Pixels and Palates Blogger Event 2014

A Foodie Event, and precisely 5 weeks to pull it together!

So excited are we all at our Cookery School to reach our first 10 year milestone that we wanted to host a unique event to both celebrate and engage with other foodies in the community.

As you can imagine, there is no end to the work that goes into running a cookery school, so I knew from the get go that it would be essential to team up with someone to get this idea off the ground, but where would I start?!

As it happens, I ended up at a talk in October by Conor Lynch, Socialmedia.ie himself when I suddenly knew that this guy was talking my language and had the smarts to make our event happen.  We entered Conor’s world of high end cloud based team room organisation and I started to worry that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the techie pace, all the while, skilling up as best I could until it was my turn to contribute. Then Conor put forward this cool Sony Pop Up Lightbox and I knew I had to have one.  What’s more, if I had to have one, I guessed that lots of other foodies would like to see one. Bingo! We were going to anchor the event with a Pop Up Studio for aspiring food photographers!  Then Conor asked…’What else do you want to do?’

Cookery School Blogger Event Facebook

There was no question, but that I had that one covered.  Our 12 Week Certificate Students were completing a full day workshop on Molecular Gastronomy towards the end of November and I had seen how our tutors could contrast wildly interesting flavours with diverse colours in various forms such as jellies, foams and powders.  Alot of the tutors inspiration comes from innovative Chef René Redzepi of Restaurant Noma in Copenhagen and from time to time a few Q&A email exchanges have been known to occur which is testimony to the generous nature of the Noma staff.  So, for this event our Chef Instructor Mark Moriarty previously of The Greenhouse Restaurant presented a brightly coloured palate of gels and the Taste Test Challenge … was sorted.

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Answer Sheet: Mushroom, Ginger, Star Anise, Thyme and Mexican Chilli

At an event, I am always interested in the Canapés served.  For our event, I wanted to present some really nice homemade Canapés that simply taste good.   We usually serve blinis topped with Burren Smoked Salmon, but since our 12 week certificate students had recently visited Goatsbridge Trout Farm, Irish Trout Caviar was a laudible substitute.

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Our house blinis with Creme Fraiche and Goatsbridge Irish Trout Caviar

In the early planning stages, we called the event ‘Cook, Shoot, Eat’ but Conor felt it sounded a little too much like a book on zero tolerance punctuation which both of us had read (which was infact called Eats, Shoots and Leaves, by Lynne Truss), and I knew what he meant.  Yikes, time was running out and the Edible Invites to journalists had to be posted.  Conor suggested an alternative event title Pixels and Palates and first off I didn’t get it, but then I rang him back and said ‘It’s Perfect’!  The Pixels concept manifested itself as a Cook, Shoot Tweet Challenge which was my baby and I had to ensure that it entailed time in the Cookery School Kitchen and ample time for people to experience the Sony Pop Up Studio.

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As 20 Foodies, most of whom are well known food bloggers and food writers embraced the creative food styling element of the Challenge the Cookery School came into it’s own.  It was a pleasure to see everyone get into the groove so quickly especially considering the creative part of the challenge assigned only 20 minutes to the task.  Soon we had a line of people queuing to shoot their festive foodie creation in the Sony Pop Up Studio.

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Mr T proudly donning the MC mantel.

While we reviewed all the entries,  Conor had prepared a brief presentation on digital marketing which I knew would be great and he had also invited Rachel and Brian Nolan founders of Nobó to speak about their journey developing an award winning dairy free ice cream brand with a clever name!

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Eamonn Quinn, Dragons’ Den Entrepreneur with his wife and Tim and Conor

I knew the event was a success when I could feel the buzz around the room.  I think that’s Karma when you have a good team working on something together.  10 years ago, we just loved food.  Now we love sharing our love of food with thousands of lovely customers in our New York loft style space in South William Street in Dublin’s thriving Creative Quarter.  It’s been some journey.  Now, we’re excited about our next 10 years and sharing it with all the lovely people we have met on our journey!

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