Food Blog Forum Asheville #FBFAsh

In late August, I attended the 7th annual Food Blog Forum in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. The conference was held in and around the historic Biltmore Estate, the largest private residence in America! And it's located in my home state! (Little known fact: Do you know where the 2nd largest private residence is located? Still in North Carolina--In my hometown!)

And even though Asheville is only 2.5 hours away from me, I'd never been to Biltmore.

This trip was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I feel forever changed. Not only did I get to meet dozens of new-to-me bloggers, but connect with real-life blogger friends and Twitter followers I've been stalking following since I began blogging in 2007, a few of my culinary heroes and eat and drink my way through the best of the best of the city of Asheville.

Remember that feeling you used to get when Santa Claus left gifts for you or the Easter Bunny left you a basket brimming with candy? Or the Tooth Fairy managed to slip her (or his) hand under your pillow and leave money? That's exactly what this trip was. I swear.

I spent time with my blogging buddies Kathy Hester of Healthy Slow Cooking and Janet Cooper-Bridge of at the historic Omni Grove Park Inn and I could easily see why presidents, dignitaries, playwrites, artists and authors were inspired by the climate, the mountains, the rolling hills and the fresh, clean air. I was inspired too. The spa, there have to be over a dozen nooks and crannies available to sit and write.

It all started on Sunday evening at the Doubletree Asheville reception. The hotel used to be the Biltmore Dairy which supplied milk and other creamery items to the house and surrounding areas. In the lobby there is a huge display! We were handed swag bags chock full of goodies AND we were treated to a self-guided assembly line of items to add to another swag bag provided by Foodtopia. The reception was in the outdoor garden area and we were treated to cocktails, ice cream, canapes and good ol' mountain music--bluegrass. It was magical and beautiful and a perfect start to the conference.

Monday was full of informative sessions and great food. The evening was the most magical experience I could ever have imagined.

We caravaned to a parking lot and boarded coach buses that took us right to the front door of the Biltmore Estate. We went on an after-hours, behind-the-scenes kitchen tour. We saw how life as a guest and a kitchen employee would be during the Edwardian era.

Now... when I went to Versailles, I was overcome with emotion and the sheer history involved in the palace. I felt the same way touring the house. Looking out of the same windows, standing in the same kitchen, catching the same glimpse of the copper pots and pans nearly a century old really overwhelmed me. As a regular tourist/guest at the Biltmore, you are not allowed to take photographs. Guess who was allowed to take photos! I took a selfie in every. single. room. Not all of them turned out, but I was so super stoked to be at the Biltmore, see the Biltmore and soak up all of the history, I couldn't resist.

Dinner was another ride and short walk where all 5 of the property's restaurants awaited us with buffet style eats. Biltmore Estate wine was available for drinking (Did you know Biltmore is the most visited vineyard in the world)

Tuesday, the last day was just as fantastic as the first. A quick ride to Highland Brewing began 4 hours of eating and drinking.

Sassy Nik

Sometimes you experience something so grandiose and beautiful that you want to hold it close and keep it to yourself as long as you can. That's exactly how I felt about this conference. I took more than 200 photos and met dozens of bloggers and even though I'm telling you about my time, it doesn't begin to scratch the surface of how transcendental this trip was for me. I can't wait to go back to Asheville very soon and capture a few more pieces of foodie heaven.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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  1. I'm so bummed I missed that conference this year. Glad you had a great time.

  2. I so need to go to a conference. Looks like a lot of fun!
    PS - Love your style, girl!


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