Best. Year. Ever.

by Matt on December 18, 2007

Card

Note: It must be the the time of year — this
blog has been light on the food and heavy on the reflection. Please
bear with me as I’ll be back to food in the new year!

How many people can say their dreams come true on a daily basis? I think I can.

With
just a scant amount of time left in 2007 I wanted to take a moment and
offer gratitude to each of you. This year has simply been one of the
most amazing years of my life and I must pause to say thank you.

I
do hope you’re not sick of me giving thanks; it’s something I learned
to do early on and an act I take to heart. Without thanking the powers
that be – including my friends, family and readers – I don’t think I’d
be able to appreciate all of life’s riches and experiences that are
before me. My heart is so full with dreams realized and happiness and
love and I owe every single bit of it to those all around me.

Personally,
this year began with an amazing repeat visit to Argentina with my
partner Adam and good friends Dana and Jason. Connecting with people
and sharing experiences with others a world away makes me a happier
person, and meeting everyone along that journey puts a smile on my face
as I type this. I love meat. I adore the open spirit and generosity of the folks in
South America and cannot wait to return. I’m also thankful to have
connected with so many people on the east coast this year through a few
trips to New York City.  First, my friend Alex has inspired me in way
he probably has no idea, and I’m glad to call him a friend. His sister?
Divine. And the amazing cast of characters that have welcomed me with
open arms and offered me a roof over my head: thank you. Mom, Dad,
Angela, Lori, Jim, DJ, Owen, Zoe, Joab, Lia — gracias.

Professionally,
well, back to that dreams coming true part. More happened for me
professionally in this year alone than I can even begin to comprehend.
First, I thank David for allowing me to be a charter member of the
Aperture Professional Users Group, putting me in the company of some
amazing photographers. And if you don’t use Aperture, well, get on
that, seriously!  I want to thank Martha & Meredith at Whole Foods
for asking me to teach a sold-out class and to everyone who attended it
in New York, and I want to thank Marisa at Gourmet Magazine for being a
friend. And since I’m on the Conde Nast tip, I want to thank rhe folks
at Bon Appetit for their time back in September. David Lebovitz, the
judge called. To Mario, un abrazo! To Jeff Kauck in Chicago, you are an
inspiration. A big giant thanks to Gabriel (you know why) and to Ellen
at Jupiter Images/ Foodpix for welcoming me into their world and
believing my work is good enough. To Jon & Denise & Cindie, a
million thanks and working on a book with you was amazing. To all my
fellow bloggers, Serious Eats and Culinate — I can’t thank you enough.
And to the folks who took a chance on a new photographer (or an old
designer, however you want to look at it) I am also deeply thankful for
the opportunities to work together. I never thought I’d be doing
something so challenging and rewarding and it fills me with such peace,
happiness and satisfaction.

And to my partner Adam? A more perfect man has never existed (ok, my
Dad, so Adam is #2).  I won’t get mushy here, let’s just leave it at
that. I could do nothing without him, plain and simple.

I sound like a damn broken record! Augh!

So what does 2008 hold?
Your guess is as good as mine.  There are some amazing projects coming
up and I’m being completely honest when I say I’m living the life of my
dreams and none of it would have ever happened without this silly lil
blog.

And I thank you.

Yes, you.

Everyone who’s stopped by, left a comment, sent an email, made me laugh and think — all this is for you.

I only hope I can give back as much as I felt I’ve taken.

Bless you all and I hope you have the best holiday ever! And 2008!

Oh, and try not to get too crunk with the New Year’s festivities, will ya?