When the bloggers from all corners of the world first gathered on the roof of the
Wythe Hotel for welcome cocktails on Wednesday night, I love your blog's were heard all around—we knew we had a good group of finalists for our 2015 SAVEUR Blog Awards.
Thursday, we were all business—panels on everything from social media to monetizing your brand to using videos on your blog, and with guests speakers like Instagram-famous
Patrick Janelle and Genius Recipes author Kristen Miglore. But we also made time for a little fun with a Wolf Gourmet cooking demo by Food Editor Ben Mims, and cheese and wine tastings by Rogue Creamery and Luca Wines.
After a quick break, we headed over to
NY Distilling Company, where we snacked on asparagus spring rolls from chef Rob Newton ( Wilma Jean and Nightingale 9) and sipped on negronis as Editor-in-Chief Adam Sachs and Publisher Kristin Cohen announced our finalists and winners, and named Molly Yeh of My Name is Yeh as blogger of the year. And with buckets of Wilma Jean fried chicken, a photo booth, ice cream from Blue Marble, and more negronis, we celebrated all our talented bloggers—winners and finalists—ice cream cones and drinks in hand. Bloggers, everywhere! Social Media - Best Practices and Strategies for Growing One's Social Following. Moderated by Erica Duecy, Digital Content Director and joined by panelists Janice Morris, @TwitterFood; Patrick Janelle, @aguynamedpatrick; and Kristen Miglore, @Food52. Bloggers were urged by Janice to "Find what is your strength and what is your platform. If you're not playing the game [using social media], you can't have a following." Patrick describes his social media presence by saying "I want to be a real person. I don't just want to be staged photos all the time." Kristen also speaks on the difference between personal and business channels by stating that "If I'm being a good representative of food52, I post like that on all my channels." Panel: Building and Monetizing Your Brand. Panelists included Athena Calderone, Eye Swoon; Janet Crowther, For the Makers (Etsy); and Maureen Petrosky; Blogger and Stylist. Maureen advises bloggers to "Develop your voice. Know who you are. business is personal. The content you are creating will take you much further." Athena attributes her success to collaboration and says that "I believe it takes a team. Asking to collaborate and meeting people is how I got myself out there." Janet also speaks on the up and down aspect of blogging and states that "the decision to not give up is the most important." Workshop: Show, Don't Tell: Recipes for Video Success. Presented by: Whole Foods Panel: Life’s A Pitch. Moderated by Adam Sachs and joined by panelists Amy Mara, Weldon Owen; Ted Lee, Author; Emily Takoudes, Phaidon. Bloggers learned how to make the most effective pitches to have their work published. Lee states, "You have to feel like you have something to say...Cookbooks are such a great value and that's why they're forever." Amy encouraged bloggers to "Take all the routes. With bloggers, it's a very compelling package for the editors." Emily emphasized that "You have to understand why the book is different from the blog and how the book will stand on its own." Food Editor, Ben Mims, showed the finalists how to make a berry yogurt smoothie and a seasonal vegetable soup with Wolf Gourmet appliances. He also treated the bloggers to a bread pudding at the end of the demo! Here's all the people that this day could not have been possible without! And a beautiful cheese display from Rogue Creamery. We treat our finalists well. Here's a look into what the bloggers received in their lovely SAVEUR gift bags. Bloggers had the opportunity to participate in a wine tasting, courtesy of Luca Wines. They learned about everything from what temperature your reds should actually be served at, to why certain wine bottles are shaped certain ways. Check out these adorable Le Creuset salt and pepper shaker trophies that our winners received! Chef Rob Newton and Editor-in-Chief Adam Sachs buddy up in the photo booth. Fun, IRL times were had by all. Dried figs, honey, balsamic vinegar, and blue cheese from Rogue Creamery Congratulations to Molly Yeh for winning Blog of the Year! Digital Marketing Director Kim McNally and Publisher Kristin Cohen get a little silly. Marissa A. Ross of Wine All the Time (Editors' Choice and Readers' Choice, Wine Coverage), Jameson Fink (Finalist, Best Wine Coverage), Kristen Guy of Dine x Design (Finalist, Home, Style, & Design), and Natasa Djuric of My Daily Sourdough Bread (Finalist, Special Interest Blog) Sydney Kramer of The Crepes of Wrath (Finalist, Most Delicious), Elizabeth Stark of Brooklyn Supper(Editors' Choice, Most Delicious), Cynthia Chen of Two Red Bowls (Readers' Choice, Most Delicious), Alana Kysar of Fix Feast Flair (Readers' Choice, Best New Voice), and Stephanie Le of I Am A Food Blog (Blog of the Year, 2014) Natasa Djuric of My Daily Sourdough Bread (Finalist, Special Interest Blog) came all the way from Slovenia! Blog of the Year winner Molly Yeh (of My Name is Yeh) loves mac and cheese (which was provided last night by Wilma Jean, and was delicious). Emily Wells of Gastronomista (Readers' Choice, Spirits or Cocktail Coverage), Prairie Rose of Bit By A Fox (2014 Readers' Choice, Spirits or Cocktail Coverage), and Talia Kleinplatz of Two For The Bar(Editors' Choice, Spirits or Cocktail Coverage) Virpi Mikkonen of Vanelja (Editors' Choice, Best Designed), Renee Kemps (Editors' Choice, Best Photography), and Jessie Snyder of Faring Well (Editors' Choice, Best New Voice) Marissa A. Ross, whose blog Wine All The Time won Readers' Choice and Editors' Choice for Best Wine Coverage, practices what she preaches.