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A few weekends ago, Tom and I went, willingly, excitedly, to an industry conference.  I know what you are thinking, “why would you do that, on your own dime and with no, business-associated, alterior motive?”.  I mean, let’s face it, conferences can be a bit of a bore.  The answer, in this case, of course?  Food!  Drink!  Like-minded souls!  And of course, my pals at Foodista and Zephyr Adventures (they did not pay me to say this; they just really know how to throw a party…um…event).

We write a Blog (well, I write a Blog and Tom edits), which of course, you all know.  You know, because you are reading this.  What you might not know, even if you are reading this, is how we actually make our living.  We are both designers and both love what we do, however, I love food more!  I do, so sue me.

I often feel like I should be making my living from something pertaining to food.  I should be that person you call when you need to cater the perfect party, or that place you go to when you want a beautifully constructed salad, or an easy to put on the table meal, or a bit of advice about where to buy the best duck breast (hint, it would be in my shop), find the best place to eat or simply read the best book (mine? aw shucks, so nice of you to say).

But that is in my pretend world.  In my real world, I design commercial spaces.  I should be blogging about design trends and Interior Design initiatives.  I should be telling you why we (designers) are valuable and should be paid more for our services, but instead, I tell you about what I cook, what we eat and how much we (Tom and I) love our pups, and food (in that order).  And I hope that is why you are reading this?

There was a time that nobody cared what people ate, how they cooked, or if they loved their dogs like children, or even family members.  What a great place food lovers live in now.  How thankful we all should be to those that paved the way to open up the possibilities of nutritional/social food awareness and the attainability of such things that were not attainable for most of us in the past.  How thankful we should be that our kids (even our four-legged, furry ones) are now able to eat healthier and therefore live healthier lives, all the while, thoroughly enjoying every bite.

I respect and applaud the many sponsors of this (IFBC) conference, as well as those that passionately put it together; they clearly care about what and how we all eat and experience food and drink.  There is a passion, a fire in the belly that those in the food industry have that goes beyond making money.  Similar to the design community, they don’t choose this industry to get rich, but rather to be rewarded with a rich life.  Hats off to all of you (except for Thierry, keep that hat on) that participated in IFBC Seattle this year and thank you Sheri, Barnaby, Amy and the rest of the team and generous sponsors that made it happen!

So, if you have a Blog, just love food or want to mingle with people that know about and can write about food, join us all next year in Sacramento for IFBC 2016.  Tom and I will be there, fork and glass in hand.  So we’ll see you there?  And to our new friend Jon, we will save you a seat!

tom and jonstacey and jon use this

B.E.T (bacon, egg, tomato sandwich)

This seems simple enough, I realize.  Most people think that of, say, a martini.  It is not simple though, I assure you.  There is a careful combination of ingredients required but most importantly, there is a requirement that those ingredients be the best.  Deviating to a lesser quality ingredient will produce an obviously lower quality product.  So, judge not the egg **muffin “likeness”.  This one will not disappoint.

I started with a perfectly toasted English muffin from Bay’s.  I did pick up a free pack at the conference, but I will definitely buy my own soon.  These are light and fluffy, reminding me of the fresh ones Tom brings me back from the restaurant Summer House in Maryland when on his business travels there (check out their really cool project Pike and Rose).

I then spread the bottom with a thickish layer of Skillet’s bacon jam (which, by the way, I was incredibly skeptical of since I don’t buy into the “signature” ever-popular take-home item that tends to be for sale by the restaurant du jour these days).  But if ever there was a good use for said jam, this sandwich is it (and since they mastered the fried chicken and waffle, I knew they could step this one up).

a good egg

Next came a sunnyside-up egg topped with white cheddar cheese.  Pop them into the oven and a mere 5 minutes later – heaven!  Okay, not actually heaven, but a really nice breakfast regardless and that is a darn good start to any day, plus a sure B.E.T!