I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Sunday Supper Food & Wine Conference a couple weeks ago in Orland Florida, alongside my husband, Mike, and Mann's Fresh Vegetables! I was super excited to attend this conference and meet the wonderful people behind Mann's, and it ended up being even MORE fun than I thought!
As many of you know by now, I've partnered up with Mann's Fresh Vegetables several times in the past, because I absolutely love what they do. It was such a treat to finally meet two of the wonderful ladies behind the company in person – Monica, the Content Marketing Specialist and Gina, the Director of Corporate Marketing.
Mann's was a sponsor of the Food & Wine Conference and on the first day, Mike and I met up with Monica to register for the event, and then grab some food that was served to us from the restaurants in the hotel. We had a great time getting to know other bloggers and business owners!
Me, Mike and Monica arriving at the conference!
The first day of the conference started off with breakfast at our hotel (which was stunning and HUGE), and then we all gathered to watch a documentary of chef Ina Pinkney's fascinating life – which basically left us all in tears. She has an incredible story and is so inspiring. My favorite quote from her was:
"It takes less energy to be courageous than to be afraid."
I couldn't have asked for a more inspiring start to the weekend!
After hearing Ina's story, I learned all about what it takes to get into the 1% of accepted book proposals, how to build a powerful social media presence, and 5 tricks for time management. Each session was taught by the best of the best in the industry, and I was just like a sponge soaking, up their knowledge.
Most vacations and business trips leave me feeling like I can never get enough veggies, but thanks to my friends at Mann's Fresh Vegetables I was loaded up with veggies while I was away! I snacked on their famous sugar snap peas and loaded up at the taco bar lunch that they sponsored, which was by far my favorite meal of the entire event!
This was my first time getting to try the Nourish Bowls from Mann's Fresh Vegetables. The Southwest Chipotle was AMAZING and the perfect topping for our tacos!
Another favorite is the Butternut Squash Zig Zags. I enjoy these weekly!
The Cauliflower Cauliettes is another staple in my house and this was delicious served alongside our tacos!
Here's my loaded taco plate that I enjoyed! This was SO GOOD!
After lunch, we all headed back to learn about how to powerfully engage our brand, and then I had the opportunity to hear Gina from Mann's Fresh Vegetables moderate a session all about what wine, beef, dairy and strawberry ranchers do and why they're so passionate about the food that they bring to our tables. After hearing them all speak, I have even more respect for the ranchers and everyone that has a part in bringing us the food that we eat.
After the conference we all met up for the Sunday Supper Dinner & Awards. It's safe to say that we didn't go hungry at this event, and there were tons of gluten-free options to enjoy!
Have you ever tried pickled watermelon rind? It was really good!
After dinner we met up again for a 50's themed party, which was a BLAST!
Monica and I even got to drive around a pretty sweet cardboard car 😉
On Sunday morning we all met up at the local culinary school for breakfast, and then we got right into the sessions for the day. One thing that I love is hearing stories of what makes people who they are, which is exactly how both days started.
Dorothea Boziicolona-Volpe started out the day by sharing her powerful story, as well as teaching us the 5 social media strategies to design our personal brand.
After that, we broke out into sessions of our choice, where I learned from companies as to how they work with bloggers and social media influencers, and then strategies for turning a blog into a business. My favorite session of the day was learning from Stefani Pollack on how she grew her Instagram audience by 400k in just one year. Now THAT is impressive, and she had such great tips to share!
Right before lunch, we had a super fun food photography workshop where I learned all sorts of tips and tricks from the pros. The photo of these cupcakes that I took had me drooling! I also found out that some of them were gluten-free…so of course I snagged one. 😉
As we wrapped up the conference I really reflected on how fortunate I was to experience such an incredible weekend filled with amazing people. It was such an honor to get to know two of the women behind Mann's Fresh Vegetables, and I have such gratitude for all that they do to get delicious, easy and fresh vegetables on our tables. I'm planning to visit their corporate office as well as the farms that grow their delicious vegetables soon, and I'll be sure to share my experience with you!
If you're debating on going to the Sunday Supper Food & Wine Conference next year, DO IT! It's an unforgettable experience where you'll learn so much! If you're there, be sure to say hi to Mann's Fresh Vegetables as well!
Here's a video recap of the Sunday Supper Food & Wine Conference, sponsored by Mann's Fresh Vegetables!
Although we mostly ate at the event (and were fed extremely well!), Mike and I had a few meals out both before and after the conference. These were my favorite restaurants in Orlando!
My Favorite Restaurants in Orlando:
Season's 52 – I've been to several locations and am always impressed by the service and quality of the food! They have plenty of paleo/gluten-free options.
Ra – If you tolerate white rice, Ra has great sushi! They do have gluten-free tamari, but you can easily bring your own coconut aminos as well.
Tapo Toro – I LOVE tapas, and this restaurant was awesome! Most of the items on the menu are paleo as is, and everything that is gluten-free is labeled, which I'm always a huge fan of.
Tommy Bahamas – Although we didn't get a chance to actually eat here, it was recommended several times, and the menu looked AMAZING, with plenty of paleo/gluten-free options.
In addition to sharing all of the excitement from the Food & Wine Conference, I wanted to create a delicious recipe for you all that went along with the taco bar themed lunch, which was sponsored by Mann's Fresh Vegetables, so you can all enjoy their delicious veggies at home, in a brand new way!
Their Crinkle Cut Sweet Potatoes are one of my absolute favorites, and it's rare to find items similar to these that aren't frozen and coated with junky ingredients, so it's extra awesome that literally the only ingredient in these is sweet potatoes.
I turned their Crinkle Cut Sweet Potatoes into the most delicious Loaded Taco Fries!
Looking for more delicious recipes made with Mann's Fresh Vegetables? Check out my Cajun Spiced Butternut Squash Zig Zags, Powered Up Veggie Muffins & Loaded Veggie Burger Buns! You can also check the store locator to find their products in a store near you!
Enjoy this recipe for my Loaded Taco Fries!
Disclaimer: This Food & Wine Conference Recap is a sponsored post on behalf of Mann's Fresh Vegetables. All opinions on Living Loving Paleo are always 100% my own and I only ever work with companies that I absolutely love. My sponsors help to keep Living Loving Paleo up and running! This post also contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of my links, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I truly believe in, and that I use myself or find to be very valuable. Thanks for helping me to keep my blog up and running!