Whole Grains: The New Norm
We had a full day at the Whole Grains conference, and the best way to fuel a full day is with a great grain breakfast bar. We got to sample the award winning (seriously) oatmeal from Bob’s Red Mill topped with dates, whole grain granola, brown sugar, and walnuts. Dates are officially my new favorite oatmeal topping.
There was an interesting and engaging line-up of speakers and topics throughout the day. One I really enjoyed was by Chef Cary Neff, VP of Culinary at Morrison Management. His topic was “Healing Whole Grains Make Hospitals Healthier” and the title didn’t excite me – I don’t work in a hospital. But once Cary got talking about how we need to just present good food instead of talking about nutrients and health benefits to get people to eat it. Kids (and adults) don’t care about antioxidants or percent daily value of nutrients – they just want food that looks and tastes good. Amen, Chef Cary.
I was most excited to hear the media panel: How magazines and blogs put whole grain first. Speakers included Jessie Price, deputy editor of food from Eating Well magazine (my fav!), Heidi Swanson, blogger and author of 101 Cookbooks (one of my first and favorite blogs ever), and Martha Shulman who is the Recipes for Health columnist in the New York Times. It was great to hear them speak as I’ve admired their writing and recipes for so long. They all touched upon ways they write about using whole grains in their recipes in ways that entice readers. And they all genuinely love whole grains, so creating delicious recipes using them is second nature.
Lunch was another amazing spread of whole grain dishes. We all went back for seconds of the tomato grain soup.
It was exciting meeting some of the vendors behind our favorite whole grain products, like Bob’s and Lundberg.
We finished off the evening with an Awards Dinner, and then headed upstairs with our new conference friends to a funky bar with views of Portland…and of Tony Parker, who was grabbing a post-game cocktail a few tables down!
Since the blizzard back home has me stuck in Portland an extra day, there will be more updates to come from the west coast!