Friday, April 17, 2009

The Times UK: Meet the food bloggers: Matt Bites

From Times Online

February 23, 2009

Meet the food bloggers: Matt Bites

Matt Armendariz spills the beans in Times Online's new series of exclusive weekly interviews with the world's leading bloggers

Nick Wyke

1. Blog: Matt Bites

What inspires you to write a food blog?

Food is a common element we all share. We all eat, we are all social creatures. Food unites us and makes us whole. I can't think of a better thing to write about!

What sort of posting (good or bad) really gets your readers excited?

My readers tend to love my behind-the-scenes posts and when I offer tips on food photography. A close second would be anything involving sweets. People love sugar and so do I.

Which cookbook can you not do without and which chef is your hero/heroine?

What a difficult question. It changes seasonally but a big favorite is The Santa Monica Farmer's Market Cookbook written by my friend Amelia Saltsman. It's the quintessential California guide to some stellar seasonal foods and it's far from fussy. Plus I'd be a fool if I didn't take advantage of my geographical bounty, you know?

Share a seasonal recipe with us... and a tip for a local restaurant?

I'm a huge fan of summer and its big, bold flavours that come together relatively easy.

Heirloom tomato cappellini

A favourite summer dish of mine involves heirloom tomatoes that get shredded roughly with the large holes of a box grater. After you have a pulpy start you add in more uniformly chopped heirloom tomatoes, some lemon juice, sea salt and a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Add this no-cook tomato sauce to a cappellini or angel hair pasta and top with pecorino or parmesan and lemon zest. Quite simply the easiest dish you could ever make and all you have to do is boil water.

As far as a tip for a local restaurant I'd say just treat your customers with warmth and respect and maintain the commitment to fresh, high quality ingredients and you can't go wrong.

Tell us something about food from your part of the world?

I live in California, the world's fifth largest supplier of food and agricultural commodities. It's the land of fruits and vegetables, milk and cream and tons of wine. Because all this is in our backyard the food tends to be some of the best and, believe me, not a day goes by that I don't appreciate how lucky I am to be here.

California is also a big melting pot of cultures and the food reflects this. Add to the mix growers and farmers of every background - Japanese, Mexican, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese - and you'll see how almost every flavour is represented.

What would you eat for your last supper?

It'd be my mom's cooking for sure. Anything Mexican, anything I grew up eating.

Which other food blogs do you read regularly?

David Lebovitz, Chubby Hubby, Nordijus, Eggbeater, Homesick Texan, Foodwoolf, Guilty Carnivore, Traveler's Lunchbox, I could go on and on and on and it's so hard to select just a few of my favorites.

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