Announcing Food Blogger Camp 2011- Riviera Maya, Mexico

Add sun, blogging, Mexico, and good company and what do you get? Food Blogger Camp! And yes, it’s back by popular demand, this time in Riviera Maya, Mexico at the beautiful Grand Velas Riveria Mexico. Like my pals Todd & Diane say: it’s a vacation workshop!

I’m joining a whole crew of my friends to offer workshops with plenty of one-on-one time. I’ll be doing the food photography thang along with my delightful partner Adam Pearson who will be giving you the greatest hits of food styling. And as if that’s not enough there are other amazing food photography components from White On Rice Couple. Not to mention a whole variety of other topics, too! Check this out:

Food Blog Camp 2011 Sessions include:

Jaden Hair from Steamy Kitchen – Two sessions on The Business of Blogging: How to develop a personal brand around yourself and your blog & monetization strategies

David Lebovitz from David Lebovitz – What’s my Blog About? How to break out from the crowd and get noticed

Elise Bauer from Simply Recipes – Build traffic while building the blog of your dreams

Adam Pearson from Adam Pearson – Food Styling: Learn the greatest hits of food styling

Matt Armendariz from Matt Bites– Food Photography- Learn how to photograph styled food and yes, bring your camera!

Diane Cu & Todd  Porter from White On Rice Couple – Food Photography – Understand light and how to use it (hands-on workshop photographing on resort)

Diane Cu & Todd  Porter from White On Rice Couple – Food Photography – Capturing your food story from a storytelling, lifestyle or photojournalistic perspective (hands-on workshop photographing chefs and food)

And plenty of food demonstrations, wine and tequila tastings by resort Chefs

Read the full schedule of Food Blogger Camp Agenda.

Read Bios of the presenters & Speakers.

Complete info at

How to Sign Up: All Info can be found on

  • Regular rate is $1,200.
  • All bloggers interested in attending the camp should complete a brief application. Upon completion of the application, they will automatically be considered for the scholarship.
  • Those who wish to bring a guest will receive the $1200 food blogger rate.
  • The camp runs five days, four nights, January 5-9, 2011 at the luxurious and all-inclusive Grand Velas Riviera Maya in Mexico (close to Playa del Carmen).
  • Prices are based on double occupancy. Bloggers traveling alone find a roommate.

You can read about the last Food Blogger Camp from January here. And if you have any questions please make sure to visit the website!

Chicken & Potato Patties

I mentioned in my summary post about Singapore that one of highlights was a cooking class with Ruqxana Vasanwala of Cookery Magic. We made a few things during the afternoon but it was the Pergedel Ayam, or Malaysian Chicken and Potato Patties, that literally rocked my world. Cubed potatoes were fried and mashed then formed into patties with chicken, chilies and noodles. These patties were then coated in egg and fried, creating heavenly little cakes that were moist on the inside, slightly crunchy on the outside. With my first bite I had one of those “Oh yea., this recipe is coming home with me” moments, and it’s since become a favorite over here at chez matt.

These patties are perfect with rice or even on top of noodles. I like them with a splash of sriracha for extra heat, but Ruqxana says the secret is to fry the potatoes first before assembling them into the patties. I must say I agree but for the sake of time they’ll still be delicious if you steam or boil but yes, you will miss that extra dimension of flavor. I’ve adapted her recipe because I didn’t want to copy or share her exact recipe because you must take her class! You must! In my version I’ve added panko for a light crunch but be warned…these will disappear quickly. They’re quite possibly the best thing I’ve tasted in a long time.

Making Pergedel Ayam with Ruqxana in Singapore

Chicken and Potato Patties

spice paste:
1 red jalapeño, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves

3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
2 tablespoons chili paste (such as Sambal)
3/4 cup boneless, skinless chicken thighs, minced
1/4 cup carrots, peeled and grated
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp tung hoon (mung bean vermicelli), soaked in hot water and roughly chopped
1 tbsp leeks, thinly sliced and fried until crispy
1 tbsp cilantro, minced
1 tbsp green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste


1. In a mortar, grind together the jalapeno and garlic until a smooth paste forms. Set aside.
2.  Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok over medium heat.
3. Fry the spice paste and chili paste until fragrant.
4. Add chicken, grated carrots and soy sauce and fry for 3 mins. Add water, soy sauce, noodles, and leeks.
5. Cook mixture for about 5 minutes, stirring.
6. Move the chicken mixture into a large bowl and add the cilantro, green onions, and mashed potatoes. Stir until well combined
7. Shape mixture into 1/4 cup round patties and dredge in flour shaking off excess, followed by the beaten eggs, and finally the breadcrumbs.
8. Heat remaining 2 tbsp oil in a wok and fry the patties on medium-high heat for 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and serve.