In 2015 we gathered in a region of southeast Pennsylvania with rich agricultural history, forward-thinking food systems and incredible local producers.
I loved being surrounded by others who share an intense passion for food and experiencing the creativity they brought with them. Nadine Nelson, Eat Retreat Alum & chef
As experts in their craft, Eat Retreat attendees led skill-sharing workshops and guided tastings.
With 45 bricks, 8 cinder blocks, two sheets of metal and a bag of sand, Anthony Calleo built an oven and threw us a pizza party in the woods.
Rick Nahmias traveled across the country with a box of California citrus for a fruit history lesson and blind tasting.
Baker Erica Fair led a session in baking with alternative flours, resulting in the ultimate breakfast treats.
Sushi chef Erik Aplin taught us how to treat our knives and also demonstrated his fish butchery techniques on a whole bluefish.
From tiny quail eggs to the jumbo emu egg, Liz Martin led an investigative workshop all about eggs—included her own backyard chicken eggs.
For a taste of the regional food culture, Eat Retreaters spent a morning with local food leaders.
In addition to being the oldest micro brewery in Pennsylvania, Stoudt’s is also a family-run bakery and cheese making operation. Eat Retreaters toured the brewery with beer pioneer Ed Stoudt followed by pretzel making and cheese tasting with his daughter Elizabeth Stoudt.
Casey Spacht is the founder of the regional farming cooperative Lancaster Farm Fresh. He’s also a well-known forager. He led a group of Eat Retreaters on a hike, revealing edible and medicinal treasures found in the woods of southeast Pennsylvania.
Eat Retreaters nerded out with Mark Corpus and Nathan Cochran of Philadelphia’s ReAnimator Coffee. With thermometers and scales, we learned the art and science of brewing the perfect cup.
It was three solid days of nonstop positivity. Everyone brings their own experience and viewpoint to the table and works together on the common goal of learning, tasting, making, having fun, being together. I felt like I was among my own people. Alex Jones, Eat Retreat Alum & local food advocate
Kathryn Tomajan farms three acres of olives in Sunol, California. She is a certified olive oil taster and the maker of Fat Gold. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy.
Heather Marold Thomason is a whole-animal butcher dedicated to sustainable meat production. She has raised pastured livestock, established local supply chains and developed retail and wholesale programs to improve market access. In 2016 she founded Primal Supply Meats in Philadelphia, PA.
James Collier is a story-driven photographer, writer, and a creative strategist. He shoots a mix of commercial, editorial and fine art projects.
Lesley Stockton is a freelance writer, recipe developer and food stylist. She is a former food editor at Martha Stewart Living and Everyday Food, and is currently the kitchen manager and staff writer at The Sweethome.
Eat Retreat was exactly what I needed. I’m more inspired and clear headed than I’ve been in years, and I give Eat Retreat credit for that. Tina Bell Stamos, Eat Retreat Alum & food Stylist