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Monday, December 13, 2010

Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Picnic

Strawberry Santas by Ayana from Absolutely Ayana

It was a spectacular day for a picnic on Saturday, a backdrop of clear blue skies and dappled sunshine for the second annual Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Picnic co-hosted by Chocolatesuze and I.

Over sixty food bloggers descended on Centennial Park, a chance for everyone to meet new faces, mingle and, most importantly, eat.

Christmas puddings by Vivian from vxdollface

The spread of food was impressive as always, a collaborative effort that showcased the creativity and generosity of Sydney's food bloggers. Sweets outnumbered savouries as usual, and it didn't take long for people to eat their fill and find themselves sprawled supine on picnic rugs.

I was inspired by all the Christmas-themed desserts, many of which I've mentally filed away for future reference!

Orange, pistachio and cardamom cupcakes by Angie from Angie Lives to Eat

Christmas tree meringues by Jacq from Penguin Says Feed Me!

Chocolate mudcake Christmas cupcakes by Kay from KayB

Pao de Queijo Brazilian cheesebread by Tammi from Insatiable Munchies

Ribs by Billy from A Table for Two

White chocolate wontons with pinenut and rosemary praline by John from He Needs Food

Macaron Christmas tree by Cleony from I Eat Sweet

The arrival of the macaron Christmas tree created an immediate ripple of excitement. Flavours included chocolate and mint, raspberry with raspberrry jam, chocolate, and - my favourite - sticky rice. Cleony makes cupcakes, macarons, sugar cookies and and custom cakes to order (details).

Macaron Christmas tree

The Sydney Food Blogger Olympics made its debut at the picnic, a series of games I devised to add some fun and frivolity to the event. Competitors were randomly chosen, and the events were meant to test some of the skills essential to being a food blogger.

Sydney Food Blogger Olympics
(Team members in competitive event order)

Team 1: Team Asia
1. Ken from Cupcakiedolly
2. Monica from Love My Foods and Sugar
3. Marvin from Eat Marvin
4. Clarissa from Eat My Shots

Team 2: Tinsel Twos
1. Rhonda from The Dainty Baker
2. Joshua from Belly Rumbles
3. Melissa from Mel's Food Journey
4. Minh from Eat Show & Tell

Team 3: The Fondant Penguins
1. Adrienna from Fish in a Car
2. Phuoc from Phuoc'n Delicious
3. Melanie from The Adventures of Miss Piggy
4. Sneh from Cook Republic

Team 4: Team Diva
1. Sara from Belly Rumbles
2. Deborah from Vintage Macaroon
3. Billy from A Table for Two
4. Shez from One Bite More

Chopstick challenge - because you have to be fast when eating with food bloggers
[Photo credit: Angie from Angie Lives to Eat]

The Chopstick challenge was a test of speed and dexterity, transferring 50 soya beans from one bowl to another. I initially had 100 in each bowl but soon realised it was rather difficult and halved the amount. Even then it was a tricky challenge.

Taste test challenge - because it's important to have an accurate palate
[Photo credit: Angie from Angie Lives to Eat]

I was a little disorganised with the Taste Test Challenge and had to raid my rather empty pantry. The mystery ingredients weren't overly difficult - cucumber and sunflower seeds. Next time (?!) the stakes will be raised significantly.

Plating and photography challenge - because we like to make food look good
[Photo credit: Angie from Angie Lives to Eat]

The final challenge was two-part: the first was to raid the picnic leftovers and plate something delicious. The next person then had to use a mobile phone to photograph the plate and tweet it with the hashtag #sydfoodblogxmas.

The final entries: top row Teams 1 and 2,
bottom row Teams 3 and 4

Everyone's a winner
[Photo credit: Simon from The Heart of Food]

It was a close competition but the final tally was:
Gold: Team 4 - Team Diva
Silver: Team 1 - Team Asia
Bronze: Team 2 - Tinsel Twos
Bronze: Team 3 - The Fondant Penguins

We finished with the evil Kris Kringle game - choose a present from the pile or steal someone else's. Hours of fun!

Sydney Food Bloggers
[Photo credit: Simon from The Heart of Food]

Thanks everyone for coming! Here's to an even more delicious year ahead!

- Check out the Twitter hashtag #sydfoodblogxmas for more posts on the event.

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Picnic 2009
39 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/13/2010 12:46:00 am


  • At 12/13/2010 1:15 am, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    sounds like an AWESOME success. the games sound like so much fun! :-) i wish i had the energy to come along but was so tired i needed to rest up or my body would have crashed from exhaustion. hopefully next year!

  • At 12/13/2010 1:51 am, Blogger Phuoc'n Delicious said…

    Thanks for organising it! I had so much fun. We need more savoury items next time lol So much sugar coma!

  • At 12/13/2010 2:20 am, Anonymous Simon @ the heart of food said…

    The plating challenge was utterly inspired. Totally want to see that for next year's picnic. :)

    A big thanks for organising this picnic with Suze.

  • At 12/13/2010 3:47 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    woot *raises a glass*

  • At 12/13/2010 4:14 am, Anonymous Yas (aboutthefood) said…

    Sounds like a blast, the Olympics are such a good idea! I had such a good time last year, sorry I had to miss it this time round.

  • At 12/13/2010 7:24 am, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    Was a great day. Sweets definitely outweighed the savouries so my thinking cap is already on for next year. Thanks for organising!

  • At 12/13/2010 7:50 am, Anonymous eatmarvin said…

    Hi Helen! You and Suze did a great job organizing the Christmas Picnic. I'm so happy to finally meet you in person - feels like meeting Oprah! :) Thank you again and hope to see you all again soon. Happy Holidays!

  • At 12/13/2010 8:04 am, Blogger Gourmet Getaway said…

    It sounds like the most awesome day, I am really sorry I couldn't make it! Love the food styling game, and the dishes people brought were amazing, so many great ideas!!!

  • At 12/13/2010 8:34 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    Hahaha I am so glad I didn't have to do that chopstick challenge, I would have sucked at it! Thanks so much for all the effort you put into organising this Helen, it was even better than last year!

  • At 12/13/2010 8:37 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Helen,
    Thanks for organising it, it was great to meet you all and gain a few kilos in the name of food bloggin'!

  • At 12/13/2010 9:16 am, Anonymous Obesebaby said…

    Thanks Helen & Suze for organsing such wonderful event, It was really fun and would love to meet up you all soon, Merry Xmas! Ho Ho Ho

  • At 12/13/2010 9:19 am, Blogger the dainty baker said…

    Thanks so much organising it Helen!! it was such an awesome day had heaps of fun... lol that chopstick challenge really killed me hahaha

  • At 12/13/2010 9:34 am, Blogger Mel said…

    Hi Helen! Thanks SO MUCH for organising such a great afternoon. I loved meeting all the food bloggers and trying out the tasty food. Cannot wait for the next party!

  • At 12/13/2010 9:36 am, Blogger KayB said…

    Such a fun day. Thanks again for organising!

  • At 12/13/2010 10:07 am, Blogger thang @ noodlies said…

    Thanks Helen and Suze, it was such a wonderful event... had a great chatting to everyone and still didn't make it around to everyone.
    Really appreciate how much effort goes into it! xxx

  • At 12/13/2010 10:30 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    thanks for organising! had a great time and it was very lovely to meet you!

  • At 12/13/2010 10:30 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    I FUHREAKIN' LOVE YOU ALL!!! Olympic shenanigans and food skills and all! Even though I'm not a food blogger - you guys are amazeballs ♥♥♥

  • At 12/13/2010 10:50 am, Blogger Mel said…

    Opss.. ^^ Team 2 Melissa is from Mel's Food Journey. Thanks for organising and my very first time to meet everyone!

  • At 12/13/2010 11:17 am, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    How fun was that! And the steamy hot weather was obviously not too much of a deterrent for the frivolities. That macaron Xmas tree looks fantastic!

  • At 12/13/2010 11:24 am, Anonymous Sandra @ The French Wench said…

    Had a great time too! (Except when my superb egg spatula got stolen... twice!)
    It was good to see familiar and new faces, thank you guys for organising, wish you all a great holiday season :-) Bisous.

  • At 12/13/2010 11:59 am, Anonymous Sara @ Belly Rumbles said…

    Helen & Suze, thanks for organising another fantastic Christmas picnic. Loved the Olympics and was happy that I was lucky enough to pull one of the random numbers.

    Wonderful day with wonderful people, I love food bloggers :)

  • At 12/13/2010 12:08 pm, Anonymous Vivian - vxdollface said…

    Awesome picnic! Thanks for organising with Suze :) had heaps of fun!

    hehe.. I made the mini Christmas puddings~

  • At 12/13/2010 1:32 pm, Anonymous Clarissa (Eat My Shots!) said…

    So glad that the Sun was out for us! was a truly awesome yummy day! Thanks for organizing and was nice to meet you in person!! xx Clar

  • At 12/13/2010 1:56 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Oh gosh, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside even though I wasn't there to be a part of this! How I wish I were!

    Loving the sound of the white chocolate with rosemary wontons - I adore using rosemary in sweet things :)

  • At 12/13/2010 3:39 pm, Anonymous Jacq said…

    I had such a great time Helen, thanks for organising! The olympics were a great idea although I'm secretly glad I didn't have to participate hehe

  • At 12/13/2010 4:10 pm, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    Thank you Helen (and Suze) for organising this wonderful get together...it was a great day!

  • At 12/13/2010 9:20 pm, Anonymous FoodieChat said…

    Nice to meet y'all! :) I still want that Jacques Reymond book :( hehehe. That macaron tree was OUTSTANDING!! Wish I had arrived on time to try the ribs - d'oh! :)

  • At 12/13/2010 9:45 pm, Blogger Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said…

    Thank you again Helen (and Suze)! So glad that I came along, I would have regretted it if I had to wait another year =D

  • At 12/13/2010 10:15 pm, Blogger Sheena said…

    Thank you so much for organising the day! It was so great to finally meet so many bloggers, I had so much fun!

  • At 12/13/2010 10:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Whheee fun timmesss!! Thanks for organizing!! Although I was disappointed there was no eating competition in the fb olympics :P

  • At 12/14/2010 12:35 am, Blogger Gianna@TheEmptyFridge said…

    Thanks for organising it Helen and Suze!
    I had so much fun meeting new bloggers - it definity felt like a christmas feast with all the magnificent food!

  • At 12/14/2010 3:14 pm, Blogger Georgia said…

    Thanks Helen and Suze for organising - it was a great day, delicious and fun! So wonderful to meet all the lovely food bloggers out there! G

  • At 12/14/2010 4:09 pm, Blogger Anna said…

    Looks like an absolutely lovely day! I'm sorry I couldn't make it along for all the food and fun. Happy Christmas and hope to see you all sooner rather than later in 2011

  • At 12/14/2010 8:13 pm, Blogger Viv said…

    yay so glad i could make it last sat! thanks for organising and also for letting me 'jump the queue' for the kringles had to had to go :P
    oh and think i saw you guys at mamak later that night too! :P

  • At 12/14/2010 9:43 pm, Anonymous penny aka jeroxie said…

    Great success!! You guys can really eat and eat!

  • At 12/14/2010 10:01 pm, Anonymous Gummi Baby said…

    Looks like you had great fun and sorry to have missed it but it was my birthday and I made plans over a year ago! Hope to get to the next one! Savouries - noted! :D

  • At 12/14/2010 11:04 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Thanks to you and Suze for organizing it!! =) I concur with Simon - that plating challenge was definitely a high point.

  • At 12/15/2010 1:26 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It was so great to get together and meet everybody. None of it would have been possible without the effort from you and Suze! Thanks so much to you both for organising such an awesome day!!

    Also... that Kris Kringle game..... so evil, yet so genius!

  • At 12/17/2010 6:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for organising such a great event! The Food Olympics was definitely fun to watch!!


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