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Bertolli On the Menu at the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival

It was a crazy, whirlwind weekend at the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way! Being a guest of Bertolli Sauces, as The Duo Dishes put it, all I had to do was show up and have fun!

After the star treatment (town cars!) both to and from the airport, on Friday we met with the good folks from Bertolli and Ogilvy PR just before the happy hour to finalise details of the “On the Menu” live demonstrations. This is where I met the aforementioned Duo Dishes – Chrystal and Amir – and the lovely Lauren from Healthy Delicious, my co-chefs in the Bertolli Sauces kitchen. We all hit it off instantly and, along with Christine, Sarah and Craig (Unilever) and Lauren, Nyla and Kai (Ogilvy), made an awesome team if I do say so myself!

The next day, Lauren and I hit the Bertolli Sauces kitchen to prep for our demos.



Chrystal and Amir were already there, sporting cute little aprons:


And wielding knives!!!


We got down to some prep and chatter with Sarah, the Bertolli Sauces kitchen head chef:




I made some “magic of tv” pizzas (you know how they always say “Here’s one we made before”?):


Mise en place:



Then the Duo were on:


And then it was my turn – squeeeeeee!

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The awesome Nyla (Jill of all trades!) and Chef Scott helping me with the station setup.

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Chatting with Chef, going over the recipe.

And we’re on!


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OMG – a crowd!!!


Sooooo happy it went well!

Now time for some Healthy Delicious cioppino:


Lauren does her stuff with mussels and shrimp – you go girl!

All in all, a truly amazing experience. If you had told me 6 months ago that I would win a trip to San Francisco for a recipe I invented to attend a blogging conference, I would not have believed you. It just goes to show you what you can do when you put your mind to it!

Thanks Bertolli and Foodbuzz for this (hopefully not) once in a lifetime experience. Let me know if you want to launch those sauces in Canada… :-)

PS: Thanks Kai for saving the day re: the “pine nut” incident – you rock!

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31 Responses to Bertolli On the Menu at the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival

  1. jen laceda November 12, 2009 at 13:18 #

    Great to hear you had tons of fun!!!

  2. The Best Family November 12, 2009 at 13:43 #

    quite simply, mardi, you rock. what a great experience!

  3. Divina Pe November 12, 2009 at 13:47 #

    Congratulations. I want a video version of your demo. :)

  4. Miriam November 12, 2009 at 14:44 #

    Congrats! I bet you were nervous!

  5. Laura in Paris November 12, 2009 at 15:05 #

    Why "deconstructed" pizzas .. look like pizzas to me …

  6. The Duo Dishes November 12, 2009 at 15:56 #

    You rocked it out! There was no fear in your eyes as you demo'd those pizzas, which were awesome by the way. The freshly toasted pine nuts made all the difference!

  7. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite November 12, 2009 at 16:07 #

    Jen – thanks, it was so much fun!

    Best Family – thanks, you are too kind!

    Divina – coming soon, hopefully!

    Miriam – a little bit yes!

    Laura – it's the "pesto" part that was deconstructed – all the components separately…

    Duo – thanks – you guys are great!

  8. myblissfulbites November 12, 2009 at 16:27 #

    great recap.. looks like a great time and love your recipe!

  9. Rochelle November 12, 2009 at 16:48 #

    Wish I could have been there to watch, but everyone says you did great so I'll just have to take their word for it :D

    BTW you are a lot more brave than I am. I would have just about passed out up there (I get terrible stage fright :P)

  10. Brad November 12, 2009 at 17:12 #

    Looks like such a great experience, thanks for sharing.

  11. linda@saltyseattle November 12, 2009 at 17:26 #

    you totally rocked it! i second the request for video- want to see how it all came together…

  12. Table Talk November 12, 2009 at 18:33 #

    Congrats on your accomplishment!

  13. Joy November 12, 2009 at 20:28 #

    Haha this experience looked so fun!! Congrats on winning btw, you made such a great recipe :) And I agree with Divina, we want to see a video!

  14. whineaux (Dawn) November 12, 2009 at 21:01 #

    I've been waiting for this post. I'm smiling ear to ear because I'm so happy for you. Glad it went well and you had a good time!

  15. Chow and Chatter November 12, 2009 at 21:21 #

    wow so proud of you what fun

  16. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite November 12, 2009 at 21:45 #

    Thanks guys for all your well wishes! I WAS nervous but moreso before the event, not actually during it! The big glass wall behind the audience made their faces simply silhouettes so I couldn't really see them and focused on Chef Sarah and the food, so it was all good!

    Re: the video – yes, yes, yes – will post when I receive it!

    You guys are the best!!

  17. Simply Life November 12, 2009 at 23:03 #

    I am so impressed, but not surprised! Congrats on the well-deserved experience and credit!

  18. CaptnRachel aka Tha Pizza Cutta November 12, 2009 at 23:48 #

    Thanks for sharing your demo experience! It looks incredible. Congrats Mardi!!!!

  19. Conor @ HoldtheBeef November 13, 2009 at 00:23 #

    Congrats again Mardi, you look super cool, calm and collected! Now stop making me feel like eating pizza ;)

  20. K a b l o o e y November 13, 2009 at 00:31 #

    Yes! This is just what I wanted to know, except for the omission of just what constituted "the pine nut incident." (Wasn't that an Agatha Christie mystery?) And good for you that they sent cars and put you up — that's so cool, you celebrity, you. Meil's pizza's looked good too, but too bad he couldn't join you. Then again, you got to spend more time with bloggy friends. And talk about Mise en place. (Which I'da been, like, wha? If not for my beloved Top Chef, of course.)

  21. penny aka jeroxie November 13, 2009 at 00:38 #

    I will love to watch the video. Fantastic job girl! Well deserved :)

  22. Mum M November 13, 2009 at 00:53 #

    Great photos of your demo. I am soooooo proud of you.

  23. traveleatlove November 13, 2009 at 01:29 #

    Yay! So great to get to relive and to see the bits I missed! You did a great job.

  24. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite November 13, 2009 at 01:59 #

    Simply LIfe, Conor, Rachel, Kablooey, traveleatlove, penny and mum – thanks so much! I am still reeling a little at even making it to the top 8, never mind the top 3!! At least I have the pics to prove it wasn't a dream!!

  25. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction November 13, 2009 at 03:45 #

    Congrats! I'm glad the demo went well for you… I knew it would!

  26. 5 Star Foodie November 13, 2009 at 19:47 #

    Wish I could have seen your demo live!

  27. Shelly Borrell November 14, 2009 at 07:02 #

    Very cool and a bit scary! It sounds like all went well, which is terrific :) Now just happy memories for you.

  28. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite November 14, 2009 at 12:27 #

    Jen, 5 Star and Shelly – thanks for your well wishes! Maybe the video will show up soon, who knows???

  29. April Cavin November 14, 2009 at 20:06 #

    Looks like so much fun! Congrats– the pizzas look delish :)

  30. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite November 16, 2009 at 13:03 #

    April – thanks!

  31. MP December 21, 2009 at 23:26 #

    How much fun!

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