Eat Retreat: An exploration of food and community

When I was in high school, I remember going on summer retreats with the church youth group; after climbing to an emotional high, we’d return home with energy and excitement. Eat Retreat reminded me of those youth retreats, only without Jesus and with much better food. Also, several bottles of really good whiskey (we didn’t drink the good stuff back then.)

Beyond that “feeling,” I’m still not sure how to adequately put last weekend’s experience in writing, so I’ll start with the photos. There are a lot of them, but even with what’s here I can think of many moments I missed. What an amazing time!

Sincere thanks to Laura, Kathryn and Emily for pulling so many incredible people together.


The Night Before

Berries, fresh cheese, a little wine, and the best ice cream sandwiches I’ve ever tasted helped to break the ice. We practiced taking pictures of other people eating.

The Road to Eat Retreat

We hit up the local bakery, then headed north, stopping only for the necessities. Like heirloom seeds in Petaluma, and flash-fried brussel sprouts, grass-fed beef and a bottle of rosΓ© in Guerneville.

People and Activities

We cooked together, learned new recipes and techniques, and then we ate. And ate. And took more pictures of others eating.

Just Eats

Let’s just say we never went hungry.

The Scenery

Go ahead, be jealous.

22 Responses to “Eat Retreat: An exploration of food and community”

  1. Laura Brunow Miner
    April 13, 2011 at 5:23 am #

    Really great photos, perfectly arranged!

    • james
      April 13, 2011 at 5:30 am #

      Thanks Laura! It was such an inspiring weekend – I really can’t say thank you to you, Kathryn and Emily enough!

  2. Maureen
    April 13, 2011 at 6:31 am #

    What a wonderful opportunity to indulge in your passion for food. I’m consumed with jealousy but in a kind way. πŸ™‚

    • james
      April 13, 2011 at 6:32 am #

      Thanks Maureen – and thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  3. Heather
    April 13, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    Oh my god, James, that looks like an amazing time. Great photos, and great post. My mouth is seriously watering right now.

    • james
      April 13, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

      Thanks Heather. It’s been hard to acclamate back this week!

  4. Julie
    April 13, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    James! This is absolutely fantastic. A terrific capture of the whole experience. I knew I put my little camera away for good reason πŸ™‚ Good luck getting back to work!

    • james
      April 13, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

      Thank you, Julie! It was great to meet you – and I hear Alisa’s already talked to you about a poster?

  5. Nicole
    April 13, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    Great photos! Looks like an amazing time.

  6. Susan
    April 13, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    WOW. Great idea! Fun execution. Looks like the perfect combination of uh, everything. So glad I didn’t see the application to join.

    • james
      April 15, 2011 at 4:52 am #

      You missed out Susan πŸ™‚ We need to catch up over lunch soon!

  7. boogie
    April 14, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    these are some striking photographs. i’m completely “wowed” at how beautiful they all are. i understand you that sometimes photographs can depict moments more than words ever can.

  8. Tracy
    April 15, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    Completely jealous! First, fantastic photo diary. Second, the food looks positively divine.

    • james
      April 15, 2011 at 4:52 am #

      Tracy, it was INCREDIBLE. I’ve hardly eaten anything since I got home…

  9. Kimberley
    April 15, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    James! Your photos are fantastic. This is such a great round up of the weekend. I’m going to take you up on the offer of visiting Fresno – you’ve been warned!

    • james
      April 16, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      Thank you so much, Kimberley!

      Come on down anytime. I’ll keep you posted on some of the seasonal food festivals!

  10. Jenny (VintageSugarcube)
    April 26, 2011 at 5:33 am #

    LOVE your blog!! These pics are soo coolio! I’ve never been on a food blogger conf/getaway, but this one looks like one I’d like!! πŸ™‚

    • james
      April 26, 2011 at 5:46 am #

      Thanks so much, Jenny!

      I had never been to anything for food bloggers/professionals, but Eat Retreat was incredible. I’m not sure how other conferences/getaways will compare πŸ™‚

  11. Emily
    April 27, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    These photos have me salivating! Absolutely stunning!!

  12. Enoch
    May 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Amazing photos.

  13. Celeste
    October 12, 2011 at 3:31 am #

    These images are so beautiful!! Do you know if there’ll be another Eat Retreat in the future? I want in!

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