TECHmunch with Babette Pepaj

Babette Pepaj is the founder of one of the more renowned recipe sites out there, Bakespace.com, she is also one of the producer’s of TECHmunch, a large scale food blogger conference that has taken place in Tampa, New York, Austin. TECHmunch is having it’s very first conference in Toronto (At Harbourfront Centre this Sunday), recently and we got a chance to speak with Babette about the event as well as herself!

Where did your passion for food and blogging come from?
I have tremendous respect for food bloggers and their dedication to creating great content. This is what inspired me to create TECHmunch as a way for food bloggers to acquire the tools they need to turn their passion and dedication into profit.

Can you speak on the importance of blogging in our day and age?
While sites like Facebook help us share information and socialize, nothing beats having your own personal platform to tell your story. You don’t move into an apartment building just because all your friends like to hang out there… you choose a home because it reflects your personality and is a place you can make all your own. That’s what having your own blog is all about…it’s your personal corner of the Web. Plus, creating a blog is so easy these days, it helps level the playing field for less-known home cooks and authors.

What inspired you to start TECHmunch?
We launched TECHmunch in 2010 during the SXSW Interactive Festival to meet local Austin food bloggers after hearing about their lively community. Since so many of our friends in tech, marketing and social media were already heading to Austin, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity for them to share their knowledge with local food bloggers. Writing about food is one of the most difficult types of niche content to produce. You have to come up with recipes, buy ingredients, cook/bake food and then photograph it… before the blog post is written. Attending TECHmunch can help make make the process easier and more efficient.

This is your first TECHmunch outside of the US, Where else would you see yourself taking TECHmunch?
We’re delighted that Toronto is our first TECHmunch city outside the US! In the future we’re hoping to make it to Europe, Australia and South America. I really want to add tasting tours to dive deeper into each culture’s food, flavors and wine.

What’s your favorite dish to prepare?
I’m a sucker for sweets! My Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Centers is probably my favorite recipe. It’s not the healthiest, but it’s most certainly my go-to cupcake.

Any last words on TECHmunch, blogging, food, or any thing else?
The world of food writing and publishing is beginning to change dramatically. With conferences like TECHmunch, anyone who’s passionate about food, recipes and the culinary lifestyle can gain the tools they need to publish great content and eventually work with brands to monetize their efforts. This shift from traditional publishing to self-publishing is what inspired us to create Cookbook Cafe (http://cookbookcafe.com), the first do-it-yourself cookbook app publisher. We can’t wait to share this new tool with the Toronto food community.