Laura Brunow Miner
Designer
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Eat Retreat

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Eat Retreat

Come “play with your food” we told 40 leaders in the food community.

Once upon a time, long long ago, I sat with my dear friend Kathryn Tomajan over dinner and drinks. She was sharing with me that she was feeling burnt out and bored at her job in the food industry and looking for a new challenge. It took everything I had to patiently wait for her to finish so that I could share an idea: that we should team up to do a version of Phoot Camp (a creative retreat for best and brightest emerging photographers) for leaders in the food community.

 
  The first Eat Retreat, photographed by attendee  James Collier .

The first Eat Retreat, photographed by attendee James Collier.

 
 

We named it Eat Retreat. Her know-how of the food world and my know-how of the particular social and organizational challenges of this type of retreat got us off the ground (along with the help of Emily Davidson, Mirit Cohen, Lily Mihalik, and Nate Keller who also contributed time, resources, and brainpower to launching this puppy).

 
 
  Co-Founder  Kathryn Tomajan , photographed by  Mike Lee .

Co-Founder Kathryn Tomajan, photographed by Mike Lee.

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It was one of the most fun weekends of my life, featuring a pig roast, jam-making, gumbo lesson, live bluegrass all weekend, sunshine and California views, etc.

Before we could even do a second event together, I got pregnant. Yay! The kind of pregnancy where my daily movement was restricted and I visited the hospital a lot. Boo! I told Kathryn that I’d happily be an advisor forever, but needed to step out of my role.

 
 

Luckily, she not only took on the role, she’s done more with it than I ever could have. Five years have gone by and I’ve loved watching her apply her creativity, passion, and expertise to this event, along with collaborators. She’s traversed the US scouting out complex and interesting food regions for each of the events. The workshops at the events have ranged from light and fun to spiritual and fundamentally challenging, like the one on ethical slaughter. She’s branched out to other types of events like a town hall in Philadelphia that open up to a larger food community, and worked with a variety of amazing partners.

Eat Retreat is coming to the Pacific Northwest in August of 2018. You can get updates here.

 
 
  Salmon at the fourth event, photographed by James Collier.

Salmon at the fourth event, photographed by James Collier.

  Our house band for the weekend, the West Nile Ramblers, photographed by  Mike Lee .

Our house band for the weekend, the West Nile Ramblers, photographed by Mike Lee.

  I compiled the contributions of all the talented campers and used my design and editorial skills to  make a book  about the first event through Blurb (who had sponsored the event). 

I compiled the contributions of all the talented campers and used my design and editorial skills to make a book about the first event through Blurb (who had sponsored the event). 

 
 

Flip through selected pages from the Eat Retreat book

 
 

Next, read about that time I got to help host a mad science fair at Pinterest.