Bits & Bites: Friday, March 13

by Matt on March 13, 2009

New and Improved, 10% Softer and Sweeter

bonapp1Last month in PDN Magazine, Bon Appetit’s Design Director Matthew Lenning said “I hate pretty food pictures.” I think that explains the past year’s visual jolt. Harsh, in-your-face, strobed-to-the-nth-degree, it was a radical departure from the previous look and feel and although visually arresting it became a huge turn-off to me. The food just didn’t look appetizing and hello, you’re a food magazine after all. After having received plenty of reader mail, I’m happy to see a softer side of the “new” Bon Appetit, slight edge maintained within the pages. Don’t get me wrong: I have friends that shoot for the new BA as well as friends at Cond√© Nast and I shall always be a loyal reader, but it was even a bit too much for me. Just being different for different’s sake isn’t always the smartest move, I think. Balance people, balance!


A New Site!
For the folks who know me and my significant other personally you’ll know that Adam prefers being away from any spotlight and camera lens. He’s insanely talented and really the perfect husband: if you need it he can do it. So he’ll have to forgive me for announcing to the world that he has a new web site, He’s an amazing food stylist and much of the food you see on mattbites is a collaborative effort (Obviously if it’s an ugly shot you can be sure I did it solo).¬† If you’re looking for a food (and prop!) stylist and are not intimidated by giant surly redheads covered in tattoos then he’s your guy. Children love him, actually. I do too!

What I’m Reading
booksI’m currently alternating between two books: Watching What We Eat: The Evolution of Television Cooking Shows by Kathleen Collins and The Foie Gras Wars by Mark Caro. It’s fascinating to see how food television programming has changed over the years and quite a refreshing look at what it says about us. As far as The Foie Gras War is concerned, I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut about this topic. I’m straddle the fence about it and it’s nice to read such a smart account on how foie gras became such a cultural food fight. I’m still undecided about it, though.

Photography Updates
3329156830_805245e578_oI was overwhelmed and joyed by the comments and emails about photography posts here on Mattbites. I’m working on some specific things to write about here but if you have anything you’d like me to cover specifically then feel free to email me! Coming up: Point and Shoots vs dSLRs, What Gear I Use (the refresher course), All About Light, and a few other things I’m working on for you.

Thanks to Elise from Simply Recipes for the photo of me. I’m missing you already, Elise!


I’ll Never Thing Of Avocados The Same Way Again
Earlier this week I toured an avocado grove just a few miles south of where I live. It was for an upcoming project I’m working on and perhaps some of the most beautiful land I’ve seen in Southern California. I’ve said it before here but it bears repeating: farmers and growers are a special bunch and deserve our respect. I work in my air-conditioned office and studio pushing pixels around all day while the true heroes bust their backs growing, tending and harvesting those tropical gems for us. If I haven’t said it enough, THANK YOU. You shall never ever hear me complain about the price of an avocado. Ever.