photo > Gabriel Goldberg
Inspirational. To me that’s the elemental word that describes art director/turned-photographer/turned-blogger Matt Armendariz, creator of the photo-driven blog Matt Bites. Finding Matt’s blog was a turning point for me—proof that you can take a left turn from your original destination and turn a passion into a career.
Migrating from a career as a successful art director and graphic designer, Matt switched career paths and delved headstrong into photography and now creates images for clients like Whole Foods Market, Fiji Water and Pom Wonderful. He’s also been seen in and contributed to Martha Stewart, Cooking Light and Time magazine among others.
Oh yeah, he’s cooked mano a mano with her…
And then of course, at the heart of his foodie empire, there is the blog. Matt Bites was one of the first food blogs I was really attracted to, thanks to Matt’s mad typography skills and creative and conceptual treatments with his photos. Ahhhh, the photos. Yes, I have a major crush on his sumptuous but simply styled photos that are often accented with just a touch of humor. Matt Bites is certainly not your average food blog. But then Matt isn’t your average food blogger.
Matt’s wit, graciousness and self effaced disposition is evident in every word and story he shares. His story telling and generous glimpses into his life and work makes each reader feel as if they could ring him up to meet for happy hour margaritas or shoot him an e-mail for suggestions on the best eats in Georgia. Or Los Angeles. Or Seoul, Korea. (Did I mention he’s also a well-traveled man?)
And now, after working on several cookbook ventures for others, Matt has plunged into the foray himself. Combining talents with husband–partner–and food stylist Adam Pearson, Matt has created the book Food on a Stick!, featuring recipes that are simple to prepare and easy to eat, perfect for noshing while balancing a beverage and mingling with your favorite friends or prepping for a playdate for a gaggle of 9-year-olds. Matt’s humor and playfulness shine through in concept, content and delivery, making Food on a Stick! a go-to appetizer resource for guests of all ages.
As always, we wanted to learn more about the man behind the lens. Thank you Matt for being our foodiecrush!
1. Describe your blog in 3 words:
Fun, irreverent, colorful. Three more words? Honest, scatterbrained, loving.
2. If you could be one food blogger other than yourself, who would you be?
David Lebovitz. I would get to eat pastries all day in Paris, walk the streets with a baguette in my arm and wear a beret. He’s going to kill me for saying all this.
3. Which 3 blogs do you follow/are obsessed with/can’t live a day without?
David Lebovitz – because David really lives life to the fullest and offers his take like no other. And even though he’s one of my best friends I’m still obsessed with his blog and his writing because he’s such a wonderful person.
A Photo Editor – I love that Rob keeps me updated with all things photography related. It’s like I get these little photo briefs every day and it keeps me in touch with my photographic side.
The Sartorialist – I love fashion, I love the interesting characters that show up on the pages of Sartorialist.
4. What is the one kitchen tool you could never give up?
A great knife. I can do just about anything. Oh, wait, I mean a bottle opener.
5. What dish are you obsessed with mastering that you just can’t get quite right?
Seafood Crustacean Oil Spaghetti with Sakura Ebi that I had in Singapore. I know I’ll never get it exactly the same but I’d be happy with a decent homemade version. Still can’t get it right.
6. What did you have for dinner last night?
Pizza Margherita done in a true Napoletana style from a pizzeria near my house.
7. What’s one secret talent outside of the kitchen nobody knows about you?
I play the piano.
8. You’re happiest when cooking/eating?
9. From your book, On a Stick!, you’ve skewered everything from spaghetti and meatballs to smores. So, what was the most surprising dish on a stick?
I can’t really pick one that was surprising, I think they’re all really flavorful. Chicken and Waffles on a stick is really super delicious, though.
10. The one secret ingredient to your success is:
To smile and be polite. It’s gotten me farther than you’d ever imagine.
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