants, Chef Yukie Horata with Mama Mia’s, and Chef Andres Teran with JWB Prime Steak and Seafood. An expert panel of judges made of up South Florida’s favorite foodie personalities will be helping to decide who will be named BEST OF THE BEST along with LOWFF top connoisseurs. Each category will feature 2 chefs going head to head in live competitions.
The Annual event benefits the American Lung Association, which has a mission to fight against the third leading cause of death in the United States. Support of this event will assist in funding research and educational programming for the American Lung Association (ALA) so join the American Lung Association as they provide a breath of fresh air for the culinary inclined.
This year’s guest experience will be elevated with 2 more blocks and foyer lounges under each tasting pavilion with additional entry and exit points throughout each tasting pavilion for ease of access on Las Olas Boulevard. MORE SPACE = MORE FUN EXTENDING 2 BLOCKS from SE 6th Avenue – the end of SE 10th Ave in order to ensure all Las Olas Wine & Food Festival attendees can sip, sample, mix & mingle with all.
Early release tickets are already sold out, so be sure to get your tickets while supplies last because credentials are necessary to gain entrance into festival zones and supplies are limited. Once inside, everything is included! Tickets can be purchased online, with prices starting at $125. For a complete line-up of events and ticket information, visit www.lasolaswff.com or call (954) 727-0907 and be sure to follow along online on Instagram.
Hope to see you there! I’ll be the one holding on tight to my dear wine koozie!
Self-care is important, especially as a parent. You need to take the time to fill your own tank in order to be a good parent, or person in general. One of my favorite things to do with my husband is go out to eat. We love a good meal, and can’t help but share our love for a great foodie pic. Last week we dropped the kids at school and planned a lunch date at one of our favorite restaurants in Boca Raton, Roots Italian Kitchen.
The food is always fresh, and always delicious. So when I heard that they were now opening for lunch, we jumped at the opportunity to see what they had up their sleeve. As usual, they didn’t disappoint. But I’ll let the food speak for itself.
We sat and enjoyed a glass of Sauvignon Blanc on the back patio of Roots in Boca Raton. I wasn’t even aware they had a back patio, so it was a pleasant surprise with an awning to keep us shaded. We enjoyed the breeze while taking in the gorgeous green hedges and relaxing sounds of the nearby water fountain.
We started with the Italian Chopped Salad, which was excellent. The ham added just the right amount of savory to balance out the sweet in the raspberry vinaigrette dressing. The pistachios were an especially nice touch adding the perfect crunch. This was hearty and light, we enjoyed munching away on this, but didn’t feel stuffed afterwards.
So bring on the pasta!
The Chicken Francese (I ordered) was packed full of flavor. The juices from the chicken and dressing adorned the al dente linguine. It wasn’t long before I realized I hadn’t shared any with my husband. He was forgiving, because he hadn’t looked up from his plate of Chicken Marsala.
I’m such a fan of Roots perfectly sautéed spinach, I couldn’t help but nab a few bites. The mushrooms were perfectly cooked and hearty, adding a ton of flavor to what I assume was butter pan seared chicken. Such a pleasure!
Since we were on limited time (you’ve gotta sneak it in where you can), we took our cheesecake choices to go. We chose the Lemon and Nutella Cheesecake. This made for a perfect dessert after dinner. We each shared half and they were the perfect balance. The lemon cleaned our palette while the Nutella cheesecake was rich and decadent.
Roots Italian Kitchen is open for lunch from 11am – 3pm Tuesday – Saturdays, and dinner starts from 5pm – pm. This Thursday, April 20th is the one-year anniversary for Roots! Owners Yuri Kouzenkov and Owner / Chef Mike Latimore are inviting local clients to come enjoy both lunch and dinner all day on Thursday for 30%off. Come celebrate and enjoy the roots they’ve laid down in Boca!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was provided complimentary dining in order to facilitate my review, all opinions and any pasta obsessions expressed here are my own.