When LatinoFoodie was invited to lead the Latino Food Blogger Panel at Hispanicize 2012 in Miami last week, we were humbled and honored. Who wouldn’t want to visit Miami? The heat of South Beach, beautiful people everywhere, fabulous night life, and of course for us, the idea of eating delicious, authentic Cuban and Caribbean cuisine had us elated.
Unfortunately, only one of us could go. So, I made the trek alone. I promised Art that I would take plenty of pictures of the food and jot down restaurants for us to visit the next time we’re both in Miami.
He’s still waiting for those photos. The organizers of Hispanicize had a different idea for my trip schedule. The conference was jam-packed with blogger sessions, marketing and public relations panels, and film screenings. We were on a tight schedule from 7:30 a.m. (way too early for a conference with a bunch of Latinos) to midnight every day.
Our panel, “Secret Salsa: How to Engage Authentic Brand Ambassadorships and Campaigns with Food Bloggers” featured some of the industry’s best food bloggers, including:
Mando Rayo from Journalism Taco
Ericka Sanchez from Nibbles and Feasts
Nicole Presley from Presley’s Pantry
Bren Herrera from Flanboyant Eats
The panel session focused on how food blogs build mutually beneficial partnerships with brands, showcasing some of the bloggers’ creative campaigns. Nicole Presley from Presley’s Pantry shared her work with the Idaho Potato Commission and talked about her new relationship with KitchenAid. For me, the best part was when Nicole showed her video. They are creative, funny and educational. Everyone will love to learn how to cook with Nicole and her “Comida Genie.”
Bren Herrera of Flanboyanteats spoke proudly about producing a winning commercial for I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter and her relationship with POM Wonderful. Ericka Sanchez of Nibbles & Feasts told us of her partnership with Nestle, Maseca and the California Milk Advisory Board. Mando Rayo is doing some amazing work covering the taco scene in Texas.
Key Takeaways from the Latino Food Blogger Panel
- It’s good to know that we all take pride in our recipes and photography. Blogging about food takes time. We often have to re-test a recipe several times for the taste, measurements and photography to get it right for you, our readers. Thank God we love to cook!
- Some of the latest food trends happening across the country include cooking with coconut, pickling just about anything, gourmet tacos, buying local produce, and the popularity of Peruvian cuisine.
- Latino food bloggers are NOT mommy bloggers. Sure, some of them may happen to be moms, but they are developing recipes, editing stories, taking photographs, reviewing restaurants, and doing so much more.
- The food bloggers on the panel all talked about the importance of doing product reviews and promotional campaigns that inspire them and their readers. For all of us, our readers come first.
Sure, I didn’t get a chance to go out and experience all of Miami on this trip. I really did want to hit up Little Havana and eat some good Cuban food. Yet, meeting Latino bloggers from all over the country, making new friends and potential new business opportunities, and having a chance to lead the Hispanicize Food Blogger Panel made it all worthwhile.