Food Blog Camp 2011

Just last week, 40 or so of us food bloggers headed over to Grand Velas Riviera Maya for our 3rd annual Food Blog Camp that Elise, David, Matt, Adam, Todd, Diane, Kate and I coordinate. I guess the name is a little misleading, as “camp” is really a beautiful beach side resort in some tropical location. The only roughing it we have is choosing which of the four 5-star fine restaurants to eat in each night.

photo by Acorns & Apples

If there was any place to fall and sprain your ankle, it would be at this resort, the Grand Velas Riviera Maya….I think from the photo there’s just no explanation needed.

It was entirely my fault, not seeing the two little itsy bitsy step by the pool. Easily distracted me was too busy greedily taking in all the sights, from the curvaceous, endless pool, swim-up bar, sandy beach as fine as powdered sugar and ahem, the human eye candy….that I just missed the steps and found myself so ungracefully splat on the ground.

Our little group of bloggers all crowded around me, three others who saw me tumble from the other side of the pool ran over to see if I was okay.

“Ice! Ice! Need Ice!”

“Ooooh that looks bad”

“Does that hurt?”

“What happened!?”

then the crowd parted….

and entered Roman, pronounced “rrrrro-MAAAAHHN” (you need to roll your “r” and drag out the “aaaahhh”), the lifeguard with a first aid kit and a wheelchair.

I quickly patted down my dress, crossed my good leg as lady like as I could and readjusted my hat.

All smiles. No pain.

photo by Diana Johnson (plus of the 3 photos below)

Someone handed me a margarita. And that’s David taking a photo of me. Oh and that’s Stephanie who took this photo of David taking a photo of me.

Pain? What pain? I’m getting a free foot massage!

I honestly don’t remember anything he said, in fact, I don’t think he even spoke to me other than “does this hurt?” and “let me massage it for you.”

For real!??? Oh yeah baby, for R.E.A.L.

Thumbs up Grand Velas! Now that’s what I call great hospitality!

Oh but WAIT! There’s More!

It took 5 handsome, strong men to lift me up the stairs!

I spent the rest of the stay at the resort in a wheelchair, and as Diana, Todd and Diane can testify (they were my gracious caretakers, pushing me around), it didn’t at all affect my level of happiness, fulfillment and well being.

Especially since Grand Velas’ all-inclusive fine dining and top-shelf bar at my disposal.

Except in my wheelchair I was too short to see above the bar.

HOLA!!??? ¡Pardón Señor!

Drats! Too short! He didn’t see me. Boo. No drinky for me.

Thankfully, we had a tequila tasting…..

Lots of tequila.

I even snagged a bottle tried to put it in my dress with a long straw.

And pretty soon, this was how I felt.

After that, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. If I didn’t see these photos — and if a certain someone has a VIDEO of me — I wouldn’t have ever believed that I grabbed Todd and Diane’s video camera monopod and did a wheelchair pole dance.

YES. A monopod. Like a tripod with one leg to steady a video camera.

I guess after that much tequila (and great pain meds!) I though I was pretty hot.

I scare myself sometimes.


Despite the mishap, we had a lovely time, meeting new friends, teaching as much as we could fit about photography, writing, styling, business and best practices of food blogging in 5 days.

Miss Diana, one of my favorite people on earth, always has a smile, a flower and can dance like crazy.

Diane, Todd and Matt led the photography section with hands-on instruction.

Adam was the master of food styling — funky knuckles and all.

these two beautiful shots are from Renee and Ari of Kitchen Conumdrum

gorgeous shot from Foodie Bride – cutest couple ever.

May I intro you to Procopio. Michael Procopio. We call him by his Hobbit name, Berilac Sackville-Bracegirdle….and soon one day I’ll be able to share with you why.

photo by Food Woolf

Me with Diana, Lucy Lean (Ladles & Jellyspoons) Carrie (Deliciously Organic Cookbook just launched last week!) and Marla (Family Fresh Cooking who has more energy than a jackrabbit on sugar and can make you laugh like crazy)

photo by Family Fresh Cooking and Food Woolf

You just have to take a look at the video that Todd and Diane put together – they just happened to whip this up quickly – it’s fun!!!

So happy happy!

And if you want another laugh, check out Matt’s video (but you must see his post and beautiful shots too!)

Explore more Food Blog Camp 2011

Big thanks to our sponsor Grand Velas Riviera Maya (lovely lovely hosts) and Kerrygold Butter (who provided scholarships for participants!)

Food Blogger Camp (Website)

Food Blogger Camp Photos (Flickr)

Did not load Widget Area 5

Comments 38

  1. Renee

    You did look like you were having fun! So glad you are feeling better! Thanks so much for all of your insights. They are being put to good use!

  2. matt

    JADEN YOU CRACK ME UP!!!!!!!! I cannot believe you injured yourself but what’s better is this post! I can’t stop laughing and smiling! What a great time we had, we really did. I can’t wait for next year!


  3. joey

    Looks like so much fun!!! You are too hilarious! I love reading your food blogger camp posts…never fails to make me laugh 🙂 And wish I was there!

  4. dena

    Oh my goodness! It looks like you have SUCH a great time EVEN with the mishap!

    I’m so jealous … can’t come to the next one because my daughter is getting married this year and all our funds have to go towards my gown … I mean towards the wedding. I’ll just have to live vicariously through yous posts!

  5. Tickled Red

    I love it! As always you crack me up. I’m so glad that you had a great time, broken foot and all. I’m just glad that you only tripped down low near the pool…that first photo looking over the balcony had me envisioning you, tequila and a bet of who could walk the wall 😉 Wheelchair pole dancing looked like it was way more fun. Hope you’re on your feet soon darlin'{{hugs}}

  6. Amber

    The shot of the bar from your wheelchair is too funny! 🙂 Great meeting you at camp. Wish I had seen the pole dance. Hilarious! And as promised, based on your inspiration, I will be sharing my New Year’s goals very soon…

  7. Deliciously Organic

    You are too funny! It was great to hear you speak! I really appreciated your insight. The clip of you dancing in the wheelchair on Todd and Diane’s video is priceless!

  8. Pingback: Looking Back at Food Blog Camp, 2011 | FRANtastic Food

  9. Tit'

    Obviously, this Food Blog Camp is an EXCELLENT, a FANTASTIC initiative! I love it! I’d like to join you next year… but… Oh no! I forgot, I live in France… 😉
    Kidding aside, here, a specimen of the French “foodbloggers” will think only one thing: to be the best, she or he has to transform her or his neighbor into an unrefined mashed potatoe! Always this blasted and so typically French nature (which I’m the first one to be proud) ! 😉
    Thanks for this good report!

  10. bunkycooks

    That is hysterical! I can’t believe you sprained your ankle!! I hope it’s getting better. Those things can be buggars (as I well know!). I am so bummed that I missed out on foot massages and wheelchair pole dancing! This event is not to be missed next year!!

  11. marla {family fresh cooking}

    OMG!!! I am choking on my triple shot americano!! You are the life of the party girl. You were a champ in that wheel chair & I think the world of you. Between me & my coffee habit & you with the tequila – things could get really crazy, really quickly!
    You guys hosted an AMAZING camp (now “camp” will forever be synonymous with 5 star resorts) I look forward to seeing you again soon – just make sure you leave the wheel chair at home, bring the monopod and that Lifeguard 😉 in case someone gets injured……..xo

  12. Pingback: Food Blog Camp 2011 Near Cancun Mexico: Industry Leaders & Students — Family Fresh Cooking

  13. Fran

    I’m sorry you got hurt, but love that you took shots from your vantage point. I’m kicking my obsessive self for going back to the room to write a blog post and to create a video and missing the tequila tasting. Looks like I missed quite a “performance.” 😉

  14. Sally

    I especially like the shot of you in the sombrero. We all enjoyed your pain, ha ha. Jaden, you are the best! xxoo

  15. Pingback: Escape From Grand Velas! | Undercover Caterer

  16. Aimee

    Amazing recap, Jaden! FBC was such an wonderful experience, and it didn’t hurt that all of the chefs and lifeguards were both guapo AND complaciente! Thank you again for all of your generous and valuable advice. I had a blast – and it looks like you did too…despite your injury! 🙂

  17. Pingback: What I Learned in Mexico — Pinch My Salt

  18. Pingback: Life Lessons From Food Blogger Camp 2011 « Together In Food

  19. Pingback: 365 Day Project: Too Much Fun for Food Bloggers | 19/365

  20. Lizzie Longenecker

    Ok, I do *not* like that you got injured… but those pictures made me laugh out loud =D

  21. Julie the Alkaline Sister

    Jaden, Oh I so wish I could have been part of all the fun and the inspiration from you and your team but we just spent Christmas down there and had to get back! Oh next year for sure I would love to partake! Thanx for the laughs with this post, you are a crack up girl! Glad your injury was nothing more serious. Take care.

  22. Michael Procopio

    I am so late to the game, thanks to my moving websites and being more or less out of the loop.

    You are one fun woman. I just needed to get that off my chest.

    And it’s perfectly fine to tell everyone about my Hobbit name now. We’ve got the all-clear.


  23. Pingback: 365 Day Project: A comment from Steamy Kitchen 20/365 | I am Grateful for Comments!

  24. Chris

    What a fun outside of your HMO network event this was! They couldn’t arrange a tequila IV drip for your pain meds?

  25. Pingback: Wordless Wednesday: My Kind of Camping Trip — Pinch My Salt

  26. Pingback: FoodBlogCamp 2011 – DAY THREE « saVUryandsweet

  27. Pingback: 2012 Food Blogger Conferences | Namely Marly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *