Five Takeaways from al fresco’s Glamping Getaway

Aug 18, 2015
We couldn’t have wished for a better #glampingalfresco getaway – from the stunning Ithaca location at Firelight Camps, to the high stakes Iron Chef outdoor cooking competition, to the 10 totally awesome bloggers that came with us – everyone rocked it for al fresco and we couldn’t have had more fun doing it.

Here are our top five takeaways (in no particular order) from the fabulous al fresco glamping getaway:

 1. The Iron Chef Competition
al fresco Iron Chef CompetitionIf you want to throw a party, make it a competition! We paired each blogger with a partner to compete in an outdoor; no holds barred Iron Chef Competition. Each team had virtually no prior knowledge about what type of ingredients or cooking equipment they would be provided with. Once the secret ingredients were put out, the competition was on to see who could create the most delicious and tasty al fresco recipes. 

Utilizing teamwork, their cooking skills, and a little elbow grease, each team pulled off amazingly delicious and tasty al fresco recipes. We can’t wait to for you to try them yourself!

2. Fantastic Gorges and Swimming Holes
Donna Hup jumping off the cliffsIthaca is a beautiful community home to more than 100 waterfalls, trails, gorges, and swimming holes. Some cascade down from cliffs hundreds of feet into the air – towering over the surrounding landscape like a beacon beckoning you to dive in and cool off. If you’re in Ithaca, be sure to pack your swimming trunks and jump in where it’s safe – the water is refreshing and the views are even better! Here’s blogger Donna Hup leaping to the falls – what a shot!

3. Food Styling and Photography Techniques
You can’t have a totally fabulous glamping getaway full of food and fun without l
Gary Tardiff and Kelly Upson
earning a little bit too! Luckily husband and wife photographer, food stylist, and creative geniuses behind Culinary Photoand Kelly Upson- Food Styling & Photography were able to provide tips, tricks and techniques to getting just the right shot. Remember, much of food and recipe development is how the final recipe looks once it’s complete. If it doesn’t look tasty, you won’t want to make it. Gary and Kelly shared their combined knowledge on the best ways to set up and shoot beautiful food and recipe images without the use of an expensive studio or camera! 

4. The Fabulous Wine

Jen of and Nicole of Momtrends.comYou just can’t forget about the wine! The Ithaca region is known far and wide for 
producing some of the world’s best Rieslings – and with over 100 wineries scattered throughout the region, Ithaca is fast becoming known for its unique red and white blends. We were lucky to have Laura Faulk from Experience the Finger Lakestake us through the aroma and flavor profiles of several different varietals, and discuss which al fresco products and flavors pair best with each type of wine. We have to admit, this was one of our favorite experiences of the weekend!

5. Getting Creative with Local Ingredients 
Local Ithaca, NY produce
During the second round of the al fresco Iron Chef cooking competition, each team of bloggers were given a basket of surprise ingredients. From this surprise bounty, each team conceptualized delicious and healthy recipes on the fly using al fresco Chicken Sausage products. The catch? Each team had to use all of the ingredients in their surprise baskets. Included in the mix were fresh, locally grown vegetables such as bok choy, red cabbage, field carrots, jalapenos, corn, cherry tomatoes, fingerling potatoes and much more. Combined with the al fresco Chicken Sausage, the recipes were full of protein, colorful ingredients and darn right delicious.

Each team of bloggers attacked their recipes with such precision, determination, and purpose – putting together the most amazingly beautiful and tasty dishes, all under the pressure of a time restriction, minimal outdoor cooking equipment and the rays of a mid-summer sun. Well done, ladies: your teamwork, willpower and love of food and cooking really shone through. 

And with that, we wrap up al fresco Glamping Getaway 2015 with new friends made, delicious recipes created, pictures worth 10,000 words and memories to last a lifetime. Glamping brought us all together from all walks of life, from every corner of the country. We cannot wait to invite you along next year!