Chef Camp – the inaugural year

Summer comes like a wave every time – the horizon looks like it stretches forever and then suddenly the heat surrounds us, washes over us.

Usually in late May, when the hot sun hits a combination of fresh peonies and damp earth, there is a morning when I open my window and smell my childhood at summer camp. Running through woods, jumping in warm lakes, singing by campfires. It’s a combination of nostalgia and vivid memory – it is happy and it is sad.

About 2 years ago I heard an idea that is so simple, it cuts through the chatter of day to day, just like that moment of warm sunshine.

That is how I felt when I heard about Chef Camp, a weekend-long summer camp for adults who love food.

As a former camp counselor myself, I’m a sucker for anything that feels like those golden-hued memories of joy and campfires. And as a local foodie (my husband is a food writer and the co-founder of Chef Camp) I was excited for simple pleasure of food on an open fire

Last year’s inaugural Chef Camp really lived up to the ideal – Chef driven classes, in the woods, with gourmet meals, and the occasional canoe adventure. It was my extreme pleasure to document Chef Camp last year – the images serving a combination of record keeping and storytelling.

These are some of the images that showcase my personal favorite memories: laughing around a farm table while eating grilled local lamb, cooking s’mores around a campfire while enjoying Tiki drinks, foraging in the woods for mushrooms and making them into risotto over an open fire, baking bread in the woods from wild-caught yeast, sunrise drip coffee by the waterfront.

All of which was to say, it was a little big magical, and a whole lot delicious.

As of writing this blog post, there are still some tickets available for the Chef Camp sessions this year (they did sell out last ) at ChefCampMN. I’ll be there, hungry and with my old camp clothes, ready to hop in a canoe and work up an appetite.

Editorial Food Photography North Woods
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Chefs and guest sit together at long rustic farm tables at Chef Camp 2016. Gourmet dinners compliment the casual day of chef driven classes, eating, and camp activities.
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At chef camp 2016, a camper shucked an oyster on wooden tables as part of a southern shrimp boil.
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Guests who arose early were treated to sunrise coffee at the waterfront and homemade specialties, like these buttermilk biscuits
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Discussing baking bread in the woods with wild caught yeast.
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Bonfire, tiki drinks, and S’mores for a first night at chef camp
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Foragers found a rare black trumpet mushroom. Later, guests would learn how to make risotto on a camp fire with only items you could hike in.
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Campers and staff of Chef Camp 2016