It’s one thing to read about the Eiffel Tower, and quite another to gaze up at it firsthand.
So it is with the distinct flavors of southern Louisiana. A restaurant guidebook is no substitute for being there, immersed in the region’s unique flavors, historic architecture and inimitable culinary style.
That’s why, in June, seventeen of the most influential food bloggers in the U.S. will journey to Louisiana to get a front-row, hands-on experience with some of the nation’s best oysters, blue crabs and other fresh seafood, as the writers roll in for the Food Blog Masters Retreat.
Sponsored by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board, the event is a six-day tour of the docks, fishermen, processors, chefs and shuckers who contribute to Louisiana’s reputation as a food mecca.
Food bloggers include Pim Techamuanvivit of Chez Pim, a former judge on Iron Chef America; Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites, who once made cookies on the Martha Stewart Show; and Marla Meridith of Family Fresh Cooking, one of Babble’s Top 100 Mom Food Bloggers of 2011.
The week kicks off with the Louisiana Seafood Festival and a specially created dinner by Chef Tenney Flynn of GW Fins. Then the hands-on experience begins — crabbing in Slidell, shucking oysters at an oyster farm, deep-sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, and jambalaya-making with only the best local catch.
In their downtime, they’ll have a chance to hit some of the town’s foodie landmarks, sampling beignets at Cafe du Monde or a snowball at Sno-Bliz — fluffy shaved ice topped with decadent syrups originally concocted by Mary Hansen, who started the business in 1939.
The trip is organized by Zehnder Communications.
Complete list of bloggers attending the Louisiana Seafood Food Blog Masters Retreat 2011:
- Daniel Delaney of Dan Delaney
- Amanda Bottoms of Kevin & Amanda
- Nathan Lippy
- Marla Meridith of Family Fresh Cooking
- Caroline Potter of OpenTable
- Adam Roberts and Craig Johnson of The Amateur Gourmet
- Maggy Keet of Three Many Cooks
- Matt Armendariz and Adam Pearson of Matt Bites
- Brooke Burton of Food Woolf
- Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking
- Amy Sherman of Cooking With Amy
- Emma Christensen of The Kitchn
- Chichi Wang of Serious Eats
- Jenny Flake of Picky Palate
- Pim Techamuanvivit of Chez Pim
Photos courtesy of Family Fresh Cooking (left), Matt Bites (center) and Chez Pim (right)