Celebrating the Alumni! #Meettheblogger behind @LaBelleAnne at #FBC15!

Food Blogger Connect is all about learning, fun and the priceless networking opportunities to be had not just across the three days but throughout your journey!
Screenshot-2014-06-09-20.40.07-300x208Meet Jessica Bride behind Belle Annee  (@labelleannee) who is returning for her second FBC to take in everything the community and industry has to offer! Join her and meet likeminded creators!
As a returning FBC Alumni what are you looking forward to learning and enjoying at FBC this year? Have there been any significant changes or developments to your career/blog since last year’s conference? Why is FBC an event you like to come back to?
I enjoyed the overall atmosphere at the conference and I loved meeting Sammy Tamimi and Yotem Ottolenghi. I also loved the cocktails! I am coming back because I met so many fantastic people and I learned so much. My blog was very, very new when I first attended and now, after having a year of experience, I think I will learn things on a new level.
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Is blogging your full time job? If not, what is your day job? Tell us a bit about what you get up to when you’re not working on your blog – your work, family life, projects, hobbies…Would you like to become a full time blogger and focus your professional career in this area? How do you think brands could work better with bloggers? How would you describe your relationship with bloggers and industry folk?

I left the restaurant industry when I got pregnant with my first child. I’ve had three now and blogging and writing about food is how I stay connected to my passion — food. I use blogging almost as a weekly exercise to improve my writing and photography. I would love to focus my professional career into blogging and I would love to one day make money from it. Occasionally I have someone email me and ask me to try and feature their product. If I have the time I will – but it is about 50/50 at the moment. I am really happy with how that is working so far. As far as other bloggers I have found them to be extremely supportive.
What’s your ultimate blogging dream – where do you plan to take it in the future? What are your future aspirations – both for the blog and for any related activity?
My ultimate dream is to write a cookbook but I am having trouble narrowing down my broad passion for food into a niche. I have several ideas but it makes me sad to think about giving up all of my ideas and only focusing on, for instance, cooking for children.
From where do you get inspiration for your blog posts?

Seasonal food, what my children ask for, how much time I have, where I am travelling and what I am reading.

What’s your signature dish?

Here is a cocktail brandy milk punch
As a returning FBC alumni, which other bloggers do you follow most closely? Have you stayed in touch with any bloggers and industry folk you met at previous FBC’s? How was this helped in your own blogging throughout the year?
I follow Beth Kirby at Local Milk – not met through FBC but undoubtedly found because FBC inspired me to reach out to attend workshops.

I also follow Joy the Baker, a friend from New Orleans, and Vikalinka who I met at FBC14.

Yes! I have learned a lot about how they persevered to keep their blogs going, or how they followed their ideas until they achieved success. I also have enjoyed seeing the person behind the blog and finding out that they too struggle with inspiration, deadlines and social media anxiety.

How do you shop for food – supermarkets, farmer market, local shops, online etc?
I shop at Waitrose, Whole Foods, online and farmers markets. I love grocery stores in the UK. SO much better than the US.
Have supper clubs now had their day or is this just the start of bigger things to come? 
I am medium on pop up restaurants. I like the idea of a special event but I am such a fan of good food that I feel like it suffers a bit in those environments. I like the social element but would probably enjoy it more if I were single.
How far have you travelled for the perfect steak/ burger/ curry/ xxxx?
The furthest I’ve ever travelled for a meal was a flight to Copenhagen for lunch at Noma. Oddly I had the world’s best burger there at dinner as well.

Jbride_BrandyMilkPunch_VERTMasterSM-copy-533x800Finish this sentence: “For me, the ultimate food heaven is …”
For me the ultimate food heaven is cooking with friends after a day at the farmers market in Tuscany.

What’s your idea of food hell?
Pre-packaged sandwiches.
Does the proliferation of food programmes on TV aid or hinder your quest to develop and sustain a food blog?  In what way?
I hate food programmes and I don’t really know why.
Who is your favourite celebrity chef and / or favourite food writer? Why?
My favorite celebrity chef is Jamie Oliver because he is passionate about health and accessibility and he does what he can to make a difference.

How many cookbooks do you own? What cookbooks have you added to your collection recently? Which cookbook do you return to time and time again?
I own about 400. My favorite new purchase is Prune and the one I return to over and over again is the whole Ina Garten set.

Do you have a favourite kitchen tool or appliance – either a new addition or a trusted old favourite?  What’s on your wish-list right now? (Could be a gadget, appliance, ingredient/product, book, restaurant, course, travel destination etc)
I am madly in love with the Sage Food Processor. OHMYGOD.
To achieve a successful blog what comes first – the dishes, the styling, the photography or the words?
For me the words come more easily than the photography. The idea for the dish is first, then the photography, then I write it up.

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