In early September, I was one of the lucky winners of a food blogger contest organized by the German food magazine Lecker (which translates into Delicious). In order to participate, the foodies had to prepare a meal with the French cheese Comté. My recipe was a delicious quiche with fennel and coconut milk and I was beyond excited when I received the invitation! Nine food bloggers including me were invited to a food blogger event and workshop at Lecker’s studio kitchen in the beautiful city of Hamburg.
The editorial office of Lecker, which belongs to the publisher Bauer Media Group, is located in the Kontorhausviertel (Kontorhaus office district) close to the famous Speicherstadt (warehouse district) and right across the world-famous Chile House. Visitors are overwhelmed by both the impressive architecture and interior design as well as the journalistic spirit that envelopes the building.
Upon arrival, we were welcomed in the editing office’ conference room, which reminded me rather of a dining room. The table was beautifully set with fresh flowers and noble cutlery, while the huge book shelves filled with numerous cookbooks adorned the walls. The kind Comté representative, who spend the whole day with us, brought several samples of this delicious French cheese, ripened between four and thirty-six months in the Franche-Comté in Eastern France. It was a culinary delight to taste the different degrees of the cheese’ maturity, accompanied with some extraordinary white and red wine from the Jura region.
Coming from all over Germany and following various approaches in their blogs, the food bloggers were now in a great mood to start the workshop. We entered the impressive studio kitchen of Lecker, where all the mouth watering recipes, which they are known for, are prepared. A professional food stylist and food photographer awaited us to show us the art of their craft.
While we prepared three different recipes, all of them with the delicious Comté cheese, we were able to chat with the food pros and get some insider tips on how to improve our food styling, food propping and food photography skills. Not many people know how much work needs to be done for taking a photo of a recipe. Putting the food in the limelight requires a creative mind, enticing ingredients and an eye for detail. Playing around with ingredients, oil-and-water-mixtures, and of course light and reflection are only some of the many steps involved in creating a beautiful food photo. Therefore, getting professional tips and ideas was the highlight of the workshop, especially since the Lecker team was really nice, easy-going and hands-on.
After we spend a lot of time trying to get the perfect picture of each meal, we were finally ready to take our seats and enjoy our culinary achievements. I loved the fact that suddenly everyone took out her camera or phone and started taking pictures without anyone being annoyed by it. I guess I speak on behalf of all food bloggers when I say that most people are either annoyed or think it’s strange that we take photos of our food all the time.
Our menu consisted of Grilled Comté cheese with basil and blackberries, a tart with Comté, figs and pears and eventually baked zucchini filled with quinoa, carrots, tomatoes and Comté. There was no other criteria except for the use of Comté, which allowed for a variety of different recipes in the contest. Needless to say, that each of those meals was absolutely delicious!
Following our delicious feast in the conference room of the Bauer Media editing office in Hamburg, we had some time to get ready for another great meal! This time, we didn’t cook our own recipes, but simply enjoyed a festive meal in the famous Hamburg restaurant Lutter & Wegner. Right at the riverbank of the Elbe with an enchanting view of the Hamburg harbor with its charming industrial appeal, we were spoiled with a variety of classics, such as different sorts of grilled fish, potato salad, lobscouse, fish soup, and some mouth watering desserts. In a lively, yet relaxed atmosphere, we let the mild evening fade away and enjoyed ourselves chatting about the privileges, but also difficulties that come along with being a food blogger.
Afterwards, we felt stuffed like Thanksgiving turkeys, but also full of joy, laughter and a whole bunch of new contacts in the food community.
Great thanks goes to the Lecker team in Hamburg and to Comté in France and Germany. Thank you for making this event happen and for connecting like-minded individuals through the love for food.