Eat, Write, Retreat

eat write retreat

All photography in this post is credited to talented photographer Daphne Domingo.

I recently had the opportunity to attend Eat, Write, Retreat in downtown DC, a food blogging conference with excellent food, inspirational seminars on a wide variety of interesting topics and all the food bloggers you could ever hope to meet.

I love conferences like this. It’s a way to take a break from “real” life, kick up my shoes all while making new friends, trying new foods and learning a few things. They’re pricey (although worth it) and if I had a lot of extra cash lying around I’d probably go them as often as possible. But I’m just cheap enough that, at least so far, I’ve only attended when I’ve been sponsored.

I was lucky enough to attend Eat, Write, Retreat this year courtesy of Feastie, a fabulous (and easy) way for food bloggers to share their recipes and get some exposure as well as a fun way for anyone to find something delicious to make from all of their favorite food blogs. They even have a shopping list feature – sweet! Here’s some more info about why you might want to use them:

There are millions of recipes on the web, but who has the time to sort through them all and find the best, most delicious, well-tested recipes? Feastie is a new and innovative recipe search engine that searches food blogs and high-quality websites to help you find the most delicious and well-tested recipes. Feastie makes it easy to find healthy, tasty, budget-friendly recipes that fit your dietary and nutritional needs – our search tools help you find what you’re looking for in a clear, easy-to-use format.

With one click you can seamlessly import the ingredient list from whatever recipe you’re viewing into your Feastiegrocery list – our grocery list even sorts your groceries by aisle, making your trip to the store faster and easier. You can either print your list or access it on your mobile phone. You can also save your favorite recipes as well as yourcooking history, so you can keep track of what you want to cook and what you’ve already made.

Feastie had held a photo contest, the winner getting a full ride to the conference. As you may know, food photography has been a challenge for me to overcome, so for me to win this was especially exciting.

I’ve already written about my very personal moments at Eat, Write, Retreat, so in this post I’m going to offer just a few other highlights.

Eat, Write, Retreat was held this year at The Madison, a gorgeous hotel in DC.

The Madison hotel DC

Here’s me, checking in to the conference. Gee, do you think I was excited to be there?

Kristy Bernardo

Here I am with the fabulous ladies from Feastie. Love them!!

Kristy Bernardo

And here is Jason Tesauro, aka “The Modern Gentleman”. To say that he’s an interesting guy is an understatement. I’m heading down to hang out with him soon!

the modern gentleman

the modern gentleman

Michael from Herbavoracious was also on hand to give copies of his gorgeous new cookbook and sign copies for us all. Would you like one? Leave a comment and I’ll randomly choose one winner!

herbivoracious

The first night it was announced that there would be some entertainment. I was standing next to Andy Schloss when he correctly guessed that we’d be…wait for it…SQUARE DANCING! My first thought was, “Are you kidding me?” and my second was “A nice quiet evening in my room might be nice…” But I stuck it out and I am so happy that I did. It was the most fun I’ve had in recent memory! We all laughed, missed the moves and laughed some more, kicked off our shoes and had an absolute blast. Here’s Liza from (a)MusingFoodie showing us all how to do it right!

square dancing

We also spent part of our weekend talking food photography. Here is a staging shot of mushrooms in a pan…

food staging

…followed by some post processing…

food photography post processing

…followed by the final shot. Good pic, don’t you think?

food photography

And, of course, we ate some fabulous food. Here’s a shot of RAW food from Elizabeth’s Gone Raw (not my style of food at all) and it was DIVINE. Seriously…it was all raw and I would never have known it. I absolutely loved it and would eat there again in a heartbeat.

elizabeth's gone raw

It was a wonderful weekend and I was sad to see it end so quickly. We all took home some amazing goodies (I won a Calphalon convection oven AND a new set of pans!) and even better memories. And on that note, I’ll leave you with a little video of my unofficial partner, Andy, and I tearing up the dance floor. We’re going on tour; dates to be announced :-)

 [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-ZvXtiB8Zk]