Reporting live from the Time Out Chicago 2012 Eat Out Awards was a new experiences full of lessons to learn.

The Chicago Blogger Network was asked to cover the action at this year’s annual Time Out Chicago Eat Out Awards, where they honor chefs and restaurants with a variety of accolades. Five of us were invited to sit at a press table and exclusively announce the winners live. It was my first event of the sort and I certainly learned a lot.

What I learned on Monday:

1. I am incapable of adhering to a diet plan when I encounter a table full of interesting foods and a sampling of fine beers.
2. I have a lot of work to do. The list of nominees and winners for the Time Out Chicago Eat Out Awards looked a lot more to me like a “to do” list.
3. Gregory Hall, who was the brew master for Goose Island Beer Company for almost 20 years, also knows how to make very good cider.
3. Though salad in a cocktail glass served with a fork makes a pretty presentation, it doesn’t really work.
4. The Doughnut Vault makes 1,000 donuts a day and the bakers wake up at 3:30 in the morning. (Oh yeah, THAT’S why I never started the doughnut shop I dreamed of years ago.)
5. Mini chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches are messy but really worth it.
6. Time Out Chicago is now available on iPad. A light bulb went off – get weekly publications on iPad and avoid the piles and piles of magazines that clutter my house.
7. I can take classes to learn how to butcher a pig or clean my own fish at the same place that I can eat the reader’s choice “best burger” in the city.
8. It feels oddly intimate to plug your iPhone into a stranger’s computer.
9. You can combine two different passions and be successful – like serving good food and selling handcrafted bicycles.
10. Chefs don’t have too much to say when they receive an award. And, that’s okay because the award ceremony goes a lot faster than the Oscars.
11. I am a grandma in the world of social media. Because I am in my 30s, I was referred to as the “older set.”
12. Eating food off a stick is fun.
13. Meeting other bloggers in person is enjoyable. If you are in Chicago, consider joining the Chicago Blogger Network. Or, look for similar meet ups in your city!

I love new experiences and covering the Time Out Chicago Awards was quite a happening. Once again, Whipped takes me into uncharted waters!

[I promise I will be back to sharing new recipes soon.]

If you are looking for some new reads, the other bloggers at the event:

Lori from Glori of Food
Drew from Table in the Corner of the Cafe
Joelen from What’s Cookin’ Chicago
Sarah who writes for the Rundown and Zagat