So let’s pick up where we left off: Day 2 of PaleoFX.
Last Friday morning in Austin, we all popped up bright and early despite being “on vacation.” Before Cathy, Diana, and I left the house, we downed a quick breakfast of scrambled eggs and sausage and bid adieu to the boys — who were still lounging around in their jammies. I’ll admit it: I was a wee bit nervous about my two cooking demos, but Diana and I had made a pact that we’d accompany each other onstage during our respective demos. Sidekicks!
We were kinda like Cagney and Lacey. Laverne and Shirley. Kate and Allie. Ann and Nancy Wilson. Salt-n-Pepa (pre-Spinderella). (Sorry for the 80s flashback. My teenage years were formative, as you can see.)
Because my cooking demo was the first one scheduled, we hurried to the green room to check with the volunteers to see if there was anything else they needed from us. There, Diana and I were greeted by Brittanie Duncan, the head of the PaleoFX Food and Beverage Team. When she assured us that everything was all set, we shifted our focus to the FREE FOOD.
The green room was filled with yummy and nourishing swag like Primal Pacs…
…SeaBear Wild Salmon packets…
…Taza chocolate, Chameleon Cold Brewed Coffee, and steaming carafes of bone broth.
After tearing myself away from the freebies, I managed to catch the Paleo for Elite Athletes panel (because I’m SUCH an elite athlete — hah!) moderated by Keith Norris.
Then, downstairs, I ran into friendly readers (Hi Kiley!)…
…peek at a preview copy of Bill and Hayley’s new cookbook, Gather, (Hey! I know the kid on that page!)…
…and catch up with blogger buds like George (the Civilized Caveman), Stacy and Matt (the Paleo Parents)…
…Juli (of PaleOMG), more George, and my wing gal, Diana.
Before long, it was time to hit the stage and bust a move. Doing our best to act as smooth as cucumbers, Diana and I bantered back and forth throughout my first demonstration on how to make my Chilled Summer Berry Soup. (You know, the one I made a few weeks back.)
I haven’t posted the recipe yet, and I hate to ruin the illusion that I’m some sort of wizard in the kitchen, but this dish requires little more than making a berry smoothie and then pouring it through a fine mesh sieve. Sometimes, simple is best.
Diana’s demo for Bubble & Squeak began immediately after mine, so I stayed on stage to chat with her.
No, Diana didn’t take calls on her cell phone during her presentation. This pic was snapped after her demo — she’s not that rude. (I’M JOKING. She’s the gracious one, and I’m the one who completely blew her off the first time we met. She still forgave me. I think.)
After the demos, we broke for lunch and we ran into some other blogging pals/best-selling authors, Bill and Hayley (of The Food Lovers’ Kitchen), and Charles and Julie Mayfield (Paleo Comfort Food). Both of these lovely couples have new books coming out soon, so check ‘em out if you haven’t already.
Stepping out for lunch was a great excuse to synthesize some much needed vitamin D and stretch our legs.
A bunch of us wanted to hit La Barbeque for lunch, but we were too hungry to brave the looooong line. So instead, we swung by the Torchy’s Tacos truck.
Only at a Paleo conference can you find a group of Paleo bloggers munching on corn-tortilla-filled tacos and chasing ‘em down with big bowls of ice cream. It’s like Paleo People Gone Wild.
Look at these cuties: Juli, Danielle (of Against All Grain), George (yep, again!), and Stacy!
As soon as I got my tacos, Matt zoomed Diana and me back to the conference so I could demonstrate how to whip up a batch of my Paleo sriracha. (Thanks a million, Matt!)
I had a blast at my cooking demos because: (1) Diana is the bestest co-host in the world, (2) the volunteers did a wonderful job prepping the ingredients and tirelessly coordinating the logistics, and (3) I guess I just like being the center of attention. (I’m kidding about that last one. I much prefer hiding under a bush.)
After I finished my cooking demo, I stepped outside to visit with Julie and her adorable baby, Scott.
I was thisclose to kidnapping him several times throughout the weekend because he’s achingly adorable and cuddly.
I spent the rest of the afternoon at the other cooking demos, where I enjoyed watching the creative process behind Diane Sanfilippo's Chinese 5-spice lettuce cups…
…George and Juli’s Fried Bananas and Chocolate Mousse….
…Pete Servold’s Paleo Pho….
…and Simone Shifnadel’s Cioppino.
I caught a few of the other panels…
…but mostly hung out with new and old pals like Mel and Amber…
…and my super-duper blog readers. I’m still flabbergasted that someone other than Henry reads this thing…
Meanwhile, want to guess what the boys were up to while I was at PaleoFX?
After finally changing out of their pajamas, they lunched at La Condessa, an upscale Mexican joint downtown.
Per their daddy, the kids started with a guacamole sampler: regular guac…
…guacamole topped with apples and crab…
…guacamole topped with toasted almonds and chipotle sauce…
…and guacamole topped with queso and pomegranate seeds.
For their main dish, they split the carne asada plate.
Once their bellies were full, they wandered over to the Austin Children’s Museum, where they spent the entire afternoon serving play food to strangers…
…and scrambling up and down the giant, three-story slide.
They capped off their day with a visit to Lick to indulge in some artisanal grass fed ice cream.
When I saw my hubby tweet about it, I was
steamed sad that I couldn’t join them for a frozen treat.
I reunited with the boys for a few hours before dinner, but after they were back in their jammies, Henry, Diana, and I strolled down to the Speakers’ Dinner. (Don’t freak out: We didn’t leave the kids unattended. Cathy generously offered to stay in and watch the Double-Os).
The venue was beautiful and perfect for a gathering of like-minded friends, with soft lighting, plush couches, and (most importantly) an open bar.
The highlight of the nose-to-tail meal was the spit-roasted pig; it was tender and satisfying, and made for a great supper. It was awesome that Michelle and Keith Norris were able to nab Austin super-chef Sonya Coté and forager Tink Pinkard for the meal; I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to enjoy their food.
The company was pretty great, too. Henry and I had a fabulous evening talking, eating, and drinking with our friends.
If nothing else, this blog has introduced me to a wonderful group of people that I’m burstingly proud to call my friends in real life.
I also want to thank Keith & Michelle Norris, Amy Kubal, and all the volunteers who made PaleoFX such a terrific experience for all of us. You guys rock.