A Fearless Guide to Food and Travel

The Weekend That Kept Giving The Weekend That Kept Giving

It has taken me a few days to decompress from this past weekend and as I sat down to write this post I quickly realized I’m going to be writing more than one.  This was my first blogging conference and I admit I was really nervous.  I was scared that people would laugh at my little site when they realized that I was not some huge prolific blogger; and I was scared that I would be the dorky kid in the back row that no one wanted to talk to.  I quickly realized however that my fears were really unfounded.  So many of my new friends have already written fabulous posts summarizing the weekend and so I’m going to share with you with some pictures and a few words about the weekend.  In the next few weeks I’ll be talking more in depth about specific parts of the conference.

Photos from Olga Berman







If I had to use one word to summarize my experience it would be {generosity}.  This was evident from the moment I walked up to the hotel.  As soon as I went to check-in at registration we were handed a bag loaded with goodies and told to empty it and bring the bag with us tomorrow.  whoa.

Generosity; a willingness and liberality in giving away one’s money, time; freedom from pettiness in character and mind; abundance, plenty.

I don’t think there is a more apt definition all of my experiences than that.  It wasn’t just the goodies that we were given it was the time, the conversations and the genuine abundance of friendship exhibited.  Sure there were bloggers who have a huge following and could have been “too big for their britches” but honestly never ever did I feel hostility or a “holier than though” attitude from anyone.  We were there to learn, enjoy each others company and take our online connection offline.  To that I say Mission Accomplished.

Cooking with friends is more fun!

Saturday morning (although early) had us slicing and dicing in CulinAerie a DC cooking school.  We certainly all have our own way of doing things but I was impressed that even at an early hour we all got along famously and whipped up some tasty dishes.  It was fun to talk while we worked and reminded me a lot of time spent in the kitchens of my grandmas, full of aunties and cousins all getting food ready while gossiping (we weren’t gossiping I promise).


My mad macerating and arranging skills (don't look at the avocado)

Food Styling 101












Have you ever met an artist who just amazed you?  I was so taken aback by the willingness of Renee Comet and Lisa Cherkasky to share their tips and hints with us, not to mention do a hands on demo to help us become better food stylists and photographers.  While I don’t have the space to support a studio, several of their tips I will be incorporating and use to build up my own toolkit.

This is one of the final images I took of our groups’ composition.

And so it went, our weekend came to an end but I walked away with a renewal.  This website is an extension of myself.  I strive to make my writing and my interactions as real as I would be if I met you on the street.  Participating in Eat, Write, Retreat helped me to see that I may not be the best, and I may not want to be the best.  I want to be myself and I want to have genuine {generous} interactions everyday with you.  Thank you to all of my new friends, who are too many to name individually for showing me that being generous with ourselves, our time and our talents is what creates a unique experience.

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Amanda Mouttaki

Curious world traveling, mom of two busy boys, foodie at heart, addicted to social media and lover of all things Moroccan.

  • Beth @kitchen minions

    June 1, 2011 #3 Author

    Your airport photo made me stop and stare at it for awhile-amazing! It was great to meet you, I wish we had more time to get to know each other!


  • Christina

    May 31, 2011 #4 Author

    It was great meeting you! You were the first person I met at the conference and boy was I glad it was you! I guess we both had the same “jitters” about being at our 1st conference so it was truly a pleasure.


  • Bonnie Deahl

    May 30, 2011 #5 Author

    Amanda, I love your post. That was a blast last weekend wasn’t it?! I am still reeling myself from the whole experience. There were so many takeaways (no pun intended) and ideas that we will be using them for a long time. I enjoyed meeting and talking with you. I look forward to reading your blog and posts. Cheerss! Bonnie


  • Holly S. Warah

    May 27, 2011 #7 Author

    Oh, sounds like so much fun! Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to hearing more. You are inspiring me!


    • marocmama

      May 27, 2011 #8 Author

      glad you enjoyed it Holly! There will def. be more coming,


  • Olga @ MangoTomato

    May 27, 2011 #9 Author

    woo hoo for unnecessary fears and worries. you are one great girl!

    PS LOVE the photo in the airport.


    • marocmama

      May 27, 2011 #10 Author

      Thanks Olga, it’s amazing what 5 hours in the airport alone can bring out haha.


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