Featured Speaker: Melissa Lanz!

melissa lanz

Melissa Lanz is a former internet marketing executive who quit her day job to promote good eating habits in the midst of a national health crisis.

As founder and CEO of The Fresh 20, Melissa strives to bring fresh food back to the family dinner table and reduce the amount of processed ingredients used by American households.

Recently, Melissa founded The Family Food Summit, a series of webcast conversations with food industry luminaries about feeding our families. Her mission is to help kids make the connection between what they eat and how they feel.

She is a contributing food writer for several online publications and blogs at Soul on a Platter.

A former cooking instructor, Melissa is currently working on a video series to teach families how to live without processed food. Her other projects include a speaking tour to inform kids on healthy choices and working on her first book, A Cooking Guide to Daily Happiness.

Melissa lives on the west coast with her 3 boys. One of them she calls hubby. Her favorite meal includes pasta.

Twitter: @melissalanz
Connect on Facebook

Featured Speaker: Marla Meridith!

marla meridith

As the creator of the highly successful lifestyle blog Family Fresh Cooking, Marla has great experience in healthy recipe development, food styling, photography, social media and graphic design. She has been published in various print publications, around the web and been on TV. She has an upbeat, fresh style and personality that is captured in her vibrant whole food recipes and lifestyle & travel photograph. Marla is the proud mother of two small children. She delicately balances a life filled with great ambitions, athletics, parenting and lots of travel. You can find Marla on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and StumbleUpon.

Featured Speaker: Amelia Saltsman!

amelia saltsman

Amelia Saltsman is the author and publisher of the award-winning The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm. A long-time champion of small family farms, farmers’ markets, and home cooking, Amelia brings her passion to print, web, radio, and public appearances. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Bon Appétit, Cooking Light, National Geographic Traveler, and the Los Angeles Times. She is a frequent guest on KCRW’s “Good Food with Evan Kleiman” and is a contributing editor to the annual food lover’s guide, Eat: Los Angeles. Amelia serves on the California Certified Farmers’ Markets Advisory Committee.

Described by Alice Waters as “an amazing resource,” The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook is a self-published regional book that has gained national recognition. It was carried by Anthropologie stores across the country and is a perennial bestseller at such venues as the LA County Museum of Art, as well as local Barnes & Noble, Costco, and LAX stores. Now in its fourth printing, her book has become a beloved bible for market shoppers everywhere and has won several awards, including the Writers’ Digest Grand Prize for Self-Published books and a PubWest design award. Amelia is currently working on a series of seasonal E-Cookbooks.

Amelia is committed to raising the food literacy rate: knowing how, when, and where our food is grown and by whom; knowing how to cook a simple, healthy, and inexpensive meal; understanding the local and global impact our food choices have on our families and communities; and understanding our place in the cultural and historical food chain. All while having a good time.

Learn more about Amelia on her website www.ameliasaltsman.com

Follow Amelia on Twitter @ameliasaltsman

Featured Speaker: Tomer Chernia!

tomer chernia


We're pleased to announce Tomer Chernia as a speaker on our 'Marketing Your Brand' panel at IFBC Santa Monica!

Tomer Chernia works for Wildfire Interactive, helping brands create and execute interactive social media campaigns to attract, engage, and interact with users on Facebook. Wildfire's Social Media Marketing platform is used by some of the world’s largest brands, like Pepsi, Disney, Nestle, American Express, Unilever and Toyota and Facebook themselves. Wildfire is a 2x winner of the Facebook Fund, a TechCrunch Crunchies Award nominee, and was named one of the 250 best private companies in the world by 2010 AlwaysOn Global 250. Prior to joining Wildfire,Tomer spent time at Yahoo! helping key clients develop brand strategies to effectively leverage Yahoo!'s extensive search and display advertising capabilities. Tomer graduated from UC Berkeley with a major in Rhetoric (yes that is a real major!). When not working, you will find Tomer perusing local eateries trying to find something tasty and delicious.

Follow Wildfire on Twitter @wildfireapp

Find Wildfire on Facebook

Featured Speaker: Martha Holmberg!

martha holmberg

Martha Holmberg is a food editor, writer, and consultant to self-publishing authors. She is also the editorial director of Watershed Communications, a brand strategy firm that works with artisan food and drink companies. She is the former food editor of The Oregonian newspaper, the founder and editor of MIX magazine, and was the editor-in-chief of Fine Cooking magazine for 11 years.

She has two new cookbooks coming out in 2012 with Chronicle Books: “Crêpes” and “Modern Sauces.” Her first cookbook, Puff, was nominated in 2009 for a Julia Child First Book award by the IACP. She is a frequent contributor to Fine Cooking and other magazines, and a guest teacher and speaker at professional events, including The Greenbrier Food Writers Symposium. In 2008, Saveur magazine included her in its “Top 100.” She earned the Grand Diplôme from Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

Follow Martha on Twitter @MarthaHolmberg

Featured Speaker: Ashley Koff!

ashley koff

We're delighted to have Ashley Koff as a featured speaker on our "Removing One Food and Finding Many Others" panel at IFBC Santa Monica!

Author of Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged (September, 2011), Ashley Koff R.D. maintains a private practice, regularly lectures, and works to educate healthcare professionals and the media in an effort to improve the quality of food choices for consumers. Koff regularly appears as a health and nutrition expert on national media outlets, including Dr. Oz, CBS’s The Early Show, Good Morning America Health, and The Doctors.

Follow Ashley on Twitter @ashleykoff
Find her on Facebook!
Learn more about Ashley on her site: http://www.ashleykoffrd.com/

Featured Speaker: Kathleen Flinn!

kat flinn

We could not be happier to have Kathleen Flinn as moderator of the 'Pitching Blog to Book and Magazine' session at IFBC Santa Monica!

Kathleen is a Seattle-based journalist, food writer and sometimes teacher; her first book The Sharper your Knife, the Less You Cry examines Paris’ renowned Le Cordon Bleu.

She presently serves as the chair of the Food Writers, Editors & Publishers section of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She’s also a member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors, Society of Professional Journalists and the Author’s Guild.

Learn more about Kathleen's newest book: The Kitchen Counter Cooking School
Follow Kathleen on Twitter @KatFlinn
Learn more on her website: http://kathleenflinn.com/

Featured Speaker: Lisa Ekus!

lisa ekus

The very talented Lisa Ekus will be speaking on the 'Pitching Blog to Book' panel at IFBC Santa Monica!

Lisa Ekus is the founder of The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC, a full-service culinary agency specializing in “promoting a world of culinary talent.” Based in Western Massachusetts, she oversees four core divisions of her company: literary agenting, spokesperson/endorsement representation, media training, and public relations.

Located in a 200-plus-year-old renovated farmhouse, The Lisa Ekus Group has almost three decades of experience representing a diversified selection of food personalities and writers, cookbooks, restaurants, and food products. In 2000, Lisa began offering personalized literary services for writers. Her agency now represents more than 150 authors and numerous leading publishers worldwide. Lisa is also an experienced media trainer and holds regular seminars in her professional kitchen, as well as leading training for corporate chef groups. The training, which was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” helps culinary professionals improve their media presentation, video, and interviewing skills. Her “Honing Your Edge: Cutting Edge Media Skills For Culinary Professionals” with culinary producer and associate Virginia Willis, brings the media training program on the road to corporations and culinary organizations. Offering consultations on publishing, career direction, writing, and marketing, Lisa is a sought after expert, traveling globally to present seminars, workshops, and panels.

Lisa is deeply committed to volunteerism and donates her time to a number of non-profit organizations in the hunger, health, and humanitarian arenas. She sees food as the common denominator that brings family and friends together, and sits down for dinner as often as possible with her family, friends and clients. Last, but not least, she also is the proud owner of more than 7,000 cookbooks.

Learn more about Lisa on her website: http://lisaekus.com/
Contact her: lisaekus@lisaekus.com
Follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaEkus
Find her on Facebook!

Featured Speaker: Kimberly Morales!

kimberly morales

The lovely Kimberly Morales, of Poor Girl Eats Well, will be leading the Eating on a Budget session at IFBC Santa Monica!

I started Poor Girl Eats Well in August of 2008 as a way to show my friends & family how I went about enjoying tasty, nutritious meals despite being so incredibly broke. Though my financial situation was (and continues to be) quite dire, I didn't want to fall into the trap of eating cup o' noodles or Chef Boyardee all the time, just to save money on food. So I got back in the kitchen, rolled up my sleeves, and started cooking again.

On the blog, I feature original recipes, tips on how to change the way people approach eating on a budget, and the occasional restaurant review. I write everything from my personal point of view as someone who is struggling financially, and every one of the almost 300 recipes on the site are dishes that I actually eat at home. I discuss how to make the most of your shopping dollar at the farmer's market, how to stock your spice & dry pantries, and how to avoid many of the marketing traps that the food industry lays out to ensure consumers pay as much as possible for food.

My most popular feature (besides the recipes, of course) is the $25 Shopping Cart, a monthly feature in which I go to different stores in my area with a $25 budget and buy food that will last me between 10-14 days until I get that next paycheck. I break everything down by price, then give readers suggested recipes that one could make with those purchases. From local establishments to places like Whole Foods, I've left with some amazing bargains. It's definitely a reader favorite!

I'm grateful for the very loyal & ever-growing following of readers with whom I've struck a chord through my recipe & personal story. In early 2009, two of my recipes were featured on a CNN.com article, 10 Meals for $10 or Less. I was also interviewed for a couple shows on CNN Radio about how to eat healthy on a budget.

Over the past couple of years, I have been featured in a number of local Sacramento publications & news stations, and was eventually dubbed the "guru" of budget eating here in Sacramento. I have conducted workshops for single mothers on how to make better food choices for children without breaking the bank, and have been on a number of local panels on topics ranging from fighting childhood obesity to successful blogging. I was also nominated for the “Food Blogger You'd Most Like to See Have a TV Show” award from Foodbuzz in 2009.

In 2009 I self-published a mini-book called PGEW To Go! for which demand was quite high (it is now out of print). In 2010, I became a featured contributor on TakePart.com's Hungry for Change Blog (TakePart.com is the official site of the Food Inc. movie & movement). In March of 2011, I received my first opportunity as an official recipe developer for The Mushroom Channel, a website sponsored by the National Mushroom Council.

I am currently working on a proposal for my first real book, which will be based on Poor Girl Eats Well. I am also launching a 2nd food blog in June of 2011, which will cover a much broader range of food-related topics. I also run 2 other blogs & sing soprano in a professional choir. And in the remaining 2.5 seconds of my day, I love to read, practice my photography, and enjoy the company of my friends and three fabulous felines.

Follow Kimberly on Twitter @PoorGrlEatsWell

Featured Speaker: Linda Miller Nicholson!

linda miller nicholson

We are thrilled to announce Linda Miller Nicholson as featured speaker on the 'Blogging Your Values' panel at IFBC Santa Monica.

Linda Miller Nicholson lives in Seattle, and she’s an award-winning food blogger, marketing maven, entrepreneur, and all-around bon vivant. She captures attention with her fuchsia pants and a personality taller than a supermodel on stilts, but she capture hearts and stomachs with her writing, which is like a Technicolor journey through a pop-culture kitchen.

Linda is never without an opinion, and recently she has publicly taken a stance on the need for greater ethical boundaries within the community of food bloggers. An ethical topic close to her heart is that of dealing with the inevitable trolls and naysayers that crop up as a result of being a public persona. Linda urges a proactive stance on policing the grey areas of social media.

On the lighter side, she’s cultivated a reputation for avant-garde food, but she makes replication compellingly-accessible. She’s made an indelible mark in the cooking niche known (for better or worse) as molecular gastronomy. Her work in the field has earned her the title of the “Lady Gaga of Food” by the Cooking Channel’s Foodography (but some of us see her more like the boys of Jackass).

She boosted her foodie-cred during the years she spent at the core of the Slow Food movement in Torino, Italy. That experience anchors her culinary perspective and is never far from her whimsical take on New American Cuisine. She believes that cooking should be from the hip and never staid or excessively traditional. In essence, she seeks to bring the best of the farm to the hippest of tables, and she inspires her readers to do the same.

She’s a recovering stiletto ninja; she hung up the nunchucks in favor of her current role as resident foodie fashionista (but she kept the Louboutins). Hypermodern gastronomy makes her test tubes bubbleth over, and her goal is to share that love in order to demystify modernist cuisine. She’s out to prove that anyone can spherify and gellify with soul and like a pro without the investment of a degree in the culinary arts.

Follow Linda on Twitter @SaltySeattle
Learn more about Linda on her site: http://www.saltyseattle.com/


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