Food Blogger Camp, part 2

fresh catch

There’s nothing that can kill a great trip more than a bad airline experience. But since Twitter has now become the airline’s biggest public relations headache, I won’t complain about anything. Okay, except for the guy sitting in front of me for the 12-plus hour flight, who kept insisting that if he just leaned forward, then slammed his body backwards, his seat back would go back even further than the seat physically, would actually allow.


So even though it took a few minutes after we landed to remove my knees from my chest, (although I think I need to get some medical attention tomorrow for my bijoux de famille), I still have managed to keep a smile on my face after winging my way back from Ixtapa, Mexico for our first-ever Food Blogger Camp.


Aside from hooking up with my blogging pals; Elise, Matt, Jaden, Adam, Diane, and Dianne, I also met Diane’s other half, Todd, and Michael Ruhlman, who proved a formidable foe for the entire week. I don’t think we agreed about anything, except that we always agreed that we disagreed with each other.

Still, it was nothing that couldn’t be ironed out over a few bracing, citrusy margaritas, and by the end, we were flat on our backs, side-by-side, in the bar. But let’s hope those photos by his wife Donna don’t surface. I think those belong in my “What was I thinking?” file.

And locked.

limes, ready & waiting drinks

I wish I had the space to tell you about all we learned about food blogging, from how to get great food photos to adding multi-media to your blog, which I’m been meaning to get around to myself. (And no, not starting off with videos of me in less-than-optimal positions.) But one thing that I’m happy to dedicate some bandwidth to is some snaps of me, Matt, and Romain learning the trapeze. One of the cool things about Club Med is that you can try any and all sports, no matter what your level is. Even if you’re a dork like me, and don’t care if you make a fool of yourself golf and water skiing, for example.


But here in Ixtapa, it was the trapeze instructors that held the most interest for us. And I practically had to hold Matt down to get him to slip into a harness. In fact, he was running from the instructors grasp, that I had to volunteer to go first.

me on trapeze

Which was a mixed blessing. While I want to be the kind, caring friend I’m known to be, I also am happy to let others go first when faced with any danger. But after the instructor on the ledge told me to lean and jump (with a gentle shove), and various cameras trained on me, I had no recourse but to take the leap.

learnig the finer points

After a little prodding by whatever-his-name was, Matt was ready to go, and in no time was shimmying up the ladder, about to take the leap himself.

matt on trapeze acrobat

After he took his own leap o’ faith, and a few swings back and forth, Matt was ready to dismount. And although I couldn’t see his face, I think he was pretty much head-over-heels in love with the trapeze instructor.


But since this week was mostly about food and food blogging, I gotta tell you, I had the best fries ever in Ixtapa. Although I made the mistake of telling Jaden, as she delicately lifting a chosen few onto her plate, how good they were. She said, “Oh—really, David?” And she ended up emptying the rest of the batch onto her plate. So that’s a reminder that the next time, I shouldn’t be so effusive to anyone in a food line in front of me.


So I stood there, waiting for the next batch, and made sure there was a clear, unobstructed path between me and les frites. Freshly-fried, made from real potatoes, sprinkled with bright little flashes of salt that crunched between your teeth. (Obviously I should’ve gotten more practice during Dianne Jacob’s food writing session if that’s the best description I could come up with.)

frites guacamole!

But having been awake for the last 37 hours, and counting, (how else could one explain including a reference to one’s reproductive organs in a food blog post?) that’ll have to do for now. I could certainly go on and on about the freshly-griddled corn tortillas that I ate by the stackful with the most amazing salsas I’ve ever had.


So, let’s get right to dessert, as I need to get into a real bed, and try to get some sleep without a seatback crushing my lungs. When they kitchen informed me—*gasp!* that they’d run out of chocolate sprinkles, I almost wanted to revoke Club Med’s all-inclusive status: how anyone could consider it a vacation without including sprinkles is beyond me.


But just because you see two spoons in it, don’t think for uno momento that I was planning on sharing any. It was just for the photo, even though I did learn from food stylist Adam Pearson that even-numbers are interdit, so I was justified in not wanting to share and should have just taken one.

dulce de leche stretch

I don’t know how all those trapeze instructor shots keep getting in the post. Really. But I must really be in some serious need of rest now. Yes, there was a giant pot of dulce de leche, and yes, I could take as much as I wanted. And no, I didn’t fill my pockets. Which wouldn’t have been possible anyways, as they were full of sand.

food writing & photographing food photographer

In addition to eating well, the week was filled with inspiring seminars, a few even held in the sand. And after I threatened to go on strike (…which worked! I must be more French than I thought…) my wish came true and the sprinkles started flowing again. And as for the Mexican food, I do miss it already.

tortilla lunch

But after I landed, I limped over to the bakery and bought a still-warm baguette ancienne, that exuded the creamy scent of apricots, grainy wheat, and butter, even though it was unadorned. I managed to polish most of it off by this evening, all by myself. However I did save some for my petit dejeuner tomorrow morning, seeing as I won’t be waking up tomorrow to huevos rancheros. But I’ll deal.

The lack of an ocean just outside my window? Well, that’s going to be a different story…

Related Posts from Participants

Food Blogger Camp, Part 1 (David Lebovitz)

All I Got From Food Blogger Camp… (Steamy Kitchen)

Food Blogger Camp: Food Writing, Photography & Styling Tips (White on Rice Couple)

Food Photography, Getting a Cookbook Deal & Zihua Market (White on Rice Couple)

Food Blogger Camp at Club Med Ixtapa (Dianasaur Dishes)

Clicking the Mental Refresh Button in Ixtapa (Foodspiration)

Food Blogger Camp Part Uno (A Beach Home Companion)

Food Blogger Camp: My Top Ten (Matt Bites)

Food Blogger Camp Part Dos (A Beach Home Companion)

Food Blogger Camp Part Tres (A Beach Home Companion)

Kickin’ It at Food Blogger Camp (Dianne Jacob)

Food Blogger Camp Tips & Insights (FoodWoolf)

Sensuous Writing with Corn Pops (Dianne Jacob)

Eating in Paradise (Frantastic Food)

Sunset (Frantastic Food)

Food Blogger Camp Part Seis (A Beach Home Companion)

A Day at the Beach (Frantastic Food)

And He Said, “Let there be light” (Frantastic Food)

Constants (and Tequila) (Vanilla Garlic)

Food Blogger Camp Recap (Wasabimon)

Zihuatanejo Market: A Short Tour (Vanilla Garlic)

Food Blogger Camp (Ruhlman)

Ixtapa, Mexico, 2010 (Recipe Girl)

Moments That Matter (Steamy Kitchen)

Video, Final Thoughts & Sad Farewell (White On Rice Couple)

Food Blog Camp Flickr Pool (Photos)

Never miss a post!


  • January 17, 2010 4:15pm

    You got photos of Rodrigo, our favorite trapeze boy! I didn’t have a chance to take any. Thanks for that. ;)

  • letitia
    January 17, 2010 4:23pm

    “bijoux de famille”! Very funny! Great recap, looks like you guys had a fabulous time!

  • January 17, 2010 4:26pm

    A great read as always. I’m torn between admiring your vivid descriptions and dazzling photography–nearly feeling the balmy breezes–and holding back my searing jealousy. What gorgeous scenery, delicious food, and sweet, sweet sunshine. The food I might be able to reproduce stateside, but the rest is on a long hiatus around here! Glad you and the boys are back safe and sound. Well, at least as sound as you started.


  • January 17, 2010 4:57pm

    My son was a trapeze instructor at Club Med (Asia/Australia region) for 4 years. You would not believe how much weight he has put on since he left Club Med 12 months ago.

    Great to read your report. Sounds like you all had a great time. A Club Med holiday can be good or bad, depending on who is Chief of the Village. We had 3 Club Med visits when Chris was working there, all under different chiefs. One good, one bad and one absolutely amazing.

  • January 17, 2010 5:11pm

    Okay, the #fbcamp would have been amazing, but the trapeze? Funny, my boss went to that Club Med before Christmas and he, the straight dad, did not mention anything about trapeze instructors.

  • January 17, 2010 5:21pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for those beautiful photos! That food (instructor) looks absolutely amazing. Yum!

  • January 17, 2010 6:27pm


    Looking at these pics makes me wish I was in dank dark and grey England thats for sure!

  • amanda
    January 17, 2010 6:34pm

    OMG why do you tease me with those guacamole shots?? There is no guacamole in Macedonia (the only avocados you can get here are terrible) and I’m dying for it! Also, why are there not more trapeze instructor shots?

  • January 17, 2010 6:40pm

    hmm… all this seems indeed very yummy.

    And your food shots are great too :)

  • January 17, 2010 7:48pm

    Very funny post!
    Those frites look amazing. You were very nice to tell Jaden. It’s always better to wait for a fresh batch anyways.

  • January 17, 2010 8:05pm

    Well, those photos were amazing! I want to reach through the computer and grab…….oh, was I supposed to be looking at the food? Thanks for sharing, especially those pics of the trapeze instructor! Laughed the whole way through, as usual.

  • Gina
    January 17, 2010 9:21pm

    Good lord, how could you think about food with all those gorgeous men around!

  • January 17, 2010 9:37pm

    omg that all sounds fabulous. Mexican food is something I miss dearly when I am in Europe. I don’t know how people on the continent can live without salsa.

    Thanks for sharing this and I look forward to seeing how it spices up your food blogging, which is already hot.

  • January 17, 2010 9:42pm

    Your blog not only inspires me, but keeps me laughing the whole way through. Thanks for being the wonderful you!

  • Norman
    January 17, 2010 9:49pm

    Thanks for the splendidly laconic reports from Mexico David – great holiday reading here in Australia where we are in our summer glut of avocadoes, papaya, mangoes, apricots, nectarines, peaches, pineapple, watermelon and cherries.

    Please excuse me but I am desperate to know what you and Michael Ruhlman disagreed about. Will you be sharing? Was it philosophical, technique or produce based?

  • January 17, 2010 11:59pm

    Uh… yeah. You win. While we may have had to stay at the Bates Motel with a groaning steer, at least I didn’t have my knees in my chest on the way home. I’ll take a dirty hotel room and sheets to that kind of flight any day.

    There is a positive in all of this though … the knees in your chest exercise wil serve you well for your next trapeze performance.

  • Jennifer
    January 18, 2010 12:00am

    Dear David,
    I’ve been up half the night with a sick kid. Now I’m up to work (I translate, at home in Sopot, Poland, in my dressing gown). It’s 5:30 am. It’s dark outside and won’t be light for three hours. It’s snowing and its God knows how many degrees below 0. But, I turn on my computer and there’s a post from you in my inbox. JOY!! Thanks for all those little rays of warmth and light that keep me going. And for the giggles. And for photos of tattooed trapeze instructors, guacamole, tortillas. Delightful!

  • January 18, 2010 12:42am

    Dear David,

    Damn you for telling me about those fries! After that I had to eat them with every meal. I haven’t stepped on the scale yet. Too scared.

    You wrote was an excellent description, actually. You do not need practice.

    Thank you for the links.

    I am still in Ixtapa, mentally, even though it’s windy and raining here in Oakland, CA, and there is no buffet or Mexican food at our house. Owen and I bought some fresh salsa, avocado, salsa, white corn tortillas, etc. at the grocery store tonight to remind us of our trip.

    Lovely to spend time with you and to meet Romain. XO

  • Owen Rubin
    January 18, 2010 2:47am

    Trying not to notice that just outside our door right now is the cold wind and rain of a California storm about to explode. Reading this post is making it just that much harder to be back home. Thanks for reminding me once more of all that is now left behind in Ixtapa. Wonderful to meet you and Romain, and thanks for the great post and pictures.

    As for sprinkles, sadly, Dianne and I did not buy any of those tonight, so no ice cream for me!

    And to amanda above: That was some of the best guacamole I have ever eaten. Yea, it was that good!

  • January 18, 2010 3:37am

    The frites do look amazing…so does everything else! Have not had any decent Mexican for a year now…Wish I could have made it out!

  • January 18, 2010 3:47am

    Fran: Well, that bbq you had sounds like it almost made the unintended layover worth it. Almost. (The airport hotel that you stayed in reminded me of a similar experience in Chicago. Except my only dining option was Subway and I never thought it was possible to screw up a sandwich, until then…)

    amanda: There’s more photos on my Flickr page, but I could only include so many in one post. Matt will likely reveal a few more shots when he posts about the trip; I got a preview and those will be worth waiting for!

    Dianne & Owen: I was expecting to come back to snow and freezing cold. But Paris was pretty mild, which was a nice surprise. Still, I did wake up to grey, overcast skies. At least I had a nice baguette and some handmade butter to salve my wounds.

    Norman: Where do I begin? It began with using cream in crème anglais, then included his high-fat diet advice and more. I see a book in our future. Or a tv show. (But I don’t think I can compete with his dashing hair, so he’ll likely have the upper hand.)

    barbara: I aspire to be a trapeze instructor. But first, I need to reach my -4% body fat goal. This resort had fresh sushi daily, which was cut from a large, just-caught fish. But I, like the staff, loaded up on the Mexican food. They had two women standing there patting our fresh tortillas and the Mexican food was excellent. I ate it morning, noon, and night. And sometimes, in between…

  • January 18, 2010 7:35am

    HUMOR!! (“I think I need to get some medical attention tomorrow for my bijoux de famille” Uhhh, sorta. Hope les garçons will be okay. ;-) )

    OMG, please take more trips that take 37 hours to return from because this was *just* my kind of post! Wheeeee! What fun, indeed!

    So glad you are home safe and sound, well, uhhh, safe anyways ;-), good luck with the laundry (I went to Twitter. I am not stalking you, lol) and thanks for sharing about the wonderful time you had. I also appreciate the links you have made to other bloggers, some of whom I did not know about, in these posts about Food Blogger Camp. I’ve been checking out their posts on it, too, and it is most fun to see what all went on and what you learned.

  • Patrick Garvin
    January 18, 2010 8:28am

    What fun! What wit!
    I want to take trapeze lessons!
    Looking forward to your video enhancements.
    Thanks for allowing me to live vicariously.

  • January 18, 2010 9:56am

    This post? I wouldn’t believe a word of it.

    david, about those pix, we can discuss price by phone.

    now, off to freeze some vanilla sauce.

  • January 18, 2010 10:03am

    Michael: Just be sure to add extra egg yolks to that.

    And if you need a ratio, let me know..

  • Dani
    January 18, 2010 10:21am

    scrumptious. each and every photo. scrumptious!

  • Dani
    January 18, 2010 10:23am

    btw, i did read the blog. great write-up!

  • Maureen in Austin
    January 18, 2010 10:28am

    If all trapeze instructors are that hot, I am so taking trapeze lessons.

  • Margaret
    January 18, 2010 10:48am

    In your answer to Barbara, did you really mean to say “they had two women standing there patting our fresh tortillas…”

  • January 18, 2010 11:00am


  • January 18, 2010 11:52am

    Hi David – this is completely irrelevant to your current post but twice now I have referred back to your post on ‘vanilla’ and must tell you how useful I found it and I’m now going to buy the book you recommend. So thank you.

    I don’t wish to comment on the blue sunny sky photos you’re posting because I’m sending this at 16:50 London time and it’s already dark, foggy and very cold……. :-)

  • LB
    January 18, 2010 8:47pm

    This post brought back memories of my cities first and only tex-mex, unnaturally superb quality but sadly closed. The one time in my life I’ve dropped my knees and howled like a b grade movie character. Almost, stiff upper lip, what?

    I shouldn’t read your blog when I’m stuck in my room with naught but a protein bar to keep me company.

    I may have to become a Food Blogger, if there are going to be such lovely blondes roving around at get togethers. By blonde I mean the tortillas, of course.

  • January 18, 2010 9:21pm

    All the food looks amazing and the photographs are great!! I wish I was there.

  • January 19, 2010 4:27am

    Ah, “les bijoux de famille” ! Want another one? : “Service trois-pièces” !!
    And those trapeze instructors ! Too funny ! Thanks David, you made my day !

  • January 19, 2010 6:40am

    Just happened upon your blog. I do so love a funny food blog! Its always nice to see a bloggers personality shine through on their posts. Looking forward to reading more in the future.

    And I agree, I would probably be more excited about the food than lazing on the beach!

  • January 19, 2010 7:59am

    The photography is fantastic! The food looks so delicious. Loved reading about the blogger camp. Lots of laughs!

  • January 19, 2010 8:27am

    Foodie Froggy: I love that expression, service trois-pièces also. But figured the one I used was closer to the English translation. I originally used the anatomical word for ’em, but thought sensitive readers might balk. So I chickened out…(which I don’t know how to say in French)…and went with les bijoux.

    Sinful SS: I was excited about both, the food and the beach.

    Oh yes, and a few other things on the trip ; )

  • The Paris Food Blague
    January 19, 2010 9:19am

    that is some very appetizing guacamole. looks like it was a great experience.

    (by experience I mean both blog camp and the guac)

  • Julie
    January 19, 2010 10:16am

    I couldn’t focus on what you wrote. The trapeze instructor… good lord. Even with all the plugs for Club Med in that post, it’s those photos that would actually prompt me to book a trip there. Thanks for the delicious shots.

  • January 19, 2010 10:21am

    Julie: Yes, I’ve never seen anyone in such good shape. I wanted to hide behind a tree. (Or him!)

    Glad you liked the other photos, too.

  • January 19, 2010 12:56pm

    Oh yeah – that guy has sat in front of ME on aeroplanes before ;-)

    And how rude of the trapeze instructor to keep brazenly thrusting his torso into your shots – I may just have to fly over and have a word with him… and maybe a teensy little cocktailette…


  • Arturo
    January 19, 2010 3:20pm

    Tooo funny!

    There was a miles long thread about Ratio on Egullet, which was filled with howling about MR’s creme anglaise ratio! It’s all about technique, jeez people really need to lighten up, sometimes you may want a different thickness, or mouth feel than others and you adjust the ingredient the important thing is to learn when it’s done. And that’s its really not that hard.

    I like both blogs a lot. You do have that ‘spent too much time in working kitchens, shouldn’t be allowed in polite society’ sense of humor that keeps me coming back. That and the recipes always work.

  • Arturo
    January 19, 2010 3:25pm

    Btw, anyone notice that guacamole is 99 % Avocado? It’s not salsa people! Leave your pico de gallo on the side. xoxo

    [end rant]

  • January 19, 2010 5:54pm

    thank you for the glimpse into the food blogger camp for those who couldn’t make it to mexico :)

  • noni
    January 19, 2010 7:31pm

    seat whamming guy was probably doing to that stop you from kicking or otherwise leaning on his seat.

  • January 19, 2010 8:52pm

    Amazing photos! I wish I were there. I’m so ready for a vacation! I LOVE Club Med so very much, and wish there were more of them in the US. Enjoy!


  • RL
    January 19, 2010 9:18pm

    I came (as always) for the food, stayed for the trapeze instructor!


  • kiramatalishah
    January 23, 2010 5:01am

    And how rude of the trapeze instructor to keep brazenly thrusting his torso into your shots – I may just have to fly over and have a word with him… and maybe a teensy little cocktailette…

  • January 25, 2010 6:34am

    David, It’s 8:25 here in Japan and for some reason, you are making me feel as punchy as you. If there was an aisle in my breakfast room, I’d be rolling in it. Love the trap instructor pics and the cross outs. I’ve got to learn that (so blog challenged). How do you get your food snaps so clear? Great feel to them, the love of food definitely shows through. I’m missing the sand and sea in my nose and getting smashed by the waves But more than that, the exchanges (and laughs) were exhilarating. Nice to have a “water cooler” now in my virtual office. See you there and say hey to Romain. Tell him I’ll Skype him if he dares to practice “l’anglais.” Nancy