Below is the list of our 2020 IFBC Virtual Summit Speakers.
Francis Lam | The Splendid Table
Francis Lam is the host of The Splendid Table, produced by American Public Media. A regular contributor and frequent guest host on The Splendid Table since 2010, Lam is the former Eat columnist for The New York Times Magazine and is Editor-at-Large at Clarkson Potter, a division within Penguin Random House that is a leader in cookbook publishing. For two seasons, Lam was a regular judge on Bravo’s hit show, Top Chef Masters. An award-winning writer, Lam has written for numerous publications, including Gourmet, Bon Appetít, Food & Wine, Lucky Peach, Saveur, Salon, Men’s Journal, and the Financial Times. He graduated first in his class at the Culinary Institute of America and holds a bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. He lives with his family in New York City.
Jenny Melrose | Jenny Melrose
Jenny is a former reading specialist who “retired” from her teaching career when her blogging income far exceeded her salary. Through hard work and dedication, her lifestyle blog, The Melrose Family, became regularly sought out by nationally recognized brands such as Neutrogena, Smuckers, Glad, Costco, Stanley Steamer, Sara Lee, and many more. She is a content strategist that helps entrepreneurs better understand their messaging and unique position in the online space. Now, she’s combining her passion for teaching with her extensive experience of creating strategic content for online business owners via JennyMelrose.com and her podcast, Influencer Entrepreneurs with Jenny Melrose as well as her first book Influencer Entrepreneurs: The 4-Step Framework to Building Your Audience, Growing Your Business, and Making More Money Online.
Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack | Muy Bueno Cookbook
Yvette is an Emmy-winning producer and writer, award-winning food blogger, and author of Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor co-written with her mother Vangie and sister Veronica, and Latin Twist: Traditional & Modern Cocktails, co-written with Vianney from Sweet Life. She won her Emmy award (go, Yvette!) for her video Day of the Dead Celebration. Yvette is a native Texan, born and raised in El Paso, but now lives in Colorado.
Raj Thandi | Pink Chai Living
Raj blogs at Pink Chai Living, where she writes about all things lifestyle including food, and is the founder and creative director of Pink Chai Media, a visual content creation studio & digital marketing firm. She is also a founder of the South Asian Bloggers Network. While she would consider her blog only semi-successful in terms of monetization, it has helped launch her to a series of paid contracts representing food-based companies. Raj lives in Surrey, British Columbia with her husband and two children.
Leanna Jordan Pierre | Mrs. Island Breeze
Leanna is a wife, mom, attorney, and blogger at Mrs. Island Breeze. She started blogging after years of her friends telling her she needed to write a recipe book. Leanna has appeared on and was a champion of Guy’s Grocery Games with Guy Fieri. As she says on her bio: “Love. Peace. And a little bit of bacon grease.”
Lauren McElwain | Cooking As a First Language
Lauren is the founder of Cooking as a First Language, a nonprofit organization located in Tupelo, MS that seeks to build community over food and cooking. The area has a large population of foreign residents due to a nearby Toyota plant and Lauren’s organization believes Tupelo natives should be proud of that diversity and should work to make those families feel welcomed and even celebrated. Cooking as a First Language participants achieve this by cooking together and teaching each other in the kitchen, even when they don’t speak a common language. Lauren is also a food blogger at The Filigree Fig.
Jason Logsdon | Amazing Food Made Easy
Jason Logsdon is a best selling author, public speaker and passionate home cook who loves to try new things, exploring everything from sous vide and whipping siphons to blow torches, foams, spheres and infusions. He has published 14 cookbooks which have sold more than 60,000 copies, including the best selling Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Sous Vide and the Official Instant Pot Sous Vide Cookbook. He runs AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com, one of the largest sous vide and modernist cooking websites, Makin’ Bacon (MakeThatBacon.com), a website dedicated to helping food bloggers succeed, and is the president of the International Sous Vide Association.
Madison Wetherill | Grace + Vine Studios
Madison Wetherill is a food blogger turned web designer, who has worked with hundreds of food bloggers since 2015 through Grace + Vine Studios. She helps her clients connect with their audience through their website design and branding. She is also the host of The Vine Podcast, a podcast focused on strategy and design and growing your food blog without the hustle and burn out.
Caroline Vencil | Caroline Vencil
Caroline started her blog in August 2015, honestly, because she was bored! Boredom doesn’t do any favors. She had just had her third son and was feeling very isolated. She desperately needed adult interaction and a blog met that need! While some people have hobbies like coin collecting, pilates, wine tasting… her hobby is saving money, and she had become quite good at it. She wanted to share her story in hopes of helping someone who is in the same place she once was.
Tracie Fobes | Tracie Fobes
Tracie Fobes started her site, PennyPinchinMom.com in 2009. Over the course of 11 years she turned her passion into profits. She spent time learning and understanding sponsored work and was able to land 4 and 5 figure contracts from brands such as Staples, Dollar General, and Target. In October 2019, she sold that site for six-figures! She now teaches others how to leverage their ideas into a profitable blog by teaching what she has learned. Her coaching, courses and free content have helped thousands get started on the path to achieving their goals.
Christina Peters | Food Photography Club
Christina Peters is an award winning photographer. She received her second degree in photography from the Art Center College of Design in California and has been shooting ever since. Concentrating in food photography for the last 15 years, Christina began teaching food photography classes at her studio in 2011. Her classes are designed for food bloggers, chefs and other culinary professionals. In 2017, she also launched her the Food Photography Club. This site is dedicated to all things food photography with video content, live webinars, and a private community to teach you how to be a professional food photographer. Her clients include Bath and Body Works, Marriott Hotels, Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt, Rubios Grill, Walmart, and Nestle, just to name a few.
Phil Pallen |Phil Pallen
Phil deconstructs digital marketing and social media to empower leaders, corporations, employees, and entrepreneurs. He’s a motivational burst of energy that’ll challenge audiences to be better than ever before. Phil’s insights have been featured in media outlets around the world, including CNN, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, and The Daily Mail, to name a few. Phil has worked with hundreds of brands across all industries, including a Shark on Shark Tank, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, politicians, and some of the most important names in entertainment. He frequently speaks at conferences in cities all over the globe, including London, Tokyo, Dubai, Cairo, São Paulo, Medellín, Auckland, Helsinki, and Los Angeles.
Ty Kilgore | Everything Digital Marketing
Kathy Hester | Healthy Slow Cooking
Kathy Hester is a food blogger, recipe developer, food photographer, and author of 11 cookbooks. She’s sold over 150,000 books to date and does cookbook PR on the side. In addition to her blog Healthy Slow Cooking, Kathy runs the Plant Based Instant Pot and talks about online PR and video at kathyhester.com. Kathy started doing live Facebook videos a few years ago and noticed it forged a strong connection with her audience. She took those skills and started doing live online cooking classes that sell five figures a year, in addition to working with brands on live social media video. Kathy is passionate about making healthy eating accessible and delicious. Her recipes are plant based and vegan, plus she can help you with your dietary restrictions or allergies with recipe alternatives.
Moriah Garnett | Moriah Garnett
Moriah is a Pinterest Marketing Expert & Ads Manager. As a content creator herself, Moriah knows how challenging it can be to create valuable content on a regular basis and (even more challenging) to get more eyes on your products or posts. #BTDT As a Pinterest expert, she help bloggers, social media managers, and other online business owners increase traffic and sales with Pinterest. She has been in the industry for over 14 years and has time, and time again helped clients increase website traffic and get eyes on their content. She is a forward thinker who keeps up with industry-standard to bring you the latest and greatest Pinterest ideas.
Allan Wright | Zephyr Conferences
Allan is the owner and president of Zephyr Conferences, which runs the IFBC. Zephyr Conferences also organizes the annual Wine Media Conference, Beer Now Conference (for influencers), Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference, and Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference. In addition, Allan has 23 years in the travel industry. He runs Zephyr Adventures, which operates active tours around the world, and Taste Vacations, which operates food, wine, and beer vacations in premier destinations across the globe.