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Go Savor Culinary Retreat in Savannah, Georgia

This past weekend (March 11-13, 2011), I was very fortunate to join in a Go Savor culinary retreat in Savannah, Georgia, their first one! What a perfect setting, beautiful Savannah. I had an awesome time, had wonderful food, learned lots of photography and food styling tips and most importantly spent some time with some wonderful food bloggers!

First of all, I need to thank the Go Savor team for their hard work in planning an awesome event that was well-organized, filled with tons of food and for their wonderful hospitality! A million thanks to Go Savor!

What a wonderful group of ladies! Amy from She Wears Many Hats is such a sweetheart. Debra from Smith Bites, I met her last year at Food Blog Forum Atlanta, she is awesome! And Robyn from Add a Pinch, she rocks. All three are talented and amazing bloggers and I feel so fortunate to know and to now consider them my friends! Their husbands are so awesome too! They helped keep the weekend running smoothly and even prepared the Low-country boil for dinner on Saturday night.

I took almost 500 pictures but pared them down to around 100 photographs. I have so many that I loved so I created collages…hope you don’t think I went collage crazy! :)

The location for all of the Go Savor events was in a beautiful house with a gorgeous kitchen! I love Savannah and all of its tree-lined streets. The weather was perfect during the day in March and you can sense the excitement as everyone in town was ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I actually saw a line of men and women dressed in green dresses on Saturday. I really wish I got a picture of that! I felt really self-conscious and didn’t want to make anyone feel bad but now I wish I took that photo!

On Friday night, we noshed on a wonderful dinner prepared by the Go Savor team, Pam Anderson’s Coq au Vin recipe from her cookbook Perfect One-Dish Dinners (which is actually on my wish list). I was so hungry, I didn’t photograph the food. We also had a salad with a wonderful dressing (also from Pam’s cookbook). After dinner, we had the wonderful Helene Dujardin and her husband Bill McSweeney present sessions on artificial light photography and flash photography.

These biscuits were amazing! The recipe was slightly modified by Debra of Smith Bites to include Jarlsberg cheese. Yummy! I have never made biscuits like these from scratch and I can’t wait to try the recipe myself, it belongs to Virginia Willis.

Debra’s tips for good biscuits is to have all of your ingredients cold. She even told me that she keeps flour in her freezer. She grates her butter and puts it in the freezer until she’s ready to add them to her biscuit dough. Great tips, Debra. Thank you!

The rest of the breakfast also comes from Virginia Willis’ recipes. We had Oeufs en Cocotte (Egg Casserole) with Jarlsberg cheese and the wonderful eggs pictured here came from Robyn’s chickens. And look at those mini cast iron skillets from Lodge Logic. We all got to take home two of them!

Following breakfast, we had a great time listening to and watching as Tami Hardeman from Running with Tweezers styled the same breakfast we just had and Helene’s of Tartelette food photography tips with natural light. I learned a ton including:

  • from Tami – use tweezers to move the food around and don’t be afraid to do it. Also, don’t be afraid to use your fingers.
  • from Helene – she never buys napkins or tablecloths, just yards of fabric
  • from Tami – be sure show all of the ingredients in your dish
  • from Helene – bounce and diffuse your light
  • from Tami – use a wall paper stripper to reheat the food if needed
  • from Helene – tether your camera to your computer so you don’t have to take as many shots

I’m so floored by the generosity of Tami and Helene for sharing their knowledge with us. Thank you, thank you to Tami and Helene. I can’t wait to see Tami again at BlogHer Food and Helene next month at Food Blog Forum Orlando!

I got to meet Cheryl Day of the famous Back in the Day Bakery! What a wonderful place this bakery is! I had the little mini cupcakes they cleverly named newborns. So good! And their bread, even more amazing. I wish I could stop by this place once a week for my bread. Cheryl hung out with us two nights in a row and it was so great to have her bakery’s sweet treats for dessert both nights. Her husband, Griffith, is so nice and he knows how to slice bread!

Then, we headed over to the Savannah Bee Company store. I missed the bee tour the day before and had to grab some honey for my friend (she asked me to pick her up some when I told her I would be visiting Savannah Bee Company). I had a taste and had to buy some for myself too! I bough some of the tupleo honey and the tea honey, it’s such a neat store and it smells so good. Look at those honey pots, I almost got one. And when I looked on their online store, they are actually Le Creuset honey pots!

Low-country boil made by the Go Savor men. Yummy! I loved the pasta salad that Debra made with Jarlsberg cheese. I’m making this salad soon! And yummy bread from Cheryl (Back in the Day Bakery). Let’s just say the food was awesome the entire weekend the company was amazing. I roomed with Chris of Mele Cotte and she was so nice. I know people think we’re strange because we were roommates and complete strangers but we weren’t. I follow her on twitter! :) I love, love Paula of bell’alimento. She is hilarious, she is fun and she is such a sweetheart! Shari of Tickled Red is so fun and young at heart. It was great to meet everyone!

Where there are food bloggers, there are cameras. When we went into Back in the Day Bakery, I felt a little self-conscious with my camera. I knew Cheryl wouldn’t mind but you just feel funny snapping away at everything. Robyn asked Amy and I if we would done it if we weren’t with each other. Probably not, my husband would be a little embarrassed but I’m hoping to get over it more and more. I know that there have been many times that I regretted not bringing or using my camera, so we’ll have to change that!

It was great to meet up with Gwen of Bunkycooks and Debra of Smith Bites again. We met at Food Blog Forum Atlanta last year, so there were familiar faces and now some new friends. And it helped that I won something! Again! I know…I won a wok steamer from Man Pans and I can’t wait to use it. Any recommendations on recipes?

Photo Courtesy of Helene Dujardin and Bill McSweeney

Thank you again to the Go Savor team, Amy, Debra and Robyn! What a class act they are! And thank you to the sponsors who made this event possible. I feel so lucky to be a part of the first Go Savor event and so fortunate to be able to call each and every one of these wonderful bloggers my friends.


Here is a list of the others’ recaps (I’ll add them as they get posted too):

Gwen of Bunkycooks (she also shares a recipe from Virginia Williss cookbook, Bon Appetit, Y’all, that she won!)

Chris of Mele Cotte (thanks roomie!)

41 Responses to “Go Savor Culinary Retreat in Savannah, Georgia”

  1. 1
    Paula - bell'alimento — March 16, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

    Mwah! Lurve you too! See you in MAY! xoxo

    [Reply]

    • JulieD replied: March 16th, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

      Crossing my fingers! :)

      [Reply]

    • JulieD replied: March 19th, 2011 @ 12:13 am

      Hey, Paula…how about next month in Orlando? Teehee

      [Reply]

  2. 2
    monique — March 16, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

    All the pictures are gorgeous! Not sure how you pared them down by 80%! LOL

    [Reply]

    • JulieD replied: March 16th, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

      Thank you, Monique! Believe me, I had a lot of blurry ones. Hehe!

      [Reply]

  3. 3
    Kiran — March 16, 2011 @ 11:02 pm

    A foodie galore and wonderful retreat! Can’t wait for FBF :D

    [Reply]

    • JulieD replied: March 19th, 2011 @ 12:14 am

      It was amazing. I can’t wait for FBF as well!

      [Reply]

  4. 4
    Crystal @ Simply Being Mommy — March 17, 2011 @ 10:56 am

    Looks like you had a great time.

    [Reply]

  5. 5
    Rachel -- Following In My Shoes — March 17, 2011 @ 11:31 am

    I am so hungry now for some good ol’ southern food . . . and those pics of Savannah are beautiful. It looks like such a fun trip.

    [Reply]

    • Sarah replied: March 17th, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

      Beautiful pictures, I can almost taste the food. I’ve always wanted to go to Savannah, even more now!

      [Reply]

      • JulieD replied: March 19th, 2011 @ 12:15 am

        It really is a beautiful town and I want to get my husband to go back with me! Maybe a weekend getaway. :)

        [Reply]

    • JulieD replied: March 19th, 2011 @ 12:14 am

      Thank you so much! I had so much fun!!

      [Reply]

  6. 6
    hairstyles for girls — March 17, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

    Looks like tons of fun!

    [Reply]

  7. 7
    blueviolet @ A Nut in a Nutshell — March 17, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

    So glad you got to go! What an amazing trip! On YOUR blogger trips, you’re always assured of plenty of good eats. :)

    [Reply]

    • JulieD replied: March 19th, 2011 @ 12:14 am

      Yes, I need a t-shirt that says…I’m just here for the food. :)

      [Reply]

  8. 8
    Joyce Pinson @friendsdriftinn — March 17, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

    Thank you for posting. I am a new blogger, and just not ready to the conferences yet. It’s always helpful to see how people reacted to the program and each other. I think the smaller conferences are more my cup of tea. Pass the fat rascals. Giggles

    [Reply]

  9. 9
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — March 17, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us! Looks like it was a huge success… Let’s just say I’m more than a little jealous.

    [Reply]

    • JulieD replied: March 19th, 2011 @ 12:16 am

      Since you said that, can I just say I’m a little jealous of the beautiful photographs on your blog? :)

      [Reply]

  10. 10
    Marly — March 17, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

    This looks like an amazing group of bloggers. I bet it was a wonderful conference!

    [Reply]

    • JulieD replied: March 19th, 2011 @ 12:16 am

      It was a fun one! And the food amazing! I hope you can attend FBF next month!

      [Reply]

  11. 11
    Paula — March 17, 2011 @ 11:19 pm

    You did a beautiful job with your photo collages and they captured what was evidently a wonderfully warm, fun and educational gathering of a great group of bloggers. Thank you for sharing Julie.

    [Reply]

    • JulieD replied: March 19th, 2011 @ 12:16 am

      Thank you so much, Paula!

      [Reply]

  12. 12
    Tammy — March 18, 2011 @ 12:24 am

    What a party! Looks like you learned some great things, and had fun too :)

    [Reply]

  13. 13
    Kristen — March 18, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    What a great time and a great group of people!

    [Reply]

    • JulieD replied: March 19th, 2011 @ 12:17 am

      It really was…Amy, Robyn and Debra were such wonderful hosts. I wish you were there!

      [Reply]

  14. 14
    Kelly — March 18, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

    That sounds like such a fun event! And it sounds like you learned a lot, so even better!

    [Reply]

  15. 15
    Janessa T. — March 18, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

    Looks like fun!

    [Reply]

  16. 16
    Julie M. — March 18, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

    Mmmm… love low country boil! It sounds like it was a lot of fun! wish I could have been there to enjoy in the festivities. You got some wonderful pictures. thanks so much for sharing!

    [Reply]

    • JulieD replied: March 19th, 2011 @ 12:18 am

      Thank you, Julie! The food was amazing!!! I wish you were there too. Hoping we can meet up next month while you’re in Florida. :)

      [Reply]

  17. 17
    Virginia from That Bald Chick — March 19, 2011 @ 1:09 am

    What a great opportunity! Thanks for sharing your experience, sounds like it was a blast!

    [Reply]

  18. 18
    Denise @ Creative Kitchen — March 20, 2011 @ 9:38 am

    I LOVE all the pics!! Naw…you can never have too many collages, especially when the pictures are SO beautiful! It looks like a wonderful weekend…I’ve always wanted to pop into Savannah. I’ve always driven right by on I-95 or stayed at hotel near the highway. Savannah is on my LIST!!

    Thanks for sharing Julie, and I can’t wait to meet you. I finally got around to adding my new Florida Foodie peeps to my Blogroll (on my blog!), so now it will be really easy to see when they all update! Have a great Sunday!! :)

    Denise @ Creative Kitchen

    [Reply]

  19. 19
    Gina — March 20, 2011 @ 11:38 am

    Great photos! Looks like such a wonderful and YUMMY time!

    [Reply]

  20. 20
    Aggie — March 20, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

    I love this post and am so sad I missed out on all the fun. Your photo collages are wonderful!!

    [Reply]

  21. 21
    Eva — March 21, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    That looks like such a blast! And so much good food, too (I’m particularly loving the giant wheel of Jarlsberg cheese). What a great retreat :-)

    [Reply]

  22. 22
    Wenderly — March 21, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    Oh that looks so delightful! Thanks for letting me share in the fun through your lovely post! So wish that I could have been there!

    [Reply]

  23. 23
    Emily — March 22, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

    So jealous, looks like you had an AMAZING time!! Wish I had been invited =)

    [Reply]

  24. 24
    Brandy — March 23, 2011 @ 10:37 pm

    What a wonderful experience! I am in love with all of the pictures!!

    [Reply]

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