Two weeks ago, I attended a Black Food Bloggers Retreat in New Orleans that still has me in awe. Everything from the fine cuisine, eclectic decor, and vibrant fashion has kept my creative drive in overload since I left. Recording my epic weekend has proven difficult because it’s so hard to put the experience into words, but a post is coming soon that will truly do the trip justice in my eyes.
During the education sessions for the retreat, our small but mighty group spent time in ideation sessions around our blog strategy, learning tips and tools to help us expand our brands, and getting to discuss all of the kick ass and groundbreaking work we are doing in our respective communities. Outside of the sessions, our lovely host and leader, Jasmine Lukuku (The Blenderist) planned some phenomenal food-centered experiences that I truly enjoyed. Of all of the events throughout the weekend, my favorite was time spent with the infamous Joy the Baker.
Joy is a legend in the blogging world, who has been chronicling her adventures in baking and cooking for nearly a decade. Welcoming us into her home (a meticulous marvel of interior artistry), she shared a little bit about her trials and tribulations as she built her career as a blogger.
From self-taught baker to the author of multiple cookbooks, Joy bestowed infinite wisdom about how we needed to trust in our talents, identify the things we truly care about, and how the best tools are the ones we have right at our fingertips. Charming and witty, with a great sense of humor, she achieved all of this while putting her foot in some savory beignets.
In the grand finale of our time together, Joy let us get up close and personal with one of her passion projects, Drake on Cake. The gallery of cakes with Drake lyrics is one of my guilty pleasures of instagram, and the experience of watching her take a blank cake and create whimsy and wonder was second to none. We watched as she took the cake from simple to stunning, adding notes of confetti, candles, and mini champagne bottles.
Following the cake decoration, we watched her build the photo scene for her final shot. Using a photo-board placed in front of her patio door for perfect lighting, she scoured her home for props that represented the essence of the Drake lyric. As we watched her add paper flowers, rosary beads, and fresh cut slices of cake for depth, she shared that her end goal is to create a story centered around the cake.
Reflecting on my time there, the lyric, “I’m blessed, I just checked,” is the embodiment of our time together in NoLa, and is now a mainstay mantra as I look toward the future of Geo’s Table.
To follow Joy, her awesomeness, and to view the latest photoshoots from Drake on Cake check out her instagram accounts and websites: