By December 31, 2012General

It’s the last day of 2012 and another wonderful year of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance is coming to a close. The two-year term of our current board will end, and a new board will start in March 2013.

The current board includes: Natanya Anderson of Fete and Feast (President), Kathryn Hutchison of Austin Gastronomist (Vice President), Rachelle King of Blinded by the Bite! (Treasurer), Michelle Cheng of Foodie is the New Forty (Secretary), Jodi Bart of Tasty Touring (Communications Chair), Addie Broyles of Relish Austin and The Feminist Kitchen (Advisory Council Chair), Jennie Chen of MisoHungry (Education Chair), Michelle Fandrich of The Kid Can Cook (Philanthropy Chair), Megan Myers of Stetted (Membership Chair), and Mike Krell of Austin Food Carts (Technology Chair). Rebecca Otis of TheRebeccammendations moved to Chicago in the fall and stepped down as Social Chair.

In early February, twenty-two volunteers from AFBA spent an evening at the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas to help sort through donations from the Food Bank’s Souper Bowl of Caring donation drive. AFBA members sorted nearly 10,000 pounds of food for distribution to people in need in the Austin area totaling almost 8,000 meals.

In early 2012, we asked members of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance to fill out a survey about their favorite eats and drinks in Austin. The results were turned into a blog post, “2012 Austin Food Blogger Favorites.” Forty five members of the alliance (which at that time had 107 members) pitched in to write over 65 posts for the 2012 Austin City Guide.

On April 3, we hosted a Recipe Writing 101 class to prepare members for submitting recipes for our community cookbook. Food writers Karen Morgan (“Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free“), Ann Clark (”Quick Cuisine” and “Ann Clark’s Fabulous Fish,”), Michael Chu (of the award-winning blog, Cooking For Engineers), and Elizabeth Englehardt (“Republic of Barbecue”) walked through the steps to create recipes that are clear, concise and easy to follow.

Members were asked to submit recipes for the AFBA community cookbook by the end of April.

On May 19, we took a day trip to San Antonio. Activities included a visit to the Pearl Farmer’s Market, a tour of the Culinary Institute of America, and a tapas tasting at OCHO lounge at the Hotel Havana.

On May 20, Eli Castro of Grubbus worked with Houndstooth Coffee to host a coffee cupping for AFBA members. A total of 20 people attended, including bloggers and their guests.

In June, we asked for more recipes for the cookbook, along with filler photos, and short essays about Austin and its food culture.

On July 25, AFBA brought together some of Austin’s best professional bakers and food bloggers to raise funds for Bake A Wish, a non-profit organization which provides cakes and other baked goods to those in need here in Austin. The event, “Cupcakes & Cocktails,” raised over $4500 for Bake A Wish – with $2500 raised in the silent auction alone.

AFBA member Josh Kimbell partnered with Boston Food Bloggers organizer Rachel Leah Blumenthal to coordinate the second “Austin to Boston Food Swap” in the fall.

In September, AFBA began taking applications for positions on the board and a selection committee reviewed the applications, ranking candidates based on who they think is most qualified for the position.

On Sept. 8, we hosted the AFBA Cookbook Potluck at Springdale Farm featuring dishes from our upcoming community cookbook. We asked members who have submitted a recipe to test at least one other recipe. The potluck was a way for us to share the dishes we make, collect feedback on the recipes, photograph some of the dishes that need to be reshot and get some group shots.

On Oct. 7, the current board officially voted on the candidates recommended by the selection committee.

On Oct. 22, we announced the new board for 2013-2015. They include: Kathryn Hutchison of Austin Gastronomist(President), Megan Myers of Stetted (Vice President), Nelly Paulina Ramirez of Aneelee (Treasurer), Margaret Perkins of From Maggie’s Farm (Development Chair), Heather Santos of Midnite Chef (Membership Chair), Kristin Sheppard of Mad Betty (Education Chair), Christy Horton of Epicuriosities (Philanthropy Chair), Brittanie Duncan of Three Diets One Dinner (Social Chair), Tiffany Young of Oh Spooning! (Marketing Chair), William Burdette of No Satiation (Technology Chair), Immediate Past President Natanya Anderson of Fete and Feast and Addie Broyles of Relish Austin and The Feminist Kitchen (Special Projects/Cookbook Chair).

On Oct. 24, we held an education event, “Monetizing Your Blog,” at the Evernote offices with panelists Cara Thielvoldt (pay per click and SEO expert, blogs at I Don’t Believe in Diets), Tom Buckley (ad sales), Jeffrey Eisenberg (online conversion)

On Nov. 7, we voted in Natalie Paramour of Food Fetish as Secretary of the Board for 2013-2015.

On Nov. 10 we asked bloggers to join us for the “Meet Me at the Market” blog challenge, to help spread the word about the Sustainable Food Center’s (SFC) Capital Campaign and one of their farmer’s market vendors.

On Nov. 11, Taylor and James of Coseppi Kitchen entered the Lone Star Vegetarian Cook-Off on behalf of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance and won first place in the All-Veg Division.

On Dec. 1 we met at Gourmand’s for AFBA’s Winter Bash and Food Blogger Trivia event.

As of this writing on Dec. 31, there are 149 members.

We have many plans for AFBA in 2013, including the publication of our cookbook! We’re so grateful to every board member, member, and volunteer in this special group.

AFBA in 2011: A Year in Review

-Jodi Bart, Tasty Touring

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