The 7th of September saw Food Blogger Connect make its first foray abroad, with a photography and styling workshop in the beautiful Beit al Batroun guest house, a quaint and quiet Bed and Breakfast in the foothills above Batroun, a seaside village in Northern Lebanon.
While security fears in Lebanon that week meant that FBC speaker and Leith’s food stylist Emily Jonzen had to return to the UK, the event soldiered on regardless with a roaring success. Sarka Barbicka, FBC’s resident photographer, was on hand to lead all the sessions, aided by a wonderful video made by Emily after leaving Beirut.
With attendees a mix of both those interested in the art, professional photographers, as well as chefs, stylists and bloggers, it was a melting pot of people from this small yet incredibly diverse Mediterranean country and the region as a whole.
Yet, in spite of this diversity, everyone was linked by their love and passion of making wonderful food look truly beautiful, everyone gelling together as they learnt more about the basics of styling, shooting, lighting, moods, colours, props, angles, compositions, publication needs and more, before putting all they had been taught into practice through group exercises.
However, as has come to be expected with FBC events, this wasn’t just about learning but about people coming together and making lasting friendships through shared interests while sampling the best food and drink each location has to offer.
While Qi Juices offered their freshly squeezed juices as a deliciously healthy breakfast pick me up, the wonderful team from 961 Beer were in attendance with a beer demo from the region’s first microbrewery by Mazen himself!
Later on, as the learning part of proceedings wound down and the real fun began, Bethany’s Jewelled Kitchen dinner was laid out for all to enjoy, with Wines of Lebanon making sure that no one went thirsty and showing just how good the wine in the country really is followed by a take on Bethany’s quark cheese cake substituted with labneh, a new hit!
With wonderful tuna, salmon and beef provided by Meat the Fish, Bethany’s job of creating a sumptuous feast to send everyone home happy and sated was made much easier!
And of course, in true FBC tradition no one went home empty handed, with guests weighed down by goodie bags almost bursting, packed full with unparalleled products including 961 beer, Bakalian flour mills, Ksara Wine, Get It Right (spatulas from NYC), Miel Du Levant, Awan Tea, Zejd Organic Olive Oil, and exclusive Oliviers & Co. olive oils!
Goodie bag photos courtesy of cookin5m2.
Stay tuned for updates from the most recent FBC Dubai Writing & Photography Workshop and news of our upcoming workshops around the world.