Saveur Blog Awards 2015: A Recap


This past weekend, I was in New York City for Saveur Magazine's Blog Awards, where I was a finalist for the Best Baking & Desserts Blog of 2015. Even when I heard that I was a finalist many months ago, I already knew that I wasn't going to win the award — my category, like all others, was full of incredibly talented bloggers, and Editors' Choice rightly went to the lovely Yossy of Apt 2B Baking Co while Readers' Choice again rightly went to the unstoppable Molly Yeh, who also took home the grand prize of Blog of the Year — but still! I wanted to come celebrate the winners and meet all the talented folks who have been an inspiration for so long.

The weekend was a blast and most events took place at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The building itself is a beautifully restored factory, with gorgeous industrial chic details like concrete floors, exposed brick, and custom vintage wallpaper full of illustrations of nearby local landmarks:


I arrived in New York on Wednesday morning at 6AM, groggy and dirty from my redeye from San Francisco. Fortunately, Steph from I Am A Food Blog arrived an hour or so later to keep me company. We quickly met up with Nik from A Brown Table and headed to the nearby ultra-adorable Bakeri cafe for a breakfast of savory quiche, extremely tasty banana bread pudding, and coffee (of course):


One thing lead to another, and our morning quickly became a tour of the nearby bakeries. After Bakeri, we headed to the nearby Momofuku Milk Bar where we shared a collection of pork belly buns and bagel bombs (all of which we decided were too dry and bland — shame on you, Milk Bar!!!) and were joined by Phi of Princess Tofu, Alana of Fix Feast Flair, Brooke of Chocolate and Marrow, and Samantha of Love, Cake. We then headed to the Bakeshop for some traditional French and "old-fashioned macarons" (which, really, were more like miniature whoopie pies) and Peter Pan in nearby Greenpoint for old-school, all-shortening yeast donuts.


And despite all the baked goods, we still had room for a late lunch at the Wythe Hotel's beautiful restaurant, Reynard, where we were joined by Molly of My Name is Yeh, Kristin of A Pastry Affair, Linda of The Tart Tart, and Phyllis of Dash and Bella:


The rest of the next two days were a crazy whirlwind. Powered by a lack of sleep (that East Coast/West Coast time difference is brutal) and a ton of coffee, the moments I remember most are these: welcome drinks at the Wythe's rooftop bar with a backdrop of the setting sun and the Manhattan skyline; sneaking out to grab Van Leeuwen ice cream with Steph, Kristan of The Broken Bread, and Julia of Sassy Kitchen; and getting ready for the Awards Ceremony with Molly, Alana, Steph with Haim blasting on my room's surround speaker system while I helped Molly stalk this guy I went to college with (long story):


As for the ceremony itself, it was a blur of hugs, orange Le Creuset pepper grinders, fried chicken (at one point, the incredibly sweet and unbelievably talented Renee Kemps and I camped out by the food table, stuffing ourselves silly with wings and skewers from Wilma Jean), and tequila shots. And as if the night couldn't get anymore decadent, Yossy of Apt 2B Baking Co managed to herd us to a nearby dive bar to continue the party with cheap beer and hot dogs.

On Friday morning, despite the previous night's bacchanalia, we managed to make it to the Whole Foods Market in Gowanus for a tour of Gotham Greens' epic and groundbreaking greenhouse facilities.


But wait — more on that for a second. Gotham Greens designs, builds, and maintains several greenhouses in urban areas like New York City and Chicago that use cutting-edge urban agriculture technology to maximize their output with fewer resources. Using more sustainable methods like hydroponic technology to re-circulate and recycle water, Gotham Greens' processes can yield 20-30 times more product per acre than typical farm field production. I can go on and on about this (it really was that freaking cool!), but I'm probably not doing a good job of explaining it all properly — you can learn more about their sustainability practices on their website.

Other highlights of the trip include a wonderful lunch of pizza and avocado toast (which, by the way, pro tip from Instagram-famous Patrick Janelle: the fastest way to grow your Instagram following is to post photos of avocado toast) at Isa restaurant with Renee, Phi, Nik, and the incredibly sweet Elizabeth from Brooklyn Supper:


And of course, before I headed out on my flight, I managed to grab some donuts from Doughnut Plant with Steph and join the rest of the crew for the first few stops of Molly and Donny Tsang's Brooklyn Breakfast Sandwich Crawl, during which we had breakfast sandwiches the size of Molly's face and determined that Steph, Alana, Summer of O&O Eats, and myself make a pretty good lookin' approximation of a K-pop girl band:


But that's all for now. I cannot stress how wonderful it was to finally meet everybody who has been an inspiration for me for so long. I know that sounds majorly cheeseballs, but it's the truth. Everybody was as warm and sweet and talented as their blog would have you believe. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists once again! And of course, thank you, wonderful readers for supporting this little blog of mine — I wouldn't have made it out there in the first place if it wasn't for you guys. Really and truly.


71 comments

  1. This post! <3 <3 <3 Love seeing all of your pics from your epic weekend + all that incredible food that you managed to cram into a few days. It looks like you had the absolute best time.

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  2. Jessie Snyder | Faring WellJune 8, 2015 at 8:58 AM

    Love love love! So stellar meeting you - so many great memories that my fuzzy overloaded brain is finally recalling ;)

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  3. Brooke @ Chocolate + MarrowJune 8, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    It certainly was a whirlwind and I agree wholeheartedly that the east-west coast travel thing was ROUGH! Wish we had gotten to spend more time together, but happy to have seen you for even a little bit! xx

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  4. Brooke @ Chocolate + MarrowJune 8, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    PS: These photos are amazing.

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  5. Jessica @AHappyFoodDanceJune 8, 2015 at 10:46 AM

    I was following your excursion on IG and it looked like a blast! I seriously want to eat everything you just mentioned. You should tell Patrick Janelle that the second fastest way to get followers on IG is to be mentioned on Hummingbird High (I just followed him!).

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  6. Abby | Lace &amp; LilacsJune 8, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    I love, love this post, Michelle! What a fun, incredible experience. <3

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  7. Yesss!! I loved following along with all of your shenanigans through Instagram and the Twitters and such. So happy for you that you were able to make it this year and hang out with all of those lovely people. But also - when did the Saveur awards turn into a mini blog conference? And can I buy a ticket next year when I don't win again? ;-) hahah but seriously! What an amazing time you guys had. And that hotel looks amaaaaazeballs. I bookmarked it for my next visit to NYC (hopefully to see you!), and then looked at the prices .... so I'm not so sure about that. One of these days, maybe. As a #treatyoself situation. Loved this recap!

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  8. So glad you had ALL of the FUNNN!!!

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  9. 1. Way to use bacchanalia!! 2. This all looks fantastic, fun and unforgettable! 3. This has made me hungry. 4. Cheers to you!

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  10. Ingrid - For the Love of PieJune 8, 2015 at 11:38 AM

    What a fun recap! Really great to read. I can imagine you guys had the best time! Loved seeing all your insta pics too! X

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  11. PS: You're already a winner.

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  12. OH MY GOSH i looooveee this!!! i was just wishing i had more pics of the week when your post came up -- YAY!! thank you for capturing the whirlwind!! LOVE these gorgeous pictures (so full of all things good!!!) and you so so much, it was so much fun to meet you in person this week. <3

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  13. Yossy Arefi-AfsharJune 8, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    <3 <3 <3 It was so fun to meet you and spend some time together! Come back soon!!

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  14. Sam @ sugarspunrun.comJune 8, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    It looks like you had an incredible time, your blog was well-worthy of being a finalist, it is always a pleasure to read :)

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  15. Ooh, it sounds like you had an amazing/delicious time in New York! That's so cool you got to meet all the nominees--they're some of my favorite bloggers...congrats again!

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  16. ohmygosh, i had the MOST fun with you in nyc michelle!! this round up is gold :)

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  17. So wonderful to read about all the adventures :-) Congratulations on becoming a finalist, which is an accomplishment in its own right!

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  18. Oh my gosh it sounds like you had the most awesome time!! You are all such talented bloggers and to be a finalist, whether you win or not, must feel like the coolest thing. It's a big deal! And you totally deserve the spot :) I'm quite envy of your little adventures in NY to be honest hehe. And that whole group (including you) is a huge inspiration to me! I bet this will fuel you for a long time :) Good look in the future, and I look forward to follow your journey here on the blog <3

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  19. Thanks Kathryn!!! It was so exciting to meet everybody at last; hopefully you and I will get to meet each other soon. Actually, on that note, I was planning on sending you an email later today about the dates for when I'm in London! Look for it in your inbox :-)

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  20. It was so lovely meeting you too, Jessie! Congratulations again on your BIG win!!! You deserve it!

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  21. Ah, I wish we'd gotten to spend more time together too; I think we kept missing each other? Oh well — I *think* I'll be flying out for Feast in September, so hopefully we can hang out more then!

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  22. Hm, I'm not sure... it was the first year they held it in NYC, so a lot of us definitely had no idea what to expect! I also was surprised that it was like a mini blogging conference; I thought it was going to be more tastings and demos! And yep, the hotel was amazing, but goodbye $$$. They gave us a discount though, so thank goodness for that.

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  23. Thanks Edlyn! Also lol at your PS up top — you're too sweet!

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  24. Thanks Meredith!!! Hahah, nice catch of my use of "bacchanalia".

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  25. Thanks Ingrid!!! Wish you had been there, but hopefully we can meet when I'm in Amsterdam this summer!

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  26. Bernadette Dayrit LopezJune 8, 2015 at 7:59 PM

    Congratulations to the winners and the finalists! @Michelle | Hummingbird High keep on baking, writing and blogging. I thoroughly enjoy reading them. And I drool on all those wonderful bake goodies!

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  27. Thanks Cynthia! These are actually all iPhone pics since I was too lazy to haul around my DSLR; Nik has some even more beautiful ones up on his blog. It was so fun meeting you too — I only wish we could have hung out more!!!! Congrats again on winning Most Delicious; your award is so well deserved.

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  28. It was so lovely meeting you too, Yossy! Congratulations on winning Best Baking & Desserts — I've been a fan of your blog for so long, and it was so well deserved!

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  29. ME TOO, STEPH! I wish we could hang out more. Dangit, why can't we all live in the same city??!

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  30. Aw, thank you Jennifer! Really appreciate it (even though I didn't win) ;-) But seriously — thanks again!

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  31. Excuse me while I melt into a puddle, on account of being so bummed I couldn't make it.

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  32. Sarah!!!! I'm so sad you couldn't make it too. But there's always next year!!!!

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  33. I totally loved living vicariously through your tweets and photos! This post made me all kinds of happy - feels like I was there!

    SO bummed to hear you were disappointed by The Milk Bar though - now I'm afraid to go back for fear of spoiling my good memories!

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  34. This looks amazing! I love seeing all the Saveur BFBA posts as they bring me such happiness! Looks like you really made the most of your time! :D

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  35. Wow! That cake looks terrific!

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  36. Our Food StoriesJune 9, 2015 at 7:38 AM

    great post michelle!! looks like you guys had a lot of fun <<3
    and really love all of these pictures - we've never been in new york yet, but really want to go one day :)

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  37. omg what a great post and awesome trip! i can't even start to think how much fun all that is and meeting everyone in real life who is an inspiration <3<3<3.

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  38. Loved this post so much! You must have had so much fun <3

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  39. It's so funny, all of us thought the savory buns were too dry! I think since you've been, Milk Bar has gotten so big and has so many centers to distribute to from one central bakery, so the control is just not as good anymore? I don't know, that's my theory anyway.

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  40. I didn't know you were based in London! Shoot me an email and we can potentially arrange something: michelle@hummingbirdhigh.com

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  41. Yay! I hope you make it out there one day; New York is one of my favorite cities!

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  42. Thanks Lynsey! It really was incredible :-)

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  43. OMG OMG OMG BEST BEST BEST WEEK EVER. Love everything about this post, like EVERYTHANG. It was such a joy to meet you (IRL) and I hope you know we're holding band practice in LA...so...you, Steph, and Summer are gonna accumulate a fair amount of miles this summer. Can we go back to last week already? Maybe do a west coast version!?

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  44. Yay!! I am so happy for all of you guys! Fantastic weekend)))

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  45. these shots are awesome, michelle! i'm super sad to have missed meeting you all, and the blog awards festivities! but i'm so happy you guys had a blast - and isn't gotham greens the best!? thanks for sharing these pics, girl! xo

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  46. That photo of the "kpop band" is just too cute. I loved following your Instagram account that week, it looks like you had an amazing time!!

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  47. Ahhhh what a crew! Looked like a total blast! xo

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  48. Love this so much, Michelle! It was so great meeting you and hanging out with everyone, I'm still coming off the high of last week :D, hope we can see each other again soon!

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  49. Omg, West Coast = Best Coast anyway, so I'm all for it. We could meet in San Francisco! Or LA! Or Portland! Or Seattle! The cities are better over here ;-)

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  50. Thanks Lindsey! I'm so sorry that you missed the event, I would have loved to have met you! But I'm sure we'll meet soon, I know it.


    PS -- Such a hardcore crush on Gotham Greens now, you don't even know!

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  51. Thanks Lyndsay! Hopefully we'll all get to hang out together one day!

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  52. Thanks Summer! It was so awesome meeting you too! And yes to seeing each other again soon — I'm still bummed I missed the latter half of the breakfast sandwich crawl. DONUT CRAWL NEXT TIME?

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  53. This sounds like the most fun time ever!

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  54. Katie @ Butterlust BlogJune 10, 2015 at 8:29 PM

    Girl, don't sell yourself short. You offer up some FIERCE competition! And btw, congrats on the nomination (I don't think I ever told you that)! I can't help but be infinitely jealous of your trip -- what an amazingly talented group of people to spend a weekend with! XO

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  55. First things first: Wait...you know kpop??!!! teehee. I don't know why but I'm always surprised by the fact that kpop is even acknowledged as a thing. :P

    And mannn I feel so starstruck and giddy seeing all of you guys in one picture! What a sweet experience, Michelle. And I'm glad y'all had a good time. Molly looks so intense in that one picture it's adorable!

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  56. This looks like a blast! So so proud of you and so happy you were able to go!! Sad news that Milk Bar was kind of a bust - did you at least get one of their cornflake cookies? Those things are the bomb (yes I said that). xoxo!

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  57. It was SO great to meet you, Michelle! Xoxo

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