Martha Stewart Bloggers’ Night Out

by Matt on August 8, 2010

Well hello there everyone! How’s your summer? I feel like I haven’t been around here too much and I’ve missed everyone. I’ve been busy with projects and can’t wait to update you on them. Soon enough!

This past week we took a quick break to head to New York.  It was a week of amazing meals, visits with old and new friends, meetings, more meetings, and parties. On Friday night we headed to a beautiful roof-top gathering overlooking the beautiful skyline of Manhattan at a party hosted by Ree Drummond. You may know her as The Pioneer Woman and she’s always as gorgeous, warm and sweet as you can imagine. Scratch that. TIMES A MILLION.  Thank you, Ree!

This past Thursday we had the pleasure of being invited to Martha Stewart’s Bloggers Night Out held at her office in the Starrett Lehigh building in Chelsea.  Before the big soiree a few of us were invited to come a bit early, tour the studios, visit with her wonderful editors, and even say hello to Martha herself.

As one of the charter members of Martha’s Circle there was no way I was going to miss this party.  I haven’t been to the MSLO offices since my appearance on her show back in 2008 and I really wanted to catch up with the folks that have done such a great job making us blogger types feel like part of the family.  We arrived and waited in the lobby and I caught up with some friends and made new ones.

Olga Masov (Sassy Radish), Jordan Ferney (Oh Happy Day), Alice Currah (Savory Sweet Life), Vané Broussard (Brooklyn Bride), Aran Goyoaga (Cannelle et Vanille), some short dude and then Mr. Adam Pearson. Photo by Patrick Butler.

One particular highlight? Meeting Aran of Canelle et Vanille. Just as gorgeous as I thought she’d be.  Next time I must spend more time with her, it went much too fast.

Finally meeting Aran! Finally!

We were given tours of the entire Martha Stewart Living offices but photography was strictly off limits. With pages and pages of future magazine spreads on the walls, proprietary Martha material was kept under wraps and covered by paper until publication. Luckily MSLO provided a photographer and videographer during the tour to capture the moments.

Why do I look so serious? Photo by Patrick Butler

Beautiful offices and open spaces occupy the main area of the offices along with editing suites and digital bays for television and web. From these offices all of the Martha Stewart publications are created – Martha Stewart Living, Everyday Food, Weddings, and Whole Living.  My mind is blown by the amount of creativity here, it’s unreal.

I spent some time in the test kitchens of Everyday Food when they were located on 42nd, but now that everything is consolidated under one roof I was excited to get sneak peaks into the kitchens of the various magazines.

One of the Martha Stewart test kitchens. Photo by Patrick Butler.

In the test kitchen the recipes are written, tested, created, retested, made for photography, and just about everything else that needs to be done with food. I can only imagine how efficient the testers are in these amazing spaces.

We were lucky enough to pop into the studio where Everyday Food is photographed.  Part photo studio, part office, part kitchen and prop room, it was a model of efficiency where we were able to chat with Anna Last, the editor of Everyday Food. She answered questions about the publication’s production schedule while we fawned over all the props and surfaces in the studio. Photo assistants and a digital tech were working on computers and I am sorry if we distracted anyone with our endless questions. And after the tour Adam and I had the pleasure of chatting with Vanessa Holden, Editor in Chief of Martha Stewart Living, and to say this was the highlight of my night would be an understatement! VANESSA ROCKS.

I'm pretty sure Anna Last wants me to stop asking so many questions. Photo by Patrick Butler.

The party was originally planned for the building’s rooftop but windy conditions and blazing heat moved the party inside to the main photo studio. Which was fine with me because a) I didn’t want to be schvitzing and b) hello? In a photo studio? A Martha photo studio? Really.

Party in the photo studio woot woot! Look at those windows.

This is Eliad Laskin. He’s Martha’s right hand blog man and Director of Social Media Content for MSLO.  It’s always nice to see him.

Eliad Laskin

These are FIERCE SHOES as worn by Alexis Stewart, Martha’s daughter. Please don’t send me creepy email about photographing her backside, I couldn’t help it. THE SHOES WERE GORGEOUS.

People were playing ping pong as I had cocktails. Can you believe those windows? This is the photo studio, after all. My heart be still.

Martha provided most of the food and it came straight from the pages of her magazine. I was a very bad and drunk blogger (those cocktails were AMAZING) who did not take as many food photos as he should have. Will you ever forgive me?

I did manage to snap some shots of the view from the offices. Absolutely amazing.

The following shots will most likely get me kicked out of Martha’s Circle, never to be invited back to the offices. But you can’t really put me near props or a photo studio without snapping away, can you? You can’t.  It’s impossible. Martha did call me a troublemaker, after all.

That's right. Martha's Prop Room. Represent.

This is the view of the prop room. Everything is catalogued, inventoried and recorded. It’s a model of efficiency.

Wall surfaces, frames, doors, foam core, surfaces and tiles are kept neatly stacked outside of the studio. I wish I was this organized.

These images are strictly for photo set nerds, I realize.

Towards the end of the party I met Dawn Casale of Brookyn’s One Girl Cookies. I had no shame in reaching for multiple whoopee pies and cupcakes from her Bakery and I was so touched when she actually recognized me! I was kind of hoping she wouldn’t know who I was because it would have been easier to load up on her amazing treats without embarrassment. How I wish she was on the West Coast.

It was an amazing party and on a serious note I really do want to thank Martha Stewart for being open to the whole world of blogging and inviting all of us to see what she does in a very intimate setting. Special thanks to Gail Horwood, Mark Ganem, Eliad Laskin, Lucinda Scala Quinn, Anna Last, Vanessa Holden and every other amazing editor at MSLO.

Self-portrait taken with my G-11 that I'm still trying to figure out but I do love that little camera!

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Bridget Davis August 8, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Thank you for sharing this darling!!

What a magnificent and surreal day you experienced with the ‘behind the scenes’ tour. What specific part of the day made you say WOW?

Thank you,
Bridget (The Internet Chef)

Liska August 9, 2010 at 4:19 am

Matt, thank you for this gorgeous post! I wish I could work there, oh my!

Nicole Franzen August 9, 2010 at 5:43 am

so amazing, jealous jealous jealous. I would die to be a part of her company :)

radish August 9, 2010 at 6:16 am

Matt, it was so nice to finally meet you and Adam! I hope you guys had a blast in NYC!

Doniree August 9, 2010 at 7:32 am

Matt, your photos look AMAZING! Looks like you’re having a delicious time in NYC :)

Kate Bacon August 9, 2010 at 11:00 am

I know this is completely irrelevant to your post…but what fab tats you guys have :-)

Cannelle Et Vanille August 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm

oh matt, it was so wonderful to finally meet adam and you. hopefully we will get together again soon. have fun in BCN! oh and yes, alexis shoes were fabulous!

kelley burrus August 9, 2010 at 2:37 pm

I love, love, love the contraband photos. Thanks!

art and lemons August 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm

So jealous and thankful you got the behind the scenes tour office tour! Now I can stop wondering what was behind those partitions…

Beki - TheRustedChain August 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Blonde in the middle in the top pic – that’s me. :)

This is the first photo I’ve seen of myself since the event! Such a great time.
I was way too scared to take pictures during the tour but sure wanted to!

Kelly Stone August 9, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Thank you so much for posting those fabulous photos from food, windows to shoes.

Gaby August 9, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Wish I could have been with you in NYC!!! It looks AH-MAZING!!!! And those heels are something fierce… I want them immediately :)

Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf August 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm

can you just imagine getting locked in that prop room overnight ? par-tay !!! i know those rockin’ heels are going to get some serious attention here in the comments, but um, i sorta have my eyes more on the whoopie pies and cupcakes. (at least they wouldn’t make me fall over. well, unless i ate a few too many, that is). thanks for sharing the vip snapshots here, bet it was a blast.

kalanicut August 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm

So glad to see what I was following via Twitter Friday night in photos with all the scoop. Thanks for putting this together so quickly and with such fun details. That view is to D-I-E for!

Robyn August 9, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Hey Matt ~
It was wonderful to meet you Thursday night and then see you again at the party on Friday! I’m shocked I was even able to introduce myself I was so in awe of actually getting to see you!

And you are right, Alexis Stewart knows how to rock the shoes! They were gorgeous!

Looking forward to seeing you again.


Sarka August 10, 2010 at 4:30 am

Wow, the studio and prop room! Food blogger heaven indeed! Thank you for sharing the behind the scene photos with us! Fabulous!!

Brooke@foodwoolf August 10, 2010 at 8:00 am

Matt, Thanks for being the intrepid blogger and sharing your insider photos and stories. What an incredible event. I think I might have had a minor heart attack if I had been invited. Martha? Prop room? Back stage pass? HELLO! Thanks for sharing all your secret shots, too. That prop room makes me gasp with delight! xoxoxo

Gabriela August 10, 2010 at 1:34 pm

My dream job of either being or working for Martha Stewart has once again been reinforced (yep, I’ve wanted to be Martha since I was about 13 years old). Thanks for this great post Matt. I hope I have an opportunity to visit her studios one day. I pine everytime I stroll by them!

Laura Lohr | My Beautiful Life August 10, 2010 at 10:36 pm

I love your recap! I went to the event, but I didn’t get the Martha’s Circle tour. You are so lucky!

MrJackhonky August 11, 2010 at 12:49 am

My heart started beating a little bit faster at the photos of the prop room. That’s sad. But WOW. SO amazing. I’d want to play in there for DAYS/WEEKS/MONTHS….

I’m envious and jealous you were got the behind the scenes tour! AWESOMENESS.

Thanks for sharing!

fragolina August 11, 2010 at 2:29 am

What a wonderful gathering, amazing people. I would LOVE to be around in such photo studio and test kitchens and meet all these lovely foodies. Thank you for sharing Matt.

the Success Ladder August 12, 2010 at 2:38 am

Great article, thanks for sharing this. I have subscribed to your RSS feed and am looking forward to reading more from you.
Keep up the good work and don’t stop posting please.

Inspired2cook August 12, 2010 at 7:54 am

Wow…what an awesome evening! Thanks for sharing the photos & details about the night!!!

The Teacher Cooks August 12, 2010 at 2:53 pm

What a great party! Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

Grace August 13, 2010 at 9:19 pm

What a treat! I would love to attend an event like that. I’m glad you shared it with us!

Lisa (AuthenticSuburbanGourmet) August 14, 2010 at 8:35 am

Thank you for sharing the behind the scenes event highlights! What a special event for everyone to attend. Martha is such an iconic individual and how lucky that you were able to enjoy such a wonderful event.

The Bitch Stopped Cooking August 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm

This is so cool! Glad you enjoyed it!

Cooking in Mexico August 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Wow, Matt! In a little, tiny way, I feel like we were able to go to the party with you. Thank you for the pics and the details. It’s just as well I wasn’t invited — I could never wear torture heels like the ones at the party. :)


Sara August 14, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I agree with Kathleen…just by looking at the great pics I felt like I was participating to the party, even my feet, which felt a bit sorry for Alexis Stewart’s feet . Man, I envy women who can wear those high heel shoes :)

Miri August 16, 2010 at 11:03 am

Oh it looks like you had so much fun! I love the prop room… and Alexis’ fabulous shoes!

Jane Ridolfi August 16, 2010 at 11:05 am

Fabulous!…….which I had been in your back pocket! Best to you and Adam….

TJ August 17, 2010 at 9:19 am

What a great event. Would have been awesome to be there. Too bad photos were off limits at the Living offices. That would must have been neat to see.

Paula Walters August 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm

I don’t think I have ever seen such a large prop room so well organized…amazing. Thanks for sharing!
Yes, shoes are nice, but I can’t have enough plates in my closet!


sherri October 3, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience. I even feel intimidated and inferior reading about it from my living room. Seems like a wonderful experience. And I too would kill for a studio with windows and a view like that.

angie October 10, 2010 at 9:04 am

super cool post and insider peek into MS! thank you! *a

Ted December 1, 2010 at 12:49 am

Great post dude

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I love your recap! I went to the event, but I didn’t get the Martha’s Circle tour. You are so lucky!

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