I wanted to have a different experience this year at SXSW so I was excited to spend the day hanging out with 100+ leading food bloggers at TECHmunch hosted by Whole Foods HQ in Austin. This event did not disappoint, it was one of the many #unbadged events at SXSW where you could attend without being a SXSW badge holder. The full day event showcased a combination of expert panels, food tastings and demos for food bloggers and brands – meant to inform and inspire even experienced food bloggers.
Topics of discussion included; tapping into the local food scene, finding your voice, content creation, optimizing your blog, creating recipes, taking great photos, video, seo, social syndication… and first hand experiences of numerous food bloggers and brands.
Like all bloggers, food bloggers aspire to achieve a large following within their community. One such presenter who has reached a level of minor celebrity within the food community was Internet Cooking Show Cohost Hilah Johnson. Along with her partner Christopher Sharpe, she produces how-to videos and she has a large, highly engaged fan base on social media. Hilah’s focus is mostly on simple recipes with a Texas flair that anyone can create at home. Some of her more popular videos include: How to Make Corn Dogs and Chick-Fil-Gay Copycat Sandwich.
Overall I found that food bloggers are some of the friendliest, down to earth and most passionate people I’ve ever met at SXSW. They have an enthusiasm, no – a lust – for food and each have their own story about what drew them to write about food. Some are vloggers or chefs in the making; many are food journalists or adventurers with an enthusiasm to immerse themselves in local cuisine. One thing is certain: they are driving and changing the conversation around food culture.