Giveaways, Updates, Fun Stuff!

I went to Avery Island, Louisiana. More on that shortly!

Well it just feels as if I haven’t blogged a darn thing lately! Please excuse my tardiness. There have been many things to do, places to go, and photos to snap that have all kept me away. But with things like Twitter and Facebook I suppose I’m never really away, am I? At any rate, this is one of those posts that lump a bunch of stuff together and I guarantee by the end of it you’ll be sick of me.

But please pay attention. Please. There are some nifty things happening in this here post and you might be able to win stuff. Keep reading.

So long, farewell…

Folks, can I just tell you how wonderful it’s been being a Spice Islands Flavor Explorer? My stint is almost up (rumor has it that a pretty fantastic guy is taking over the reins) but I just wanted to take a moment to say how I’ve had so much fun in the kitchen with Spice Islands over the past 3 months. It’s been a pleasure dreaming up recipes using their high quality spices but perhaps my favorite moments have been using their all natural Vanilla Extract. While many other brands add corn syrup, Spice Islands vanilla beans from Madagascar are carefully processed, resulting in an extract that doesn’t need anything but vanilla. Seriously though, try it and taste it for yourself.

But just as important as the flavor are the people at Spice Islands. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and it’s been an honor to meet such dedicated people behind the brand. Sometimes I wish everyone could get to know them!

As a quick farewell, I’ll be giving away five Spice Islands samplers, filled with a few of my favorite spices in a beautiful lil Trunk. Check out all this spicy goodness:

Spice Islands pure vanilla extract
Spice Islands ground cardamom
Spice Islands Chinese five spice
Spice Islands smoked paprika
Spice Islands Telicherry black peppercorn
Spice Islands sea salt

From the Martha Stewart show. How cute is that?


I really want you to get in your kitchen and try these spices (if you haven’t already!) so leave a comment below to win. I’ll randomly select 5 folks from the comments section and while you’re always free to leave comments please note that a) I’ll be picking a winner on Friday, March 11th and b) you must live in the United States. There you have it!


I’m on Food(ography) with Mo Rocca, March 20th on the Cooking Channel at 9pm EST.

You might remember a post I wrote about taping a segment for an upcoming show. I can now tell you the show was Cooking Channel’s own Food(ography) and it will air Sunday, March 20th at 9pm EST. Some of you may now that I’m a regular contributor to Cooking Channel’s Devour The Blog but this segment was all about blogging, photographing and styling food. I’ve been told it’s a good segment but I have no idea how fat my head and giant cheeks will look on camera or how I’ll sound like Minnie Mouse when I speak. I’m a bit scared to see it.


Speaking at SXSW

Will you be in Austin next week for South By Southwest? I hope so. I’ll be speaking on a panel this Monday, March 14th titled “The Moguls Of Food Porn”. I’ll be joining a few others discussing food and photos and it promises to be thrilling. The darling Addie Broyles has written a great round-up of food things happening during SXSW and if you want to read more about my panel please check it out here. I hope by the time you click this my photo will have been added. I’ve been a very very very bad panelist and only uploaded my photo recently, shame on me.


Appetites for the Ipad

I wanted to update this section about the app that I worked on called Appetites because I wanted to share with you all that it was named App of the Week by Apple! How’s that? I happen to think it’s pretty damn phenomenal.

Let me tell you a little bit more about Appetites. Some of my favorite food bloggers, myself included, are in this app, Gaby (What’s Gaby Cooking), Nick & Blake (The Paupered Chef), Stephanie Hau (Like My Spoon), Adrianna and Caroline (A Cozy Kitchen) and Gabi (BrokeAss Gourmet). We all shared some of our favorite recipes with you!

What’s great about this app is that I believe that Appetites is about learning to cook and taking away the intimidation from getting in the kitchen. What also got me excited about the project was that I would get to teach some of my most loved dishes in a brand new format. And trust me, you can make them too.

In January, Appetites was the only app to win a Best of Show award at Macworld.

Appetites is filmed from the chef’s perspective so you can cook right along with us in the kitchen! Each recipe is broken down step-by-step which makes it easy to follow.

Here’s my video:

And here are some of my recipes you’ll find in Appetites:

Spicy Black Bean Chipotle Dip –

Tortilla Soup –

Vegetable Crumble –

Fromage Fort –

Agua Fresca –

Cemita –

Appetites is now available on iPad and coming soon for the iPhone. I hope you’ll check it out – and on the App Store at

Enjoy it!


  1. Simon Ignatowski says

    I’d love a chance to get to try out these spices, and the case looks nifty too!

  2. Pamela Sue says

    Wow, what a great give away, I would really enjoy the chance to try some of these spices….and the trunk is beautiful. Thanks for thinking of your blog friends with this great gift!

  3. Amy says

    Matt, I love the photos and videos that show a little bit of your studio and how you work. So interesting for a home cook!

    Oh! And I, too, would love a chance to win the spices.

  4. kayshin says

    ahhhh did you already pick a person for the spice cabinet? well, i’ll toss in my comment anyway. congrats on all the new events/opportunities!

  5. Ande says

    Very cool giveaway! Thanks for offering it. Crossing my fingers – it would be great to try their vanilla.

  6. Johnny says

    Ohhh ohhhh ohhhh me me me! My spices are seriously like 10 years old, came in a spice rack from a garage sale…..I might be poisoning my friends and family.
    Love your Blog!

  7. says

    Oh My! I hope I’m not “…Tardy for the Party” It’s 6:35PM (PST) on March 11th :) Would love for you to come to New York so we can Spice things up. We can be Bougie and hang at my apartment on the Upper West Side or we can keep it real and go to the apartment where I grew up in the South Bronx. Come on Matt, heck if you can Spice it up here, you can Spice it up anywhere

  8. says

    ok, matt, ignore my last comment. I truly just made up my own contest scenario. As I was signing on to your web site I thought to myself, “How cool would it be to have Matt teach me how to cook something”, then I saw the contest, spices, must live in US and I guess my brain just said OMG! I can win Matt coming to teach me how to cook with the spices :) I’m a hot mess. Love your blog and would love to win the spices. keep up the good work