The main part of the conference lasted for four full days. The best part was seeing old friends from all over the world and discovering new ones. There were also several excellent presentations. Aki Kamozawa and partner/husband Alexander Talbot, authors of Ideas in Food. did a lively and informative session on sous vide cooking (cooking under vacuum).Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work Next Peter Reinhart, possible the best teacher I've ever known, did an excellent session on the use of sprouted wheat flour. This is new flour and not yet available but trust me, you'll be hearing more about it on this blog and elsewhere (including Peter's upcoming book The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking (Ten Speed Press--pub date August 14, 2012)! Check out the blog.
I always make sure to attend the afternoon-long information fair to see new ingredient and equipment products and this year was especially exciting for me as Gary Fallowes, my partner in NewMetro Design, had a booth to present my new product line "The Rose Collection." I also always make sure to attend Nathan Fong's (aka Mr. Vancouver) 15 year long running annual IACP dinner. This year it was at Daniel Boulud's Bar Boulud and was a record 45 attendees. What a dinner! We had one of the private party rooms in the basement. I sat next to Haley MatsonMathes from Hawaii who is organizing a class I will be teaching with Woody in Honolulu at Leeward Community College. Here we are with the host Nathan Fong. The food was fantastic. Daniel appeared at the end to greet us and the pastry chef sent out a second dessert of Gateau Basque with a candle for my birthday. We all introduced ourselves and one person, Alison Oresman, described herself as a visible ghost writer and journalist. At the end of the evening we ran into each other in the ladies' room and started up a conversation in which we discovered so many threads in common it lasted about an hour which was well past midnight so that it was officially my birthday. We heard a knock on the door because someone heard our laughter and a good thing too as the restaurant was about to be locked and we would have had to spend the rest of the night in the basement surrounded by lots of wine but all under lock and key! The grand finale was the night of the Cookbook Awards. I spent most of the time in the "Green Room" with other presenters including dear friend Barbara Kafka, and other dear long time friends. After the awards, my editor and other Wiley friends took Lisa Yockelson and me out for dinner at Esca to celebrate her award and my birthday! The pastry chef sent out the two desserts we had ordered with special messages of congratulations. Mine was the lemon olive oil cake and it was exquisite. Next year San Francisco!