Food & Socialikes Connect 2015 – Togetherness in a Community

Last weekend I attended the inaugural event of Food & Socialikes Connect 2015, held at Lime House off Jiak Chuan road. It’s the first of a kind in Singapore, organized by a group of thoughtful food bloggers and instagrammers with the aim of bringing food bloggers and instagrammers together to share their love for food. The whole event was pretty long, starting at 10am and only ended officially at 4.30pm and the line-up was exciting with many speakers invited (think all the big names). The organizer was joking with all the big names here this year, they might have problems thinking of who to invite next year

After registration which started at 9.30am, boxes of sandwiches greeted us at the door, thoughtfully prepared by Lime House which was the event venue sponsor

And for the coffee addicts! Coffee from Kafve Coffee and Gentlemens Coffee serving us endless supply whole day which we really needed. Without them, we would really have issue surviving the day

The early crowd

Honestly I had my reservations of going to the event. Cos being alone and you don’t know what to expect, the fear of being awkward and just sitting at the corner by yourself was some of my passing thoughts. But I’m glad I took that leap of faith. I randomly sat beside this person who happened to be alone and the conversation goes like this –

Me: Hi, I’m xxx

Him: Hi, I’m xxx. Nice to meet you

Me: Nice to meet you. Erms, do you know anyone here?

Him: No, not really

Me: Oh great, that makes the 2 of us

And we laughed

I realised it was easy to strike up a conversation, not because you just had to find a topic to talk about but cos everyone who was there would know the food places you were talking about. It’s like person A started talking about cafe Z and everyone just joined in the conversation happily. It’s that easy. Though yes, there are some cliquish people who only talked among themselves but most of them are friendly souls who don’t mind gaining another foodie friend

Breakfast

Kafve Coffee serves current seasonal blends and also single origins. The coffee that day was deep roasted, nutty and a little chocolatey which I really like. It was like a perfect cup to kickstart the day

Hearty Jerk Chicken Sandwich

Lime House serves Carribean fare and the Jerk Chicken Sandwich is just one of them. You can taste the sweet and crunch of the onions admist the creamy marinate though not much of the jerk spice I would say. Still, it was very filling

It was a full house with 50 food bloggers / instagrammers all attentively listening

There were various topics which was touched upon like Technology & Food, Impact on Social Media on Restaurants, Rights & Plagiarisms, Lesson in Life & Blogging, Past & Present Trends of Social Media and the Future of Social Media, as well as a food photography workshop. Okay, the topics look like something we go through in lectures but in reality, these are pretty much something we can relate to

Founder of Burpple talking about how technology has played a part in today’s society

Next, a food photography workshop by Alex Ortega. He taught, we watched

 First you need enough light, second a white paper and third, a mirror. Sounds easy right, but when you try it yourself ha, it’s challenging. And besides, how often are you going to pack paper and mirror in your bag, especially for girls. Sometimes, I feel lazy bringing out my semi pro, what’s more all the other stuffs. I’m sure some of you think the same way 😉 but I gotta admit, light really plays lots of difference to an object. It creates the mood and you play with the shadow to determine the texture and gradient of how the object is being shown. Enough light on the food will stand out due to its natural white balance and you don’t need much editing to it as well

So we break up for lunch and a mini mobile photography contest started

Rules of the contest

Object: Our Nasi Lemak Bento from Soon Huat

It’s not easy to shoot ok. You have to deal with too little light, too much light and not enough white balance but I think mine looks decently delicious? hahaha okay I’m so noob at this

In any case, Soon Huat specialises in Bak Kut Teh but it would be too much of a hassle to have Bak Kut Teh for lunch so here’s nasi lemak for a change. Honestly, I haven’t had nasi lemak for the longest time ever. Their nasi lemak was hmms normal but the chicken wings are worth a try. They have a deep har cheong taste to it which was delicious. Even though it looks dry and unappealing, it was actually tasty and satisfying. Never judge a book chicken wing by its cover

It was hilarious how the organizers said this friendly competition turned out pretty intense

Not kidding okay, these people go all out to take a picture. We have many serious instagrammers here #dontplayplay

After the camera had its fill, we can finally eat in peace

So we went on to talk about other topics like the impact of social media from the business perspective

Panel speakers: Miss Tamchiak, Chef Willin Low and owners of Saveur

It was interesting to note how owners think of bloggers and instagrammers. I know they are generally not very well-liked but not everyone just wants a free meal. Though it’s true when the person behind the camera don’t know what they reviewing about, they make a fool out of themselves and drive the chefs crazy. hee #whyisthrmsginmymushroomsoup

Rubbisheatrubbishgrow

Panel speakers: Danielfooddiary, Camemberu, Miss Tamchiak & The Hungry Bunny

I think Rights & Plagiarism is one topic most bloggers can relate to cos sometimes you just come across people who steal your work. When someone takes your pictures and content without asking, undeniably you feel super irritated, agitated or perhaps wronged because the amount of effort that goes behind one post is alot of work (I can totally relate to that). So next time when you want to plagiarise, think again. They might just file a DMCA notice against you (hey I learnt something new that day) Don’t steal la, be original 😀

ieatishootipost

I have to admit, his talk was very cheem. It went on to light and galaxies and energy. Halfway through, I lost him =X Blame it on the nasi lemak! haha

We took a short break which sparks the next and final round of competition

Object: Cakes from thepalatteknife

I have never seen people being so serious in food photography before. This was like a whole new level. When the organizers announced for break, you see the crowd disappeared and when you walked around, you see people actually brought their own plates and props for the competition! ohmygosh, they win hands down, really

I just make do with the environment

I love the cakes! Each of the cake was simple, delicate yet tasteful with creaminess, sweetness and texture. It was a lovely afternoon treat alongside the coffee that was provided

Panel speakers: Johor Kaki, Seth Lui, Danielfooddairy and founder of Hungrygowhere

Future of social media. I think social media will still continue to play a part in our future. We are living in new age where our phone cannot be detached from our lives. There’s just too many social media out there right now, namely Facebook, Twitter, Instagram then we move on to Dayre and Snapchat and who knows what’s going to come out next. It’s so difficult to keep track these days. You know, we no longer young yes? Dealing with social media is one thing, developing a niche area is another. One of the advice given is to encourage aspiring food bloggers / instagrammers to focus on a certain area with the likes of Samantha Lee who specializes in bento art. If you know what you would like to focus on, go ahead. If not, just walk the 大众路线, everything chapalan

It was an interactive event where time is also given to the floor for Q&A and you can ask the questions that have been bugging your heart like, do you purposely do [a certain stuff] to gain viewership etc. It’s even more interesting to see how they answer  your questions, whether they were just being politically correct, being pure honest or stunned like vegetable

We adjourned to the second floor for some mingling time after the conference officially ended. FYI, Lime House is a 3-storey establishment with the restaurant at its first, a private space on its second and an empty area on its third

With more complimentary drinks provided

Strawberry Coconut Mocktail

The mocktail has both the punge of sweet coconut and citrus strawberry which was fruity and refreshing

Behind the scenes to take a shot. They really spent lots of effort to take that one shot. It’s very amazing. Everyone was just watching. You may think huh! It’s just a drink! Well, a drink may be a drink to you, but it’s an object to the eyes of a photographer, and it’s up to them to bring life to it. That’s why I’m just a food blogger and not a photographer. Ha, it’s too much work =/

I appreciate this was the first of a kind event in Singapore. It was fun to meet fellow food bloggers / instagrammers, and also insightful to know more about the community and industry. I think the organizers really done a good job with it, even though it’s only a small scale event. But as what they say, don’t look down on all the small things, cos one day you look back and realize those were all the big things. Perhaps in years to come, FSC might just be something everyone is aware of, not only in the food community

Showing you what lucky delegates get to bring home that day

And of course this event will not be possible without the following people:

Organizing Committee

@ironsage (Aries Ong)

@pinkypiggu (Nicole Poi)

@rubbisheatrubbishgrow (A. Nathanael Ho)

@sgfoodonfoot (Derrick Tan)

@stormscape (Nicholas Tan)

Sponsor

Alfero Gelato, Brand Cellar, Cold Front Co, Dancing Chef, The Entertainer, Fiji, The Fullerton Hotel, Garden Picks, Gentlemen’s Coffee, Huiji, Kafve Coffee, The Laughing Cow, Lime House, Miam Miam, Oceans of Seafood, Palette Knife, Soon Huat, Spicy Thai Thai Cafe, Sunrise Bistro & Bar, Win Win Food Singapore

So with that,

FSCsg15, it’s a wrap!