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.
Budget Brick Oven
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.
Jeffrey de Picciotto and Chris O’Brien discussed fermentation techniques and traditions as we tasted ferments such as miso, koji, kimchi and kvass.
In true collaborative spirit, Liz Martin, Liz Fitzgerald, Nadine Nelson, Rick Nahmias and Simran Jaising led a heart-felt session on developing meaningful partnerships and community engagement.
From tiny quail eggs to the jumbo emu egg, Liz Martin led an investigative workshop all about eggs—included her own backyard chicken eggs.
Cruz de Asado Roast
With a whole pig donated from Stonybrook Meadow Farm, Laura del Campo organized a open-pit whole animal roast for the opening night of Eat Retreat.
Local Producer Visits
For a taste of the regional food culture, Eat Retreaters spent a morning with local food leaders.
In collaboration with Philadelphia’s Kensington Quarters, Wyebrook Farm invited Eat Retreaters to observe a pig harvest. Eat Retreat alum Bryan Mayer guided the group through slaughter at this working farm.
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.
Foraging with Casey Spacht
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
Our Community Partners
Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative
Oasis at Bird-in-Hand
Sea to Table
Daisy Organic Flours
Sitka Salmon Shares
Mycopolitan Mushroom Company
Thistle Finch Distillery
Caputo Brothers Creamery
Obis One Organic Black Garlic
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Team
Kathryn Tomajan farms three acres of olives in Sunol, California. She is a certified olive oil taster and the maker of Fat Gold.
Heather Marold Thomason
Whole-animal butcher & supply chain expert
Photographer, writer & creative strategist
Lesley Stockton is a recipe developer and food stylist. She is the kitchen manager and staff writer at The Wirecutter.
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