A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending my third International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC). This annual event brings together 300 or more men and women who photograph, research and write about food and the culinary industry. In other words, they’re my kind of people. The 2016 conference was held in Sacramento, the Farm to Fork capital of the U.S. To label one’s city as Farm to Fork takes courage, because said city must be able to back that up. Sacramento truly does. With hundreds of large and small farms in the surrounding area, and of course the dozens of wineries, there is an abundance of fresh and organic produce and meat. And the wines are well known throughout the world.

Farm to Fork

Sacramento – US Farm to Fork Capital

My plane landed in sunny Sacramento and I was hit with a wave of heat unlike any I’d felt in quite some time. I knew right away I was overdressed. I tend to be cold on planes, so I was wearing a sweater. Thank goodness I dressed in layers. By the time I got to my hotel, I thought I had walked into a furnace. I quickly changed into something a tab more appropriate and headed out to meet with Mike from “Visit Sacramento.” I left the meeting with some great information about the dinner the Tower Bridge dinner, a huge Sacramento Farm to Fork event in September, and, most importantly, suggestions on where to dine that evening. Once back at the hotel I asked Matt, the very nice concierge to make me a reservation for Ella, which is an American bistro. The dinner was spectacular.

The following evening the conference started with a cocktail party kickoff. There were copious amounts of appealing food as well as wines and ciders. The dish that stood out the most was the Caprese salad made with peaches instead of tomatoes. What a genius idea! The fresh basil and mozzarella added just the right balance to the sweet of the peaches.

During the weekend I feasted on incredible foods, met wonderful fellow bloggers, and picked up some great ideas to bring home to Juneau. Especially that peach Caprese salad. I must make this at home.

PeachesIt is peach season and finding fresh, ripe peaches even in Juneau is fairly easy. I have a confession, though. I don’t really care for fresh mozzarella. It’s a texture thing. So, I made a few tweaks to my salad, and I think it turned out fabulous. The salad is a perfect accompaniment to the apricot glazed chicken I served as the entrée.

This week I present a dish that is a great go-to salad to take for a picnic or dinner party: Peach Caprese Salad. If you can’t find fresh peaches, use canned. Just be sure to drain them. It was the California Cling Peach Association, which introduced me to this great idea.

I look forward to the next IFBC. Attending conferences such as this provides me with a renewed energy for writing, cooking, and sharing food with my tour guests and my readers. I learned the conference will once again be held in Sacramento — thankfully, this time in September. The city offers an abundance of deliciousness and I am eager to return. Not only for the amazing produce, but there’s a taco chain there called Jimboy’s and I can’t get enough of those babies. I see a recipe formulating even now.

Until next time…

Eat and enjoy,



3 large peaches, sliced

4 ounces plain goat cheese

2 tablespoons honey

1 cup fresh basil leaves, removed from stems

Sea salt

Coarse black pepper

1-2 tablespoons aged

Balsamic vinegar

Place peaches in serving tray or dish. Combine goat cheese and honey in small bowl and blend together. Add a tad more honey if you like it a bit sweeter. Dollop cheese mixture amidst the peach slices. Scatter fresh basil leaves on top of peaches and

cheese. Season lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle balsamic basil on top.

Serve with an antipasto platter or apricot glazed chicken.

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