Best. Dinner. Party. Ever.


On Saturday evening my better half and I went to a dinner party. Ok, I'm calling it a dinner party but it was probably the farthest thing from just a regular dinner party. Why? For starters, it:

  • Reaffirmed my belief that true food lovers — I mean, the ones who sleep and dream of food — are some of the nicest people ever.
  • Reminded me why I love blogging.
  • Made me realize my garden is pitiful, anemic and sad.
  • Proved to me that Vietnamese food is simply one of the world's best cuisines. As if I didn't know this already.
  • Made me realize that my "neighbors" Todd & Diane are freakin' amazing.

Billed as a blogging meet up, the dinner was hosted by Todd and Diane from the blog White On Rice couple. Now if you've been to these blog meet ups you'll eventually realize that we're not always the same in person as we are in pixel. I've met food bloggers who have painfully sat in the corner, never syncing up their true personality with the voices of their sites. And it confuses me.

That was far from the case Saturday night.

I cannot remember the last time I've been so enthralled, touched, tickled and satiated in a long time. I also cannot remember if I've ever been handed a colander (along with every other guest!) and been assigned a section of the garden. We picked, foraged, clipped and snapped every imaginable herb, fruit and vegetable for dinner while our hosts put the finishing touches on main dishes. There was delicious wine, amazing cocktails, greasy oily hands ripping into jackfruit — and I could not have been happier.

I'm going to publicly admit it within the pages of this blog that I have hit that point in my life and career where I'm not longer with camera 24/7. There. I said it. When I'm not working the last thing I want to do is pick up my camera and lug it with me, and besides I actually kind of like my iphone camera. At any rate, I didn't get any pictures of this amazing event with the exception of that starter image of those amazing fish on the grill. Adam captured all the others you'll see below.

And I'm also one of the evening's eyeball eaters. Snicker all you want. It was delicious.

We spoke of food, studios, food photography, upcoming trips, new babies, the depth of Vietnamese food, Mozza, being newlyweds, where blogging has led us and connected us, and we exchanged gifts before pairing cheeses with tropical fruits. That was a first for me! It was simply one of the most amazing experiences I've had recently and perhaps if I'm a very very very good boy I will be invited back.

But you should really check out what Diane had to say about her own party. And you can also see who stopped by.

I'm sure I speak for everyone there when I say thank you not only for feeding our stomachs but also our souls. You guys are nothing short of amazing.



  1. says

    Wow! looks wonderful! love that you were required to forage :) Xcllnt job Todd & Diane! (Great blog, too)

    I agree with you on the drudgery of lugging the camera and have posted blogs with photos from my Palm Centro, inclucing Country Estate, which had several photos. It seems with a cell phone, you don’t have to think about it as much, you just snap the picture and hope for the best.

    Sometimes you have to step away from the lens and just enjoy life!

    Keeping Adam around as backup, would probably help out too ~ Fab shots, Adam!

  2. says

    Matt-It was such a pleasure to meet you the other night. You couldn’t have put it better. It was pure grace, that gathering and good eating, too. So many great minds.

    X, Leah

  3. Jonna says

    Hi Matt,
    I wanted to thank you personally for emailing me about a certain picture, that you requested I didn’t use, instead of posting a comment on my insignificant baking blog. I really do appreciate it. I was simply going to email you a Thank You, but I cannot link to your email for some reason. I just simply wanted to Thank You for that.
    I do enjoy your blog, and your beautiful pictures.

  4. says

    Danika and I too had an awesome time. It was great to meet you mate – you are seriously you guys are two of the nicest people we have ever met.

  5. says

    oh, it sounds like everyone had a blast! I was so psyched about going and meeting everyone :-\ I’m glad it was such a hit though… maybe Diane and Todd will be inspired to throw another one in the near future :)

  6. says

    Seriously, these two have the best dinner parties! I read about another “blog meet up” of theirs on someone else’s site and there was nothing but compliments and delicious food photos! I want to be invited to a blog meet up ! :)

  7. says

    I think it’s that magical garden of theirs, sprouting wonderful food and amazing people. It was truly a pleasure meeting you and Adam. What a sweetie of a husband! And you are my hero for eating the eyeballs.

  8. says

    What a blast! this looks/sounds amazing. it’s making me really crave the Vietnamese food I used to eat all the time in Philly. I have yet to find a good spot near me down here in San Clemente.

  9. says

    What a blast! this looks/sounds amazing. it’s making me really crave the Vietnamese food I used to eat all the time in Philly. I have yet to find a good spot near me down here in San Clemente.

  10. says

    What a blast! this looks/sounds amazing. it’s making me really crave the Vietnamese food I used to eat all the time in Philly. I have yet to find a good spot near me down here in San Clemente.

  11. says

    Wow–that looks super fun! And the food photos… mmm… yum yum yum! (from here and whiteonricecouple)

    I’ve often thought about trying to get [food]bloggers in my area together, but I’ve found only ONE non-food blogger locally, and she is VERY private and doesn’t want to meet. Boo! :( Crappy ole upstate NY!

  12. says

    Did you say your garden was “anemic”? Let WORC come to the garden rescue!! Let us host a “MattBites” garden rescue party and make your backyard a bountiful space. Remember, I’m really good at screaming at people to get the job done, remember? 😉 Before you know it, YOU will be the one be passing out colanders at your next partaaay!

    Both you and Adam and such precious people. We need more PP’s like you guys in the world. I know that everyone at the party, especially us, were thrilled to have you there to celebrate food, life and friends.

    Thank you so much for coming. It’s so great to have met you both.
    Big hugs and kiss to you,
    diane & todd

  13. says

    I’m inspired to arrange my own soiree for those of us far, far away in Northern California. Sounds like this was a lovely, delicious, and very satisfying event, in every way.

  14. says

    it was such a lovely setting (is “idyllic” the right word here?) out in the garden right at twilight, late summer warmth, drinking wine, softy sparkling conversation, grilling flatbreads…

    …and tearing into a whole grilled fish with bare hands :)

  15. says

    I’ve never been to a blog meet-up, but fear I would be the shy little devotchka sitting in the corner, with a busy camera smack in front of her face.

    Or, I may be the one attempting a succession of cartwheels. Totally dependent upon hours passed/wine consumed.

    Still, such fun. Looks like a great get-together.

  16. Stephanie says

    Is that you with a durian in the last photo? Did you eat it??? I’ve heard so many horrific stories about those stinky things.

    That being said, CONGRATULATIONS on the Martha show! When I heard you (and Deb, and a few of my other favorite bloggers) were going to be on it I was thrilled.

    From one food photog to another, massive, massive props.

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