Great Harvest Convention: The Food

March 18, 2014


When we last spoke I shared all of our warm weather fun. But it wouldn’t be KERF without the food!


Our first morning at the resort we went to the pricey Sunday brunch. We arrived on the late side because of Daylight Saving Time so it made for the perfect two-for-one meal. I piled my plate high with tropical fruit, a croissant, smoked salmon, eggs, and more. We didn’t think about food again until dinner that night!


Drinks, however, we did consider. This Mango Margarita was smashing!! I want to figure out how to make one at home.


On Sunday night we attended the welcome reception, which was a build-your-own salad bar with a side of sandwiches. Light and casual, plus wine.



I loved the addition of crab meat to the salad along with feta and goat cheese, avocado and arugula. Pretty gourmet! Side of roll {I heart rolls}, side of veggie sandwich and some seafood chowder as well.


Matt and I tag-teamed playing with Mazen all weekend, and meals was the only time I wished we had more hands on deck. I had to scarf my food down so Matt could go to the buffet next!


The resort did lots of mini tarts and cups for dessert. My weakness = having to try them all!


Loved the little pudding cups


Monday’s breakfast was continental – toast (Great Harvest bread – yay!) with jam and lots of fruit. I kept things light because I had plans to take Mazen out on a run afterwards while Matt went to the main session.


Lunch that day was the awards luncheon – a seated 3 course meal. Mazen had to go down for his nap, and Matt fed him lunch while I was presenting at the pizza café on the property. {His word for pizza: tyat-si}

We started with salads and wonderful crackers in a bread basket


The chicken was quite good along with a risotto cake and green beans. It took a while to come out, though, and I had to shove this down quickly and relieve Matt. Sadly that meant I missed dessert. For the best though! I made up for it at other meals.


We had free time in the afternoon and met up with everyone again for the Beach Party! I was looking forward to this night all year : )




It was early enough that M could join us in his beachy frog khakis and polo.


He LOVED the roasted baby zucchini!


My favorite part was the plantain-crusted grouper in a coconut-rum sauce you see up front there! Plus salad and roasted veggies and a slice of pork. Wine in a plastic cup. Delish!


More little desserts but all different flavors. That one in the back was a vanilla bean pudding with butterscotch sauce on the bottom = favorite desert of the trip! I didn’t eat all of these – the brownie thing was sadly not the best and I left a few bites of the others as well. Trying to keep the balance!


Breakfast on day 2 was almost the same as on day 1 plus lots of Naturally Nutty Almond butter. I again went out exercising afterwards with Mazen. We were also late and I didn’t get a photo!

Lunch was more of that crab + avocado salad plus a roll and some pasta bake. Broccolini in the back and some soup on the side. I didn’t finish all of this either, and note that I was making an effort to eat less desserts : )


I had a Blackberry Lemonade drink on the beach that afternoon while we chilled before the final dinner – a fiesta!

They had make-your-own tacos and fajitas plus cornmeal crusted fish that I loved and lots of guacamole. I had a couple glasses of Mark West Pinot as well.


Annnnnnd a few more desserts! Small bites for the win. (That is a tiny plate for scale, FYI)


On our final morning we met our new friends Chanel and Kevin of Great Harvest Boulder for breakfast at Nene’s Kitchen, famous for their Crunchy French toast.

Yes I shared this with the boys.

No I didn’t have lunch that day.

Yes it was AMAZING.

No I didn’t drink all that syrup.

Yes I want to re-create this too!


Until we return, Marco Island!

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie March 18, 2014 at 7:25 am

You can send some of that french toast this way 😉


2 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh March 18, 2014 at 7:43 am

Wow it all looks wonderful! I don’t know if that twisty thing is a churro or something, I want one! LOL


3 Ali @ Peaches and Football March 18, 2014 at 7:45 am

Wow – all of that food looks so delicious. Plus eating outside in shorts!! :-) I remember the time I went to Mexico a few years back and I had to sample all the desserts too. Sadly, not many of them were that great but that never seemed to stop me from piling up my dessert plate each night hoping to find something that would knock my socks off. 😉


4 Katie March 18, 2014 at 7:48 am

LOVE that picture of Mazen with the roasted baby zucchini! Glad he was able to join you on the trip, traveling with kids can be challenging but so much fun to be able to create such wonderful family memories. Don’t apologize for enjoying all that yummy food and desserts, looks like the perfect setting to do so. That mango margarita does look especially refreshing. This post reminds me how sad I am that our local (Lincoln, Nebraska) Great Harvest closed this fall. We are missing their bread so much (trying to ration out the loaves remaining in the freezer)! I bake bread, but it just isn’t the same.


5 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 18, 2014 at 7:54 am

Haha you know at a convention for a company like Great Harvest there’s bound to be amazing food, especially when you throw fresh Florida produce into the mix! Looks delicious!


6 Jackie March 18, 2014 at 8:01 am

Mango margarita, helloooooo!


7 Livi March 18, 2014 at 8:24 am

I want a mango margarita!! Looks so refreshing and delicious!


8 Alan March 18, 2014 at 8:25 am

About 14 years ago, I stayed in a Hilton 2 hotels down the beach from the Marriott, and the Marriott was much nicer than the Hilton. Still looks like it. Have to say thank you for posting all these food pictures. I don’t know how it happened, but I think I just gained about 8 lbs just looking at all that goodness!! Thanks a LOT!!


9 Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} March 18, 2014 at 9:03 am

All the food looks amazing! The french toast looks awesome and I hope you recreate!


10 Jamie March 18, 2014 at 9:05 am

I live on Marco Island! Local businesses love when conventions are held at the Marriott because of all of the tourists that it brings to Marco, however it seems like the Marriott doesn’t let people off the property very often to dine elsewhere.
Glad you had a great time! I am fortunate to live on such a beautiful island.


11 Rebecca March 18, 2014 at 9:11 am

Your pictures are beautiful, everything looks absolutely delicious! Looks like you guys had a great weekend!!


12 [email protected] March 18, 2014 at 9:49 am

Oh my lord that is some GOOD food!!! Sandwiches and salads look great and all the mini desserts! The sit down meal looks the least interesting…love the quirkiness of the rest of it!


13 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio March 18, 2014 at 10:04 am

That french toast looks amazing!!


14 laura March 18, 2014 at 10:17 am

WOW that is some good looking food you enjoyed!!


15 Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog March 18, 2014 at 11:31 am

All of the food looks amazing – as I would expect from a bakery company. :) I didn’t realize Great Harvest was a franchise. All of the breads you feature on your blog always look delicious. I’m going to look and see if there is a Great Harvest near me.


16 Lauren March 18, 2014 at 12:36 pm

The food looks amazing, Kath!! Seems like you guys had a great time! I have a question though – you seem a little defensive in some of your commentary. For example, along with the pic of that amazing looking plate of french toast, you add several qualifiers, such as “yes I shared this with the boys” and “no I did not have lunch”. I’m just curious why you feel you need to defend yourself! Ain’t no shame in enjoying a nice plate of french toast every now and again – esp. for a new mom who would easily burn off those cals running after a toddler! 😉


17 KathEats March 18, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Just felt like a big weekend of eating to me!


18 Rebekah March 18, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Looks delicious, and the weather looks even better! Definitely ready for summer grilling…


19 simple green moms March 18, 2014 at 1:21 pm

When you recreat the margartia AND french toast recipes you must share with us of course 😉


20 Alex @ Kenzie Life March 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm

All of those pictures look beautiful and the food looks amazing! It’s cool to hear you spent some time with GH people from Colorado! I just moved to Boulder and have yet to visit that GH (I’ve been to the Lakewood one) but I will soon!


21 Elyse March 18, 2014 at 1:46 pm

The food looked delish, but the weather looked even better(says the cold Canadian)!


22 Amelia @ Eating Made Easy March 18, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Every morsel of that weekend looked amazing!!


23 Emily March 18, 2014 at 7:49 pm

yum yum yum!


24 Emily @ It Comes Naturally Blog March 19, 2014 at 4:34 am

I am intrigued by the plantain crusted grouper…how do you crust with plaintain? I’m going to have to Google that one!


25 KathEats March 19, 2014 at 6:13 am

Not sure how this one was made but you could crush dried plantain and dredge in egg first?


26 Jeri March 19, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Welp, Mazen… if you gave the approval, I am now on the hunt for baby zucchini to roast.


27 Katie March 20, 2014 at 8:38 am

They have baby zucchini at Trader Joe’s.


28 Victoria March 20, 2014 at 9:26 am

Love <3 Marco Island and this post, Kath! The Marriott is so beautiful! Do you ever have a chance to try any of the local restaurants when traveling there?


29 KathEats March 20, 2014 at 9:45 am

Just the breakfast spot. We didnt have any more free days


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