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

    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

    Operations & Logistics Manager

    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

    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.

Advisory

Board
  • Erin Collins

    Erin is the author and photographer behind the blog Meaningful Eats. Erin is passionate about creating and sharing healthy, family-friendly gluten-free recipes. Erin holds a bachelor’s degree in food science from BYU and a master’s degree in nutrition from University of Utah. She resides in in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband and three children.

  • Evelyn Williams

    Evelyn Williams is a Culinary Consultant who is on a mission to help women live, cook, and work on their own terms! Through her career, Evelyn has worked as a personal chef, caterer, cooking school manager, culinary instructor, executive chef, pastry chef, food blogger, and brand ambassador. She has assisted various celebrity chefs such as Oprah’s private chef Art Smith. Evelyn has also cooked for Grammy Award winner Sheryl Crow, Food Network’s Giada DeLaurentis, author & pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts.

    Evelyn is a cookbook author, host of the Eat Out at Home podcast, and creator of several web-based video series. She currently spends her time conducting online cooking classes and workshops, and consults with corporate professionals who are transitioning into culinary entrepreneurship. When Evelyn is not cooking or consulting, she spends her time teaching entrepreneurs, creatives, and influencers how to prioritize their self-care.

  • Susie Bulloch

    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.

  • 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.

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.

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.

  • When and where is the event?

    Our next in-person event is on Thursday, March 3 and Friday, March 4, 2022 in Chicago, with an additional option for an exclusive excursion on Saturday, March 5. Your ticket to Tastemaker Conference 2022 also includes complimentary access to The Inspired Home Show on March 5-8, 2022. It will be at Revel Motor Row in Chicago, IL. Limited tickets are now available until they sell out.

  • What does a General Admission ticket include?

    Your Tastemaker Conference 2022 ticket includes full General Admission access to our two-day conference, and complimentary Media Registration to The Inspired Home Show.

    There are 30+ classes, keynotes, and panels that focus on the topics of SEO + tech, revenue + business growth, content creation, mindset + DEI, and more. You will get the choice of attending up to eight different breakout workshops and classes, digital replays to all classes, access to panels led by food influencer experts, a full-size product swag bag worth over $150, and access to our sponsor exhibitor hall, where you will make connections with brands who want to work with YOU. There will also be breakfast, lunch, snacks, beverages, and happy hour served both days.

    This is over $5000 in value for only $579. It’s absolutely the best investment and best value of any conference available.

    Excursion tickets are available for Saturday, March 5 at an additional cost.

  • What does the Media Registration to The Inspired Home Show include?

    As a Tastemaker Conference attendee, you get special perks with Show Media Registration. There will be an exclusive influencer speed networking on the evening of Friday, March 4 at McCormick Place. Here you will get to see the Media Center, which is a hub for you to get breakfast and lunch, and take a break while walking the Show floor.

    Learn more about what is included in your Media Registration with Leana Salamah, VP of Marketing at the International Housewares Association, the organization who hosts The Inspired Home Show.

  • What are the excursions and when do tickets go on sale?

    We have two excursions on Saturday, March 5, 2022. The first is a brunch cooking class in the late morning. The second is a Chicago bus tour and special group dinner at Fulton Market Kitchen.

    Excursion tickets are a separate registration and go on sale in January 2022.

  • How many people will be attending the conference?

    There will be 400+ like-minded food bloggers, influencers, and brands attending. A great place to network and make new foodie friends!

  • Will there be allergy-free foods available?

    Of course! We will be providing amazing gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan food options, as well as any other accommodations requested.

  • Where do I stay? Is there a room block?

    Yes! Discounted hotel accommodations in downtown Chicago near Revel Motor Row and McCormick Place are available through The Inspired Home Show room block.

  • Which airport do I fly into?

    Chicago O’ Hare International (ORD) and Chicago Midway International (MDW) are the two main airports.

    As a Tastemaker Conference attendee, you get to take advantage of the airline discounts available through The Inspired Home Show. You can receive up to 5% off your travel on American Airlines, and 10% on United. Please visit their website for the discount code and more information.

  • Is there parking available?

    There are parking garages near the hotels that you can purchase separately, but it will be highly trafficked due to the event week. We recommend walking, ride sharing, taxi, or public transportation to get to the venue.

  • How do I get to the venue?

    The 2022 conference venue is at Revel Motor Row. The address is 2400 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60616. We recommend you walk, use public transportation, taxi, or ride share.

  • How do I buy a ticket?

    General Admission tickets are now available. We added an additional 100 tickets since moving our event to Chicago in 2022. We have historically sold out of all of our events, and don’t want you to miss out! Register now!

  • What is the return policy?

    Tickets are non-refundable, however their value can be applied as a credit for future events.

  • What is the Covid-19 policy?

    Tastemaker Conference is following state and local guidelines and regulations for Chicago, IL. Masks are required to be worn indoors (we have awesome branded masks for you!). We also ask that you provide proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within 72 hours.

    Additional safety measures are in place, such as hand sanitizer stations, boxed meals, and appropriate food demo protocols. Working together to follow these guidelines will allow for a safe and fun event. Thank you for your support in making this happen!

  • 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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