In May 2014, we gathered among redwood trees in our favorite food and wine region of California. Together we built wood-fired ovens, experimented with flavor extractions, made chocolate from cacao and learned the wondrous workings of honey bee hives.
People in the culinary world speak a special language, and we are all connected through food. We each leave our own mark in the world, but together we are a powerful force in helping to determine what we eat now, and what we will eat in the future.
Emilia Juocys, Eat Retreat alumni & chef
For a taste of the regional food culture, Eat Retreaters ventured into Mendocino County to spend a morning with local producers.
Ansley Coale walked Eat Retreaters through the distillation process and a tasting of the award-winning brandy, Germain-Robin, made in Ukiah, California.
The Apple Farm is a working farm with a focus on education in Philo, California. Eat Retreaters were invited to observe the slaughter process as Sophia Bates and Brittany Davis harvested lambs.
Eat Retreaters enjoyed a vineyard tour and barrel tasting with Fred Buonanno and Heather McKelvey, the vintners, winemakers and founders of Philo Ridge Vineyards.
Doug Mosel and John Gramke led a tour of Mendocino Grain Project’s fields and granary where they raise, harvest and mill a diverse crop of ancient, heirloom and landrace grains.
When I followed my instinct to cooking school, I had a vision of being a part of something bigger. Something was happening in the food world and I wanted to be part of it. Here’s a secret: it’s all about the people. The people that grow it, butcher it, ferment it, cook it, teach it, photograph it and, of course, eat it. Eat Retreat reminded me why I joined the ranks.
Clare Langan, Eat Retreat alumni, chef & culinary instructor
Kathryn Tomajan farms three acres of olives in Sunol, California. She is a certified olive oil taster and the maker of Fat Gold.
Whole-animal butcher & supply chain expert
Photographer, writer & creative strategist
Passion abounds in the food universe, but informed, coherent, level-headed and effective passion is a rare constellation… and Eat Retreat was the Milky Way.
Jonathan S. White, Eat Retreat alumni, grass farmer & cheese maker