This past Saturday was the “Mad Hatter” Food Bloggers’ Picnic in Sydney & Melbourne. I have no idea how the one in Melbourne went, but I can tell you all about the one in Sydney! I wasn’t in perfect health to attend, as I was getting over a cold and still had a bit of a nasty cough, but I just couldn’t pass this opportunity up. I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t heard of any (except for a couple) of the attendees’ blogs, so the week before the picnic I was going through the list of people attending, trying to familiarize myself with them – I didn’t get through all of them though!
The picnic was at Centennial Park, which I haven’t been to since August 1999 when my mother-in-law (who was, at the time, just my boyfriend’s mum) took my mom and I on a tour around Sydney. Saturday wasn’t a great day for a picnic – the sky was cloudy and even though it didn’t rain, it was just a little dreary. At least it wasn’t cold! We are just coming out of winter, however, and some of the pictures I took show some trees without leaves, so it looks like a cold, rainy day!
See how dreary it looked! It didn’t ruin our fun, though. It was fun to meet everyone and even more fun to see what everyone brought along to eat. The cake above was one of my favorites, which was created by Anna of Diary of a Ladybird. This cake won best sweet dish for its delicious fudgey interior. It had multiple layers of fudgey cake, fudgey frosting and even a layer of gooey caramel. The fondant decorations were so cute and perfectly fitting for a food bloggers’ picnic.
Here we were starting to lay out our food. Let me tell you, the food just kept coming. By the time everyone had their food sat out, these blankets were covered in the most amazing dishes.
Above, Tammi from Insatiable Munchies came with a homemade Lady Gaga hat. I didn’t realize it was a Lady Gaga hat until I heard someone say that it was! I am so not into the new music, so I wouldn’t know! Her hat won her first prize in the “best hat” category. In the second picture, Simon from The Heart of Food is setting up his pulled pork buns with coleslaw, which were really tasty!
This is just one section of the long array of food. Just in this picture alone there are bacon & salted caramel slices from Helen of Grab Your Fork; a blueberry cheesecake from Leila of Tablenosh; 2 version of cookie monster cupcakes from Sook of Nommy Nom Nom and Jacq of Penguin Says Feed Me; Thai fish cakes from Anita of No Red Meat; sticky rice with kaya from Rosalind of Rasa Rosa; lemon raspberry tarts and mini burgers from Fat Belly Club; pork buns from Julie of I Dream In Chocolate; and more that I can’t remember the names of!
In the left-hand picture above, Tammi from Insatiable Munchies, is setting up her “tea-rimisu” which was so awesome. She had made chocolate cups complete with little chocolate handles, which were filled with tea-soaked sponge cake and homemade mascarpone. Tea-licious! They were great!
What I loved seeing, is that after the food was laid out, everyone took heaps of photos before they actually dug in! It was great, because that is what food bloggers do and there wasn’t anyone saying, “why are you taking photos of your food?” or, “are you going to eat that already?”, or “hurry up or your food will get cold!”!
These mini hamburgers from Fat Belly Club were also delicious, and in the foreground of the photo are the pork buns from Julie of I Dream In Chocolate, which won best savory dish. The pork buns were amazing – it was the first food I tried!
These sweet little “Mad Hatter” themed chocolate cupcakes were from YaYa’s Yum Yums.
Here are our organizers (and judges) – Karen from Citrus and Candy, Billy from A Table For Two, and Sarah from Nuffnang – announcing the winners of best hat, best savory dish, best sweet dish, and best overall dish. The best overall dish went to Anita from No Red Meat for her Thai fish cakes – she won a brand new KitchenAid mixer!
We certainly didn’t envy the judges, as it must have been so hard to decide upon a winner for each category. Everyone was so full and even I didn’t have room in my belly to try everything, so I can’t imagine how full the judges must have been with actually trying every bit of food!
I met a lot of amazing, friendly people and I’m already looking forward to the next food bloggers’ meetup! Check out Chocolate Suze, Insatiable Munchies, Grab Your Fork and A Table For Two for LOTS more pictures of the food and people! And you definitely have to watch this video that Billy together of everyone that attended – unfortunately I’m not in the video because I had to leave early (my mother-in-law can only watch my kids for so long!).
In case you’re wondering what I contributed to the event, I made the chocolate and peanut butter slice again:
Then I cut it up into mini rectangles so that everyone would have a chance to sample one. The recipe is here.