Sunday, November 3, 2013

The City of Roses

This last week, I had the incredible opportunity to go on my first business trip and cross one more US city off my travel bucket list: Portland.

Although I traveled primarily to attend the annual conference for International Foodservice Editor Council (IFEC), I made every effort to snag a local cup of coffee any chance that I could. And since the conference was for food editors and publicists, much of Portland's unique food culture was incorporated into the event.

Being my first time attending IFEC, I did not know exactly what to expect. It is such a unique conference because networking and food are the central focus. 

Publicists filled the hallways, pacing back and forth with black binders in tow waiting for their one-on-one meetings with editors. These 10-minute sessions provide a platform for editors to discuss upcoming stories and publicists to pitch ideas on behalf of clients. It was such a great opportunity to put faces with editor names, and I made some great contacts for work!

Photo by @Arosendahl777

In addition to great networking opportunities, all of the educational seminars revolved around food, especially showcasing the unique food culture of Oregon. In fact, one of deep's clients, Kerry Beverage, sponsored a couple of specialty coffee break stations. I loved having the chance to put my coffee passion and heritage to work in my PR career!

Not counting the amazing food tours on our last day, my favorite educational session was a honey tasting sponsored by the National Honey Board. They brought in honey expert Marie Simmons, author of the book Taste of Honey, to lead us through some different varietals of honey.

Each honey had a distinct flavor profile based on the region and type of plant that the bees gathered pollen from--similar to specialty coffee and bean-to-bar chocolate. I do love my artisan foods!

Overall, my PDX adventure was packed full of valuable work experience, meeting new people, learning about the science behind many artisan foods and tasting fabulous things all along the way. I have many coffee shop reviews coming along with some other foodie highlights from the City of Roses.

Stay tuned!
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