I started blogging 2 years ago out of a passion to cook and share recipes. A lot of my friends encouraged my shoddy attempt to be a amateur food writer, photographer and a cook. If you ever get the chance to see my earliest recipes you would cringe to see the photographs clicked by me.
I did not and still don’t have a camera, my “I phone” is my trusted aide and I use it click all the pictures. I don’t develop recipes at all. Infact very few recipes on this blog are mine the rest are recipes I have seen on other people’s blog or shared by friends (ofcourse giving them due credit). Some people took my passion seriously, some treated me with kindness that you will shower on an child who wants to do something new and you know may not succeed. And some just plainly ignored me.
There were days when I just wanted to give up and throw the towel in. After all blogging was not giving me anything besides being an outlet. I had a full time job and things to do at home, so my hands were pretty full anyways. But for some reason I did not give up. Once in a while someone would comment on my blog telling me they liked my recipes and some kind soul who would dare to make something from my blog, would message me that they enjoyed it, kept me going.
And then a few months ago I got to chance to be a part of a ‘Eat Drink Blog Australia 2013” conference, where food bloggers from around Australia would get together to share, talk and learn more about blogging. Luckily it was being held in Perth so I did not have go anywhere else. I send in my registration full of nervous anticipation waiting to hear that I was accepted. I had travel plans, which I changed in the hope and everyday I checked my mail.
They say good things come to those who wait and waiting is a game I play really well. I finally got my acceptance mail and then came more waiting for the D day or shall I say D weekend. Every few weeks we would get mails from the organizers sharing the agenda, activities and a million other things that were planned for us. I was impressed the meticulous planning and it made me even more nervous. Especially as I would be meeting these bunch of professional bloggers who clearly knew what they were doing wherein I had no idea on how to even take pictures, forget about writing.
The night before the day we had our conference I lay awake tossing and turning, unable to relax. I wondered what I would wear, what I would say, who I would meet, would I be accepted. I mean till now I had suffered from this identity crisis. I did not know if I was an Indian food blogger who lived in Australia or was I an Australian food blogger who wrote about Indian food. I was sure I was none and I could feel my armpits sweating with nervousness as I walked to the destination.
Once I entered the venue I was shocked to see the number of attendees. There were around 100 people in that room on that hot sunny day with food and drinks stalls to cater to ever hungry demand. I was still nervous and kept frequenting the ladies room to stare in the mirror and make sure I looked presentable. I had worn an Indian outfit to ensure my identity as a Mumbai girl was intact but being in that room with so many amazing people had me shaking in my fancy mojris (Indian ethnic shoes).
Slowly as I started meeting and talking to people my nervousness subsided. Everyone was genuinely friendly and interested in knowing me and talking about my blog. The sessions we had around blogging were informative and completely in context with whole conference, keeping us hooked and engaged. We learned about Coffee making from “Five senses“, had a discussion on growing and eating locally as well as discussions on blogging ethics and legal awareness. Food and goodies were provided by Littlesweet baking, European foods, Jean piearie sanchos. There was a constant flow of good food throughout with the evening ending in a pop up dinner where everyone just got to unwind and chill.
The day could not have ended on a sweeter note and if that was not enough the next day we had the opportunity to take part in a pastry masterclass with chef Emmanuel Mollois for the launch of his new cook book “Patisserie”. He taught us to make the most amazingly delicious Choux pastry filled with a Monte Carlo Cream mousse. And I couldn’t have been more happier.
By the time the second day ended we said our goodbye I felt completely at home in the company of all these people I had just met a day ago who had taken the time to get to know me, talk to me and even follow my blog. When I got into the car to go back home it just hit me that I belonged here, that I was an Australian food blogger. India is my identity, my cultural heritage. But Australia and especially Perth is now my home and there is where I am from.
I also realized that my blog was now 2 years old and I was being accepted as one of the bloggers from down under. Could I have asked for a better birthday present for my blog. I think not. I slept well after going home that night, very content and inspired with all the bright people I was surrounded by during the EDB13 conference.