Caribbean Travel

Food Blogger Camp Riviera Maya

A big part of my personality is to dive in with both feet, seize opportunities, grab ’em & run. This past week I attended Food Blogger Camp at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya resort near Cancun, Mexico. Camp was very busy as it was filled with instruction, inspiration, playtime & extravagance. Not only was I taught valuable information from some of the most successful bloggers, but I connected with people & myself. Life is all about relations with others & having a strong personal core. Thankfully my job is built around food & food brings people together. It strengthens, unites & nourishes the body, mind and soul.

Food Blogger Camp in Cancun Mexico

I decided that I would let my photos from Camp speak for themselves, you can view our agenda too. These items appear in no particular order as each & every part of camp was equally important to make the whole experience complete.

Session leaders at Cancun food blogger camp.

Top notch & practical education from
Elise Bauer, Jaden Hair, Todd Porter & Diane Cu, David Lebovitz, Matt Armendariz & Adam Pearson. We soaked in all kinds of info on branding, SEO, food styling, photography. We even had a speed blogging session where each camp leader reviewed our blogs for 3 minutes a pop. Boy did I learn loads hearing their feedback!

Food Blogger Camp near Cancun Mexico 2011

Five Star resort living
The Grand Velas Riviera Maya is a gem. I have been to many fine resorts & I can tell you that this place caters to your every whim, wish & desire. It is all inclusive so you never need to reach for money. 24 hour room service, gorgeous rooms, lovely staff, pools & lounging areas are everywhere.

Food Blogger Camp at Grand Velas Riviera Maya resort near Cancun

Splendid Surroundings
At every turn there was gorgeous views, architecture, striking interiors, jungle views, infinity pools and of course the ocean.

Roomates at Food Blogger Camp in Cancun Mexico

My Roommate
Carrie Vitt publisher of the blog
Deliciously Organic. She is one of the most honest, smart & genuine people I know. It was so wonderful to celebrate the release of her new book called Deliciously Organic. Not only is the book gorgeous, her whole food recipes will be passed down through lifetimes.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya resort near Cancun.

Might Tasty Food
From the freshest ceviche, to the creamiest guacamole the dining was superb. Each morning Carrie and I ordered room service & we felt like royalty!

Grand Velas Riviera Maya resort near Cancun Mexico

Even the in room coffee machine brewed up a mad good cup of espresso topped with a perfect crema.

Conchas pastry at Grand Velas Riviera Maya resort

I sure do have a lot of photos of those Conchas pastries – they were so beautiful!

Making New Friends
Sometimes you bond with people & sometimes you don’t, yes? First impressions are everything, non? Prior to camp I knew all of the team leaders other than Mr. Lebovitz. He has a fantabulous blog. He loves sweets, I love to read about them. Before you meet him you feel like you know him from his books, blog, tweets, etc.

During his session he almost had me run out of the room as he suggested words NOT to use in your blog name including “family, fresh & food.” These words do not drive him to a blog – he prefers a more descriptive name, like David Lebovitz??!! For a moment I was very scared of him – but his charm quickly changed all that.

Food Blogger camp at Grand Velas Riviera Maya resort

Visual Creativity
The amount of creative inspiration at Camp was empowering and inspiring. Matt, Adam, Diane & Todd are the utmost professionals. There is a reason why they are so very successful. They share their expertise in ways that make sense. They are all self taught & that gives me the motivation to KEEP AT IT. Their individual & collective talents are awe inspiring.

Food blogger camp near Cancun Mexico.

Matt & Adam rock tattoos and pretty much everything.

White on Rice Couple teach photography to food bloggers

It is always fun to catch up & learn from Todd & Lady Diane.

How to Shoot a Chef
Not only did we photograph & style food, but we got to shoot chefs – with our cameras sillies!

Chefs at 5 star resort in Mexico.

How sweet is this waitress!

Beautiful mexican waitress at fancy resort hotel.

Community Building
Time with my great buddies & creating everlasting memories was worth the trip in and of itself.

Food Blog Camp Grand Velas Riviera Maya trip

Friends pictured here include Gaby Dalkin, Carrie Vitt, Lucy Lean, Matt Armendariz, Susan Salzman and Michael Procopio.

Food Blogger Camp 2011 near Cancun Mexico

More Food for Thought

Molecular gastronomy at 5 star resort in Cancun Mexico

Related Links

A great big thank you to Bard Valley Medjool Dates who sponsored me to attend this event. I am looking forward to working with them on delicious, healthy recipes in future posts.

Campers Blog Posts

Here are posts from fellow campers. It is so fun to read about everyones unique experiences & to relive this event through their eyes.

~ Marla Meridith

Join the Conversation

76 thoughts on “Food Blogger Camp Riviera Maya

  1. Wow Marla, what a terrific write-up! I love love love your
    photos. And I so enjoyed getting to hang out with you a bit and
    getting to know you better. I love your spunk!

  2. Great photos and recap! What a gorgeous resort and the
    food…wow! Sorry I missed out on all the fun. Hope to see you here
    in Atlanta in May (if the snow melts by then!). 🙂

  3. Omg Marla. This looks like an over the moon amazing trip.
    THIS is the kind of trip I want to be on, be a part of, go on and
    learn learn learn. I just want to tell you that you and your blog
    amaze me and what you’ve done with it the past 18 mos. You had a
    vision, goals, and standards wayyyyy back when…and you’ve held
    fast to them all, and look at you now girl! The tattoos, the
    pictures, the ocean, the networking,the learning…wow. We need to
    talk!!! Can’t wait to hear more deets!

  4. Wow, sounds like this event was amazing, and you learned a lot. Wish I could attend. Looking forward to seeing how your incorporate what you learned into you already gorgeous blog. Love all the photos!

    1. Heather: It was kinda tricky to cover so much with these collages – but I feel like I covered a lot of ground with these photos. Missed you girl!

      Averie: This would be your kinda trip for sure. For a gal that loves the hot weather – this place was paradise like none other.

      Jeanette: I learned so much on each & every aspect of blogging. Through the upcoming months I will be implementing many changes. Some will be very obvious to my readers, others will be a bit more discreet. I want to make this blog simple to navigate & filled with all kinds of information that you guys can access with ease.

      David: I thought about pushing you in the pool & then I got scared you might show off that thong 😉

      Nancy: So fun to catch up with you too!

      Jersey Girl: Don’t be jealous – join us next time!

  5. What a fantastic recap of what appears to have been a most wonderful time. I’m sure we’ll be the beneficiaries of all that you’ve learned as you continue to grow and nurture yourself and your blog! Way to go 🙂

  6. Ahh!!!! I wish I could have joined. But I know I would be hanging on to one of the trees refusing to go back home after this! What a wonderful experience, Mara!

  7. You are having way too much fun! Wish I could have been there. But I’m pretty sure I’ll be at BlogHer Food in Atlanta (not as glamorous as Mexico), so hopefully you’ll be there too.
    Love your photos. They are amazing!!

  8. Looks like an amazing trip!! I so wish I could have gone.
    Your pictures are beautiful though – makes me feel like I’m right
    there with you! And that 3 minute critique your blog thing?? How
    scary and wonderful was that? I need something like that

  9. Wow!!! Gorgeous pictures! Looks like you had a wonderful
    time! Like you said, time with friends and building everlasting
    memories is a beautiful thing! Also you look Mah-velous Dahling!
    Pretty Lady! 🙂 xo

  10. Thank You for posting this so quickly Marla – I will be
    there next year and I expect you to be sipping drinks with me and
    commenting on the uh, ‘sites’. I look forward to reading every
    details for al lthe food blog posts AND calling you for photog
    tips. XO

  11. Those pastries look incredible! I thought they were cookies
    at first — looked like chocolate/peanut butter. I guess I need to
    get my head out of the cookie gutter. 🙂 So glad you shared this –
    looks like an incredible experience!

  12. Looks like you had an incredible time, Marla! I am beyond
    jealous, but I’m so excited that you had the opportunity to go. It
    looks like it was perfect!

  13. Marla! You live life with such a PASSION for what you LOVE!
    I just adore this about you! YOU inspire me in so many ways! Thanks
    for sharing YOU!!!!!!! xo

  14. Marla, what a fun and such a beautiful trip. You look
    great, love that tan. You will have to tell me more about it. Glad
    you are home safe and sound. Now back to the computer to bring us
    all good recipes and great pictures. love ya,

  15. What a wonderful trip this was, Marla! Everything looks perfect — the food, people, surroundings, and information! Isn’t it great to be part of such a fun, talented group of individuals? 🙂

  16. Wow Marla, does this ever look like paradise! Such gorgeous
    shots…felt *just like* I was actually there with you enjoying all
    the fun and the golden warm sun and the incredible food and,
    well… not actually like I was there, but it was good enough!
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. Wendy: Glad I could get you to Mexico via the photos. We all need to get together soon, okay??!!

      Faith: Yes, everyday I feel blessed to be around so much creative talent! Love my job. There is inspiration everywhere 🙂

      Judy: As great as it is to travel, it is awesome to be home with my family. xo

      Shaina: Missed you girl. I am getting used to seeing you on trips these days!

  17. OMG!!! that is amazing. Beautiful photos and a 5 star resort. I am so envious! I am signing up to be your bitch and carry your bags next time you go on one of these! Truly, your photography has grown leaps and bounds. Every photo is exquisite. This is just the beginning!

  18. wow marla, your photographs are just beautiful! your
    photography has grown by leaps and bounds, we’re so proud of you.
    And we’re excited to see your new ideas on the blog. Keep up the
    great work!

    1. Diane & Todd: With you guys as my mentors & teachers I am understanding more & more all the time. It feels like all of my senses have been heightened since I started taking all of this photography so seriously. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us on this trip. I look forward to many more great times down the road 🙂

      Angie: Anytime babe, you can be my bag bitch. xo

  19. Great photos Marla and looks like it was a lotta fun with
    some favorite food bloggers and photographers.

  20. Marla, You should be called Marvelous Marla–wonderful
    write-up and well, you are quite the photographer yourself! Really
    lovely photos. I so enjoyed meeting you and look forward to reading
    more family fresh cooking–there aren’t too many other ways to say
    that, are there? Your blog looks terrific, I can’t imagine how you
    will improve it, but I would like to see : )

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  22. Marla than you for a fabulous summary of the week. I am
    green with envy!!! I so wanted to attend. Sounds like you learned
    so much, strengthened relationships and made some new ones.
    Everything you hope to achieve when you attend one of these events
    but it sounds like it was so much more. I am going to save my
    pennies this year and hopefully I will be able to attend the next
    one. Thank you so much for sharing and taking some many beautiful

  23. I’m sorry I missed it. I am loving your pictures as a consolation prize, however. 🙂
    That is so funny what Lebovitz said. Well, I am attracted to your blog by those words!

    1. Marly: I hope you can make it to Food Blogger Camp too – it really was life changing and so inspiring. Hopefully we can meet there or before then 🙂

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