Tag Archives: Food Blog South

What Did You Have For Dinner? Here is What I Had!

What did you have for Dinner?  Here is what I whipped up last night in just about 20 minutes!  My wife and I have been talking about how good food and good cooking does not always have to take a lot of time and fuss.  So last night I put this ideology into practice.  Now do not get me wrong, I do believe that so much of good cooking is right timing and trusting the process but this meal was both simple and quick!  It began with 2 fresh Grouper filets in the ice box from our monger.  They each were around .5lbs.  These beautiful filets were going to be the center piece. Continue reading

Low Country Shrimp and Grits

Few things scream Southern Cuisine louder than Low Country Shrimp and Grits!  There are so many wonderful variations on this warm and hearty dish, but today I am giving you the Vulcan’s Table version.  For me there are two keys to really good Shrimp and Grits.  The first is making sure to get really good stone-ground grits.  This ingredient can make all of the difference in both taste and consistency.  Secondly, for my grits I rely heavily on the spices in the andouille sausage.  I let these spices and the fat really flavor the dish.  Make sure you know the heat of your sausage and cut it accordingly; you do not want to get a big bite of really spicy sausage that will overpower the other amazing flavors in the dish.  I use the fresh andouille in the butchers section at our local Whole Foods.  Don’t forget to support our Gulf Coast fishermen and buy fresh and delicious certified Gulf Coast shrimp! Click here to hear some of the amazing stories of these fishermen at Third Coast Byways.

I really love to cook this recipe for lunch on a cold winter day and serve it with some crusty french bread.  Enjoy! Continue reading

Hungry for More- Wade Kwon

Wade Kwon



How will your food business stand out?

The way we talk about food now is completely different than the way we talked about 5-10 years ago. So many more people care about food than ever before. People ask more questions of food than they have in the past, we have more access to our food and its information.

People must must must get value for their money and their time. Coming out of a recession, money is tight and eating out comes in a lesser frequency. Think about how you are helping others with your blog to make the best decisions with this valuable time.

Food is different now, we have so may opportunities to try so many types of food. Food is shifting away from routine to entertainment. Is your brand entertaining, is it something that people get excited about and are passionate about. Food is entertaining!

The bad news from all of this excitement about food is that telling that story requires MORE effort on your part. There are soooo many voices competing for attention. Information must be current to fans.

Information must be interesting to fans. You want to be interesting. You are competing against so many funny and interesting things on the internet. (He is trying to talk while he is showing a youtube video of a cat peaking in and out of a bag.)

It has to be personal. You do not buy groceries from Publix or get your hair cut at Regis, you buy your groceries from Joe and you get you hair cut by Stacey. You have to connect on a very personal level and show people that you care about them not just about their business.

It has to be inviting to fans. Are you talking down to your customers? Are you speaking on a level and with a tone that shows them that you want to share something with them and are excited about sharing information? Ease the tension of exploring food and restaurants. Turn people into fans and fans into customers

Tips and Techniques to Share Your Story

Your colleagues help tell the story.

You can build an audience that asks questions and wants information

Tools at your fingertips: We have all of the tools that major companies use to communicate, now it is just what we do with those tools.

The Gulf Oil Spill and Southern Seafood

Panelist- Ashley Hall, Erin Shaw Street, John Bowler, Stacey Little

Ashley- Worked blogging during the spill over at Third Coast Byways to tell the stories of the fishermen on the coast getting the word directly from the industry. It is important to continue to share that the seafood is safe and ready to eat!.

John- Whole Foods Seafood buyer- Whole Foods did not pull Gulf Coast seafood during when everyone else did, as a company they decided there was no better time to support these people. They are still doing testing of the fish to make sure they quality is at its best. NOAA is the most detailed site to get information concerning the spill. Whole Foods trusts their fishermen, who go to NOAA and check everyday as to where they should and should not fish.


This has been a very interesting session. In a world where we are constantly flooded with new disasters, pain and heart ache it is easy to forget the lasting effect of this horrifying tragedy that concluded only a few months ago. Thanks so much for including the stories of the fishermen and the gulf coast at this conference. How important it is to keep these beautiful people on the front of our minds as well as remember the with our pocket books and shopping carts.

Recipe Development-Alison Lewis and Virginia Willis

Alison Lewis-Ingredients Inc.

Virginia Willis- Culinary Productions

Recipe Development Basics

1. Who is the target audience for my recipe?

2. Why am I sharing this recipe?

Style-Writing style is the manner in which a writer addresses an issue.  Is it casual, friendly, instruction, specific?  Can people “hear” you?

Voice- How do your readers know that this recipe is coming from you?

How do you do a Recipe?

1. Try to put it on paper first.

2. When testing take a lot of notes- Use a red ink pen when you change something so it will stand out, the second time use a green pen so you can trace the trail you have come down.

3. Make a testing sheet- Make sure to use this so you make sure that you are fully explaining the recipe.  Have other people test for you.

Here is Virginia’s Testing Sheet

Elements of a Recipe-


Headnote- An interesting intro to tempt your reader, sensual, tips, helpful info, make ahead instrutions, ingredients, numbered steps, prep time, cook time, yields,

Recipe Editing Cuidelines- List ingredients in order of when they are used.  Do not use brand name unless you are working for that brand or linking the to the brand.  Use the brand if it is relavent to the success to the recipe

Always indicate the prep for the food.  drained, peeled, etc

Be consistent.

We are now doing a recipe writing session on how to make a PB&J Sandwich.

Great information Thanks so much Alison and Virginia!!!

Marketing Your Blog- Christy Jordan

Christy Jordan runs an awesome blog called Southern Plate

Good marketing is drive and creativity. Everything is so new with social media you have to consistently be learning and trying new things.  You have to make the most of it.

Get your own domain.

Stumbleupon.com is a form of social media, with a tool bar that helps you get noticed outside of your regular circles.  For every person that comes to your blog and leaves happy is the potential for 100 new readers.  Make sure to be unique and share your own voice.  Create disciples for your blog.  Decide up front what your set of standards are.  Have a positive tone and make sure that you are predictable in your content.  Make sure that your blog is accessible to both genders.  Experiment with your design.  You have to be consistent across the board with your brand, have the same name in everything.

Your Blog needs to be reliable. She uses liquidhost.com, bluehost.com  YOu want your blog to market itself when you are not working on it.  Websitegrader.com is a useful tool to help you know what you can improve on.  Once a week try to do something to improve your blog.  This will help your google page ranking.  Be extensive in your tagging.  This will help search engines find you easier. Tag your name as well.  Separate your tags into individual words.  Categories are also important. Know your social media community, Twitter=professional, Facebook=personal.  Build your community in the social media world.

Questions from the Crowd

How often should you post on the blog? She posts three times a week.  This way she gets to hear from everyone and see how the post plays out. 3-5 per week max.

When to post? Fridays are big days for blog posting.

This was a very helpful session.

Food Blog South Opening Session- Tanner Latham

Tanner’s Blog- http://edgeoftheroad.typepad.com/

What is great about the South.  This is a statement not a question.

So Tanner begins with “Bacon Porn” which is literally the sound and video of bacon frying. Some of the aspects of the great south are Charismatic Characters, Authenticity:Products that are pure and stand of quality not packaging.

Southern Food and Trending from Kara Neilsen Trendologist from SanFrancisco- “What the South has been doing forever started being recognized under the guise of seasonal, local and sustainable.  The South was able to retain a lot of its regional culinary characteristics.”

2011 Food Trends- Cloudberries, Arepas, Popovers, Coconut Oil, Grass fed Dairy, Umami

Side note- Tanner is a friend from back in Piedmont and you could not meet a better guy or come across a better blog, make sure to check it out! Edge of the Road

Some More Bread Making Pics!

Just a couple of pics of the new batch of bread. I did two more loaves of Country Bread, and branched out and made 3 Baguettes. It all turned our really well!!! The second time around I felt so much more comfortable with the method, technique and process. My family and friends are not minding the new hobby too much either!

Good Eats at Food Blog South

Welcome Food Blog South Bloggers!!! I love Birmingham, and I know you will too!  It is as diverse a city in it’s culture as it is in it’s culinary scene.  So this is a special post for all you awesome food bloggers that will be joining me Saturday at Food Blog South!  I wanted to make sure you feel comfortable in our fine city and have a few local places to sample from while you are here.  So welcome and I hope you enjoy!

Urban Standard– Urban Standard is a hip relatively new shop in Birmingham’s developing 2nd Ave North district. At Urban you can you get an excellent cup or coffee or Latte brewed with Birmingham’s own Primavera Coffee.  Coffee is not the only special part of the Urban experience.  About two years ago the very popular coffee destination began to serve lunch.  They have some of the best Paninos in the city.  They combine some pretty exciting flavors like fresh goat cheese and balsamic jelly on a chicken panino and not to mention the best Grilled Cheese you will ever eat, it is excellent.  They also have a fish sandwich with preserved Meyer Lemons that is worth slapping your mother for.  You will not regret making the short drive over to Urban Standard on 2nd avenue North.

O’Henry’s Coffee– Hands down my favorite coffee in Birmingham.  O’Henry’s roasts all of their own beans and blends.  My favorite is their Jamaica Me Crazy.  O’Henry’s has several locations all over the city.  At some of their locations they also serve lunch.  For a more extensive review of O’Henrys with directions Click here

Urban Cookhouse– A great new Locavore destination in Birmingham

Dreamland BBQ– Best Ribs in Birmingham

Nabeel’s– Incredible Mediterranean

Jensei Sushi- Best Sushi in Birmingham

The J Clyde– Best Place to get a drink in Birmingham

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