SEASIDE — The Seaside Visitors Bureau, Seaside Civic and Convention Center and Coos Bay/North Bend Promotion and Conventions Bureau partnered while Seaside played host to the fifth annual Travel & Words Conference March 17 and 18.

A key highlight of the Sunday/Monday conference was a Coastal Food Wars concept that brought high school, college and career chefs together in a friendly way that showcased appetizers, three breweries and locally-created soda pop.

Approximately 75 people attended the Sunday evening event, with more than 50 of those representing a group of regional travel writers who gather annually to discuss trends, review portfolios and focus on ways to grow as a writer and/or photographer. The additional attendees represented Seaside businesses and regional destination marketing organizations from Oregon and Washington.

The Sunday food event featured The Oregon ProStart High School Culinary Champions from Seaside High School, students from the award-winning Oregon Coast Culinary Institute as well as career chefs from Twisted Fish Steakhouse, Finn’s Fish House, Fultano’s Pizza, Norma’s Seafood & Steak, Oregon Fine Foods and Tsunami Sandwich Company. The 17 appetizers the culinary specialists provided were enhanced with beverages from Astoria Brewing Company, Fort George Brewery, Seaside Brewing Company and Flashback Malt Shoppe.