On Friday, April 8th, I have the extreme pleasure of attending the first ever Eat Retreat in Sonoma, CA. Eat Retreat is an invite-only workshop that features “48 hours of cooking collaboration, secret ingredient sampling, creative picnicking, recipe revamping, and more.” It’s sort of a more intimate Burning Man for foodies (minus nudity, plus solid wine).
This is the inaugural voyage for Eat Retreat, which is founded and organized by Laura Brunow Miner (Phoot Camp / Pictory), Kathryn Tomajan (Bon Appetit Management Company), and Emily Morgan (Good Food Awards / Fare Resources). The central idea is to immerse 30 near strangers from all walks of food life amongst themselves to see what sort of skill-sharing, ideation, and camaraderie come out of the weekend. The list of attendees is truly impressive, and I’m honored to be in the company of these fine people for what is surely to be an epic adventure.
I’m not quite sure what exactly is in store for the weekend, as its somewhat fluid by design, but here are the three things I do know:
- There will be a wild boar hunt; whole boar roast to follow.
- I’m on a killer cooking team with 4 lovely San Francisco ladies. We have Saturday dinner duty.
- The ranch we’re staying on has a vineyard, lake, two kitchens, a barbecue, large decks, and hot tub.
Stay tuned on more details after the fact, as I’m sure there will be great stories to tell in about a week. For now, here is what I submitted on my Eat Retreat application to earn a spot in Sonoma:
Name: Mike Lee
Email address: email@example.com
My involvement in the food community:
I founded and run Studiofeast, an underground dining group in New York City. We’ve been doing our dining events since 2007 and have collaborated with many other NYC-based supperclubs as well. We love fun.
The food I never get tired of:
Rice & Noodles. Specifically: My mom/dad’s fried rice (mom uses shrimp, dad uses spam) and Santouka Ramen from the Mitsuwa market in Edgewater, NJ (the best ramen in the tri-state area IMO).
My biggest cooking disaster:
40 guests, 80 exploding pea raviolis, 10 min until service. You’d be surprised how little people miss the second ravioli.
I’d love to wow my fellow Eat Retreaters with my: