Sep 4, 2014

Day 2 At IFBM

A month later, IFBM still weaves its magic. Read on for events of Day 2.

Even as the realities of navigating the city’s famous weekend rush hour traffic tried to dampen spirits, I refused to get bogged down. I was eagerly waiting for the events of Day 2 to unfold.

Ashish Verma, Digital Strategist for Ogilvy, got down to business with us soon enough. What is SEO?  How to optimise content for SEO? How to use plug-ins to advantage? How does Google Analytics help? What type of title or keyword should be used? Being a newbie to the technical details that runs the web, some of these, well, OK, most of these were unknown to me. Suffice to say, I have resolved to learn more of the workings of the web. Ashish, thank you so much for opening up a new vista of information for me.

Ashish Verma in action 

Good Food Writing, by Rushina Ghildiyal. Boy, was I waiting for this one. Veteran food blogger, successful cook book author, food writer, owner of cooking studio in Mumbai, Rushina wears so many titles with panache. Above all, superlatively helpful, gracious, Rushina is a role model person for all to emulate. How to structure your article, how to write a recipe, how to be your own ‘harsh editor’, how to write reviews, and the list went on. So generous was she in sharing her knowledge and information, that I want to fly right away to Mumbai and sign up for her classes. God, and the Universe, please make this happen soon.

Tea break again was an excuse for the Aloft folks to pamper us silly.

How to self publish your book – Aparna Jain from Patridge Publishing gave us the low down on the lucrative (that is not) aspects of book and e–book publishing. It was very good to get down to the brass tacks of the publishing business. I’ve stored away all information she shared generously to be used when I am ready to publish my book. Wish me luck, folks!

A panel discussion by six great food bloggers followed. This was stimulating. Sanjeeta of Lite Bites shared her experiences of working on food styling assignments, while Harini Of Tongue Ticklers spoke about her photography. Rushina shared candidly her ups and downs of launching her cooking studio. Kalyan Karmakar of Finely Chopped spoke about his famous food walks in Mumbai. Ruchira and Ranjini, the tadka girls spoke about their successful launching of 2 e-books. There was a lively group discussion on how to move beyond blogging. We also discussed how to explore new territory, how to price your work in unchartered domains, how to delineate free content from charged services. All of us benefitted from their collective wisdom.

I have an idea. Why don’t we have online webinars or Google hangout panel discussions similarly instead of waiting for a whole year for another meet?

Experts sharing their experiences in the panel discussion 

Lunch was again an extravagant affair. Laid out at Nook, Aloft Cessna Park’s 24 hour restaurant, the place is very cosy, cheerful, open and inviting. I love the green chairs as well as the bright cutlery.

Chef Sameer Luthra paid great attention to the choice of menu and quality of food put up. The buffet is vast. A wide selection of salads, starters, and a bit of International as well as regional Indian cuisine in the mains. Vegetarian Phad Thai was very welcome as was Vankaya Igguru. Toning down the oil in the Indian curries would be well appreciated too! After the sumptuous meal, the desserts were fighting for attention and demanded complete justice. Gulab jamun was a heavenly mouthful. The tiramisu and mango mousse were likeable too. I am planning to spend a leisurely Sunday at Aloft Cessna, lunching with my family.



Post lunch, we were eagerly waiting for Chef Sameer Luthra. A product of Le Cordon Bleu, France, he blew us away with his loving treatment of ingredients and whipped up potato rosti and another dish with fish.

Chef Sameer Luthra in actionChef Sameer Luthra - Aloft Bengaluru. Pic Courtesy-Jayashree Mudaliar and Team IFBMTeam Aloft with Team IFBM. Pic courtesy - Sarah SamuelBloggers in a happy frame at Chef's cook demo. Pic courtesy - Sarah Samuel

I had to leave mid way and missed out on the rest of the evening proceedings. I heard the rest of the folks had a fantastic tea to revive their spirits, set by the poolside.

Did I mention that we were virtually flooded with goodie bags too? It would take an entire blog post to do justice to the goodie bags. For now,

Time to say good bye to IFBM2014. Eagerly waiting for IFBM2015! What do you say, folks?

No comments: