What I learned… Food Blogger Camp 2011

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By Nancy Buchanan



by Nancy Buchanan on January 10, 2011

Hola!!! While you all have been working hard trying to stay warm this week, I’ve been working hard too – at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya Resort in Cancun, Mexico attending Food Blogger Camp 2011. But  I’m not  going to talk  about the gorgeous resort, the delicious food or the amazing scenery – and yes, it was ALL that… and so much more.

Grand Velas pool and suites What I learned... Food Blogger Camp 2011

I am also not going to talk about our “fearless” leaders - Jaden Hair , Elise Bauer , David Lebovitz, Diane Cu and Todd Porter , Matt Armendariz and Adam Pearson because there aren’t words (that I know of anyway) to accurately  describe how truly talented, amazing and incredibly gracious these people are – the only way to  fully understand this is to read their blogs (or in Adam’s case – see his work on his website). If you haven’t all I can say is this- do it, and do it now – you will be so glad that you did.

I am also not going to be talking about SEO, Photography and Light, RSS feeds, or any of  the other subjects we covered at camp because well, that is why  I went to Camp and it  would  pretty much amount  to “the blind leading the blind”.   So for that information, again you need to be reading the blogs of these gifted individuals and of the other bloggers who attended – I will be  adding links to their posts so check them out! Fellow campers -  leave me your links!!!

Grand Velas Cooking Demo2 What I learned... Food Blogger Camp 2011

Grand Velas Chef cooking demo What I learned... Food Blogger Camp 2011

Grand Velas Chef cooking demo What I learned... Food Blogger Camp 2011Grand Velas Cooking Demo What I learned... Food Blogger Camp 2011

No, what I am going to talk about is what I  found….and about what I learned.

So, what did I find? I found my “tribe”.

Since starting this blog almost a year ago, I have attended a few blogger get togethers and a few blogging workshops. The information I gleaned from each of these was invaluable as were the relationships I made with other bloggers. But it was here, at Food Blogger Camp that I truly understood.

I  learned that whether your passion is foodblogging or underwater basketweaving, we all need a” tribe” – to be part of a group that shares a passion equal to our own. A group  that not only doesn’t look at you strangely when you whip out your camera to take a photo of the plate that has been put before you, but willingly holds up a napkin to help “bounce the light” for the perfect shot.  A group that  truly appreciates discussing the finer points of  butter – and in this case that would be Kerrygold Butter, our sponsor for Food Blogger Camp.  To be part of group that encourages you and inspires you to be better than you ever imagined you could be – in short, a group that “gets” you.

So, as you emerge from your holiday coma and focus on the year ahead my wish for you is simply  this -  find your “tribe”.

And if  you are a food blogger, start making plans now to attend Food Blogger Camp 2012…  come and be part of the “tribe” – you will be so glad that you did!

Grand Velas Pool deck What I learned... Food Blogger Camp 2011

Food Blogger Camp 2011 links

What’s Gaby Cooking? Food Blogger Camp – Cancun

David Lebovitz – Food Blogger Camp 2011

Food Woolf – 10 Lessons from Food Blog Camp 2011

Family Fresh Cooking - Food Blogger Camp Riviera Maya

Confections of a Foodie Bride – Food Blog Camp – the Round – Ups

The Urban Baker - Community Across the Globe – Food Blog Camp 2011

SaVUryandsweet – Food Blog Camp 2011 – Day Two

Kitchen Corners – Food Blogger Camp

Frantasticfood – If You Are Happy and You Know It, Eat Foie Gras

Pinch my Salt – What I learned In Mexico

Undercover Caterer -  Escape from Grand Velas

Ladles and Jellyspoons – Food Blog Camp 2011

Mommie Cooks – Food Blog Camp 2011

Kitchen Cunondrum - Food Blog Camp 2011

PinExt What I learned... Food Blogger Camp 2011


{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

lisaiscooking January 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Sounds like a great event in a lovely setting. Wish I’d been there!


Nancy January 10, 2011 at 6:21 pm

It was truly an amazing few days and I really wish you could have been there too – one of these days I’ll get to meet you IRL!!!


Gaby January 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I had so much fun with you Nancy!!! Can’t wait to hang out more in LA!!! and send me those fabulous flower pics when you get a chance (from the event you planned last year!) XOXOXOXO miss you already!


Nancy January 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I had a blast with you guys as well and I can’t wait to hang out too!! Check your inbox for the photos – not the best but you’ll get the idea!!! Let me know if the pics don’t come thru – I’m a little brain dead today!


David January 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm

So glad you had as much fun as I did!


Stephanie January 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Great post and I agree… was lovely to find my tribe, and you in there! Hope to see you soon in SoCal.


Nancy January 10, 2011 at 6:12 pm

I am so glad that we met and we DEFINITELY have to have a reunion… I’ll bring the margaritas!!


savuryandsweet January 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm

lovely to have met you. i’m glad we had some time to chat at the airport too :)


Nancy January 10, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Same here!!! Just glad that I made it home and am not “enjoying” the hospitality of the Charlotte airport!


Beth (OMG! Yummy) January 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Finding my tribe is exactly how I felt after attending BlogHerFood in October. I feel at home in this group. Having learned so much from that conference, I could only imagine how wonderful it would be to spend a few days with a great group of teachers/industry leaders and fellow bloggers in a small group setting at one of the most amazing resorts I’ve ever been to. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get away for this one. Hopefully next year. I was lucky enough, though, to vacation at the Grand Velas this past summer and was blown away by the food, service, and setting. Nothing like it that I’ve experienced before.

Glad to hear you all loved the experience and the resort. It’s fun to read everyone’s posts.

And thanks for the follow on Twitter.


Nancy January 10, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Hi Beth!!!

I am really glad we are part of the same tribe!!! I was also blown away by the resort – I am just not good at being pampered – but after this week, I could definitely get used to it!


the urban baker January 10, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Nancy, getting to know you and talk to you was a highlight. Your positive way of seeing everything is intoxicating and I feel blessed to have you as part of my “tribe”! xx


Nancy January 11, 2011 at 10:55 am

I feel exactly the same way about you my friend!!!! Email me some dates that you are free – I would love to come up and shop at the Santa Monica farmer’s market with you!!!


Rich January 11, 2011 at 5:25 am

Well, it’s been snowing here for the past few days, so … thanks for the pictures of sunny beaches and blue skies. No, no, that’s not torturous at all!

Seriously, though, it looks and sounds like a great time! I might have to start looking into 2012 …


Nancy January 11, 2011 at 10:51 am

I seriously cannot recommend it enough but even if you can’t make Food Blogger Camp try and go to BlogHer food, IFBC or Foodbuzz!!!


Paul jennette January 11, 2011 at 6:51 am

I’m not sure how much work I could get done in a setting like that, perfect!! As far as theses blogging camps and get togethers, how do you find out about them??


Nancy January 11, 2011 at 10:50 am

Hi Paul!!!
Yes, getting “work” done was tough but the schedule was really well balanced between “work” and “play” time!! The best way to find out about these get togethers is to follow on twitter – also, see if you can connect with bloggers in your area and start a blogging group, its a great way to share information and have fun!!!


Cathy/ShowFoodChef January 11, 2011 at 10:40 am

I’m so glad you had such an inspiring time, Nancy – I just knew it would be amazing. I so wish I could have gone for the food/beauty/learning, etc.. and for exactly what you wrote about – hanging with folks that get ya. Hope to see you more in 2011!


Nancy January 11, 2011 at 10:47 am

I wish you had been there too and I definitely hope we see more of each other in 2011!!!


Priscilla - She's Cookin' January 11, 2011 at 11:12 am

It’s good to hear that you’ve found your “tribe”, Nancy. I’ve met many of the bloggers and “fearless” leaders of FBC 2011 and so wish I could have been there!


Nancy January 11, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I wish you could have been there too!!! Next year, right, right???


Kim January 11, 2011 at 11:44 am

Nancy – Sounds like a lot of fun! Let me know when you’re free; would love to hear about your trip in person over a cup of coffee. :)



Nancy January 11, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Definitely!!! Will email you some dates/times so we can catch up!!


Kristen January 11, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Nancy – I bet it was fabulous! So glad you found your tribe. Look forward to reading more :)


Nancy January 11, 2011 at 4:35 pm

It truly was amazing!!! I am so glad that I found my tribe too… it’s a great one to be a part of!!!


Mary Ann January 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Luckeeeee! “Found your tribe?” I want in. Not really. I’ll just stick with blogging about interiors and trying your recipes. I did give you the Stylish Blogger Award though as my list would not be complete without you.
Mary Ann


Nancy January 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Aww… that’s so nice!! I am SO behind on my blog reading… but I am going to fix that tonight!!!


Lentil Breakdown January 11, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Ok, jealousy has officially ensued. Glad you found your tribes peeps!


Diane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com} January 11, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Looks like a beautiful place! I too think that it’s about the support of fellow bloggers/or the like, that help make this journey fantastic! I’m so glad we met last year and look forward to seeing you again soon- I hope :)


Nancy January 12, 2011 at 7:42 am

I am so glad that we met too and I really hope to get together more this year!!!


diane and todd January 12, 2011 at 8:37 am

hi neighbor! thank you so much for coming and we really really enjoyed spending more time with you. You’re such a treat to talk to. Wishing you so much more success in 2011. xo


Nancy January 12, 2011 at 11:53 am

Awww. thank you!! It was truly a pleasure to spend time with you both. I loved both photography sessions and definitely learned a lot!!!


Magic of Spice January 12, 2011 at 11:07 am

Sounds like a magical time and I am sure the food was unbelievable :)


Nancy January 12, 2011 at 11:52 am

The whole experience was amazing… and yes, the food was unbelievable!!


Damaris @Kitchen Corners January 12, 2011 at 11:26 am

Nancy, I think you were able to say it perfectly. Finding your tribe is a gift for sure. I hope to be able to connect with you again soon.


Nancy January 12, 2011 at 11:52 am

I hope so too Da!! Rooming with you was the best!!! Wish you lived closer!!


Sally Pasley January 13, 2011 at 5:56 am

Lovely to meet you, Nancy–I’m glad you enjoyed it as much as I did :)


Nancy January 13, 2011 at 7:54 am

It was wonderful to meet you too Sally!!!


Fran January 15, 2011 at 5:16 pm

I’m glad to hear you found your tribe and didn’t have to walk through the desert for 40 years! :)


Nancy January 15, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Me too Fran!!! I am so glad that I met you and I regret is that I didn’t get to spend more time getting to know you.. I guess this means we definitely need another trip to Mexico!!


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