Our Story

Tastemaker Conference was founded with the goals of community, education, and experience in mind. The idea came to life in the corner of Abbey Rodriguez’s bedroom home office in 2017. At the time, she worked as a full time food blogger and freelancer, while juggling motherhood. She craved a way to connect with other like-minded folks, and wanted access to an intimate, fun, and bespoke experiential event for the food creator community. Nothing like it existed, and her vision was to create a welcoming and inclusive place for food bloggers and content creators to connect and learn how to grow their online businesses.

Today, Tastemaker Conference has grown to be a notable pillar in the industry, with multiple sold-out events and conferences hosted each year. Their brand partnership and attendee roster features leading brands, businesses, and creators, in addition to providing engaging social interaction and cutting-edge virtual education as the food creator online space grows and evolves.

Whether you are virtually networking, or attending a highly sought-after in-person event, you can expect to build long-lasting relationships with fellow foodies and brands, learn from top industry experts in classes and excursions, and experience the magic of Tastemaker.

Meet the

Team
  • Chandice Probst

    she/her

    Partner & Sponsor Director

    Chandice Probst is the bubbly personality behind This Vivacious Life. She is a food and entertaining blogger and the co-author of Gluten-Free on a Budget. Chandice’s work has been featured in print and online industry publications, as well as television. As someone with Celiac Disease and a degree in health science, she has led the charge in hosting Celiac awareness nights with MLB and NBA teams around the nation raising money for research. While she loves to cook and entertain, Chandice loves being a wife and mother most.

  • Leslie Jackson

    she/her

    Operations & Logistics Director

    Leslie Jackson is the Operations & Logistics Manager at Tastemaker Conference. She has over 6 years experience in planning and organizing dozens of community, corporate, and influencer events. In 2018, she successfully managed a campaign for a seat in the Utah House of Representatives. She’s happily married to her husband of 10 years and a mom to three. During her free time she enjoys cooking and experimenting with new flavors in the kitchen.

  • Amanda Wilens

    she/her

    Digital Marketing & Social Media Manager

    Amanda Wilens is the Digital Marketing and Social Media Manager for Tastemaker Conference. She is also a photographer, stylist, event planner, and founder of Amanda Wilens. Her site was inspired by her background in food photography/styling and event planning, bringing best tips and recipes to those who want to entertain at home. Amanda creates content for her own site as well as creating content for other brands, teaches courses on photography and baking, and overall just wants to help others learn.

    Amanda loves good food, entertaining, relaxing with a book or great TV show. She also created the ACLU E-Cookbook, a collaboration with over 35 bloggers, raising funds and awareness for those facing injustices. You can find Amanda on Instagram at @amanda.wilens.

  • Gaby Huezo

    she/her

    Account Manager

    Gaby Huezo joined Tastemaker as our Account Manager supporting all things sponsors and speakers. Salvadoran by birth, she moved to sunny California in 2018, where she spends her days working at the marketing agency she founded, Haus of Duke. She’s passionate about telling her clients’ stories through events, brand partnerships, influencers, and social media strategies all with an unnerving amount of drive, purpose, and persistence in the pursuit of opening more education and empowering opportunities to Latina women. Gaby loves all things skincare and makeup with a proven track record in the beauty industry with MAC Cosmetics, L’Occitane, Clinique, Versed, and others. A firm believer that self-care is one key to success, some of the ways she practices it are: a weekly boba tea, dancing to 70s music, and sticking to a daily skincare routine. You can follow her at @hausofduke where she fangirls on her favorite brands and reggaeton artists.

  • Jocelyn Wilhelm

    she/her

    Events & Operations Manager

    Jocelyn Wilhelm is the Event and Operations Manager at Tastemaker Conference. Jocelyn brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in food blogging, digital marketing, project management, and event planning. She is the founder, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist at JOZmahal.

    While Jocelyn loves to cook all types of food, her blog focuses on gourmet fusion dishes for everyday meals and entertaining with recipes inspired by flavors from the Philippines, where she was born. She came to the States when she was 12 years old and has been cooking ever since. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Food and Nutrition from Southern Illinois University and strives to always make her recipes healthy, easy to make, and delicious. Jocelyn loves spending quality time with family and friends and hosting themed dinner parties. Jocelyn wants to be “taste buds” so please follow her on social at @jozmahal.

Advisory

Board
  • Andrew Wilder

    he/him

    Andrew Wilder is the founder and CEO of NerdPress, a digital agency that provides WordPress maintenance, performance optimization, and support for hundreds of food blogs and other publishers. He has been building, breaking, fixing, and maintaining websites since 1998, and has spoken on a wide variety of technical topics (in plain English!) at many conferences including WordCamp LAX, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, IFBC, BlogHer, Everything Food, Mediavine, and, of course, Tastemaker.

  • Anne Mauney

    she/her

    Anne is the owner of fANNEtastic food, a healthy lifestyle and recipe blog that she started back in 2009 with the goal to show others that eating healthy could actually be delicious! Anne has spoken at a number of blogging, social media, and nutrition workshops and conferences on the topics of making money as a blogger and building a personal brand and successful online business. In addition to blogging for over a decade, Anne is a Registered Dietitian with a Masters of Public Health in Nutrition, and her recipes and nutrition tips have been featured in dozens of online and national publications. Anne lives in the Washington, DC metro area with her husband and two children.

  • Erin Collins

    she/her

    Erin Collins has been blogging for 10+ years and has a passion for the ever-changing world of food blogging. She is the voice, author, and photographer behind the popular gluten-free food blog Meaningful Eats. Erin holds a bachelor’s degree in food science and a master’s degree in nutrition. She resides in North Carolina with her husband and children.

     

  • Evelyn Williams

    she/her

    Chef Evelyn is the CEO, Founder, and Dean of Curriculum Development at Gourmet Grad School. Gourmet Grad School is a Culinary Entrepreneurship Academy that teaches professional chefs and passionate home cooks how to earn income outside the traditional restaurant kitchen. Evelyn is a former Chemical & Environmental Engineer who left corporate America to pursue her passion for food full-time. For the past 14 years, she has cooked professionally as a personal and private chef for celebrities and high-net-worth individuals, teaching in-person and online cooking classes, hosting culinary events and restaurant tours, working with food brands, creating content as a podcast host and consulting with other culinary entrepreneurs on how to create multiple streams of income and create high-end culinary brands.

  • Izzah Cheema

    she/her

    In late 2016, Izzah started Tea for Turmeric on a whim while her daughter was napping. Two years later, Tea for Turmeric was lucky to be a finalist for the Saveur Blog Awards in the Most Inspired Weeknight Dinners category. Since then, with the help of a small team of amazing people, it’s grown to millions of views a year. Her blog is dedicated to sharing of the BEST South Asian recipes on the internet.

  • Jazzmine Woodard

    she/her

    Jazzmine Woodard is a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion practitioner, recipe developer, and travel writer with over 10 years of experience. Her intersecting passions and skillsets have helped her cultivate a dual career of developing digital content on her website, Dash of Jazz, while serving as a trusted DEI advisor to leaders in the private sector. She is also a Board member of the Eat the Culture collective, which empowers, educates, and amplifies Black culinary creators. Jazzmine resides in Houston, Texas, and travels to experience different cultures and foodways as often as possible.

  • Julie Tran Deily

    she/her

    Julie Tran Deily started her blog, The Little Kitchen, in 2009. She’s a former software engineer and a nerd at heart, she has been blogging and running her business full-time since 2012. She loves to share recipes that are easy to make and are accessible to home cooks looking to learn new tips and tricks.

    She has spoken at various conferences over the years including Tastemaker Conference and Mediavine Conference as well as WITS and TBEX. She loves sharing her knowledge and actionable tips for content creators and small business owners on her other site. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and rescue pets.

  • Marta Rivera Diaz

    she/her

    Marta Rivera Diaz is the chef and author behind Sense and Edibility®, a food site created to teach home cooks everything they need to know about cooking, baking, and cocktail-making. Marta uses her multicultural upbringing and experiences traveling the world to bring eclectic, creative, and unpretentious recipes to her readers.

  • Susie Bulloch

    she/her

    Susie Bulloch is the creator of the BBQ food blog Hey Grill Hey. She has appeared on Food Network, and is a true leader and influencer in the BBQ industry. Along with running a successful full-time blog, Susie and her husband, Todd, own the BBQ product line, Patio Provisions.

Brand Diversity

Narrative

    What do we stand for?

  • Tastemaker (n.):

    A person or thing that establishes or strongly influences what is considered to be stylish, acceptable, or worthwhile in a given sphere of interest.
     

    It’s the name of our brand. It’s the seasoning that binds our values of community, education and experience (our recipe for success) together. But what the dictionary definition fails to mention is this: influence is not just about iterating on what everyone knows. It’s about changing the game.

  • The Missing Ingredients

    Imbued within the company’s culinary DNA are 3 main ingredients: community, education, and experience.

    At Tastemaker, we acknowledge that our magical recipe for success was created with a limited number of possible flavors and perspectives.

    The food blogging industry may be small, but it is a diverse one. And we have not always lived up to our name when it comes to the diversity of our community.

    Some may ask, why now? Some may ask, well how come there’s no diversity on the team?

    Here’s the deal: although we are a small business, this was a major oversight. There’s no excuse. Only actions to take. While many of our members are personally involved with anti-racism, we recognize that inclusivity goes beyond just our personal circles.

  • Living Up to Our Name

    Here at Tastemaker, we’re whipping up a new recipe for success. One that prioritizes community, but also diversifies our definition of it to include more camaraderie, more inclusion, and more space for new perspectives. The magic in tastemaking is about doing exactly that, after all.

    We aim to create a more inclusive community and educational experience. As thought leaders, we can change the industry’s tastes. Bring different flavors to the culinary table. Celebrate varied experiences.

    Many feel this is a conversation only relevant to larger companies. But small businesses are the true icebreakers, so we’ll start the conversation.

    Tastemaker Conference is an inclusive community. Discrimination, disrespectful speech, and hateful comments will not be tolerated, and are grounds for removal from any events.

  • Doing The Work

    Food is the ultimate symbol of community and connection. It is powerful in its penchant to bring people together. We can break bread together. But we cannot truthfully call ourselves tastemakers if we do not do the work of bringing everyone together.

    That’s why we’re committing to regularly including BIPOC and diverse food content creators within our social feed and community. That’s why we’re committing to having more BIPOC and diverse speakers at our events. That’s why we’re changing our vendor vetting process to contract more small businesses. That’s why we are diversifying the Tastemaker team.

    Tastemaker Conference is committed to equal opportunity for all individuals. All education and events shall be free from discrimination based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, weight, abilities; the perception of one or more of such characteristics; or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

What makes us different?

A Cookbook of Different Perspectives

The work may start with race and gender, but community has more nuances than those two areas. We’ll lay the groundwork here and as we build, infuse other areas of DEI into our DNA.

There is no such thing as mastering or perfecting the recipe. Our goal is to curate a cookbook that features a variety of perspectives and give others the recipe to do the same.

Education also includes our peers—that means you! But it needs to extend beyond our minds and into our homes, onto our blogs, and into our circles of influence, both personally and professionally, to truly enact change. Here at Tastemaker, we believe that together we can and will change the tastes of the industry.

Tastemaker Conference is committed to equal opportunity for all individuals. All education and events shall be free from discrimination based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, weight, abilities; the perception of one or more of such characteristics; or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

Please check out our blog post on Building Diverse Partnerships.

Follow Us On

Instagram

@tastemakerconference

Join our online community

Tastemaker Collaborative

We believe in collaboration over competition. Tastemaker Collaborative is our free online membership for food bloggers and creators that provides a space for meaningful connection. Join us for free access to monthly masterclasses and conversations, online events and workshops, and access to a community of like-minded foodies (outside of social media!) to support you as your build your business. If there is one thing we have learned, it’s that our relationships are the key to success, and we are here to help you build them every step of the way.

Resources
  • Tastemaker Collaborative

    We believe in collaboration over competition. Tastemaker Collaborative is our free online membership for food bloggers and creators that provides a space for meaningful connection. Join us for free access to monthly masterclasses and conversations, online events and workshops, and access to a community of like-minded foodies (outside of social media!) to support you as your build your business. If there is one thing we have learned, it’s that our relationships are the key to success, and we are here to help you build them every step of the way.

  • Tastemaker Conversations

    Our podcast for food bloggers and content creators, where we share tips on how to successfully grow your food blog, the latest trends, and inspirational interviews with experts in the food influencer industry.

  • Tastemaker Conference Blog

    Weekly content about SEO + tech, revenue + business growth, content creation, and mindset + DEI. Learn tips from how to monetize, to how to grow your blog and biz.

  • INSTAGRAM

    Follow us for a daily dose of community and education.

  • FEAST DESIGN CO

    Wordpress themes, optimizations and updates for food blogs and recipe sites. Keep focused on creating the food you love, not fighting with your tech.

  • MEDIAVINE

    Full service ad management that builds sustainable businesses for thousands of content creators, with advertising, products, education and more.

  • TAILWIND

    Schedule your pins and grow your Pinterest.

  • NERDPRESS

    WordPress support for small businesses.

  • Media Wyse

    Site auditing and SEO marketing support.

  • ConvertKit

    Connect with your fans, foster your community, and earn a living online with the only email marketing platform built for creators, by creators.

Freebies

Grab Your Free Copies!

FAQs
  • Who is the conference for?

    Tastemaker Conference is for all food bloggers, content creators, and brands. Whether you are just starting out, or you are a seasoned pro, there is something for everyone at our events. The education ranges from introductory, general, and advanced. The networking opportunities benefit all attendees, because relationships are one of the most beneficial factors in business growth. Find a mentor, be a mentor, make a connection with an amazing brand—whatever it is that you are looking for, you can find it at Tastemaker Conference.

  • What events do you offer?

  • What if I can't attend or afford an event?

    We offer replays of all of our conferences. You can purchase individual event replays or bundles here. 

  • What free resources do you offer your community?

    We have a free membership site that anyone can join called the: Tastemaker Collaborative.

    Or if you are looking for freebies like templates to help your business, you can check out the Freebies page.

  • How often are events held?

    The Virtual Tastemaker Conference is held once a year, currently in the fall. And our In-Person Conferences are also held annually, but in early spring.

  • How do I buy a ticket to events?

    You can check out all events and buy tickets right here on our site. Check out the Event Tickets page.

  • I’d love to speak at the conference! Is there a speaker application?

    Our submissions are limited, but we would love to hear your ideas! Please submit a speaker application.

  • This event looks like an amazing sponsorship opportunity. Whom should I contact?

    We would absolutely love to work with you and offer affordable and unique experiential influencer marketing opportunities. Please email chandice@tastemakerconference.com to receive our current sponsorship deck.

  • What’s your contact information?

    Please reach out to abbey@tastemakerconference.com for any additional questions. We’d love to hear from you!

Contact Us

Have questions, or just want to say hi?
Send us an email, and we will be in touch!

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