Sites We Love: Gastronomista
Gorgeous photos? Check. Engaging writing? Check. Seriously inspiring recipes, tips, and culinary curiosity? Check, check, and check. The best food blogs all seem to have a lot in common — but what separates them out are the strong personalities behind them. In our Sites We Love series, we sit down with some of our favorite bloggers to find out how they do it — and why it's as much fun for them as it is for us.
Enlarge Image Credit: Emily Arden WellsToday's site we love is Gastronomista, where Emily Arden Wells—under the pen name Miss Emma Emerson—pays tribute to the myriad forms in which food serves as inspiration in the creative arts. With medidations on photography, literature, music, and design, Gastronomista turns food into a lens through which to consider the rest of the world. Here's what Emily has to say about her site:
Live since: 2009
Posting rate: 1–2 times a week
Geographic location: New York, NY
Why is the site called Gastronomista? In 2005 there was an article by Christine Muhlke in The New York Times, coining the term Gastronomista. We instantly fell in love with the word. It's chic, food centric, with a bit of glamour. My partner at the time, Jennifer Pelka, bought the url that day, and we sat on it until 2009 when we had the time to design it.
Gastronomista / (gas trän ome sta) / n. / a savvy woman who turns blogging about what she ate last night into a mini-industry.
Credit: Emily Arden Wells
What's your favorite post? Now there's a difficult question. I love all the posts! They've all been carefully considered and curated, so it's really tough to pick one. So I'll opt for a few. Ira Glass and the Quirky Personality of Chickens, stories from Gordon Matta-Clark's restaurant commune Food from the early 1970s, the erotic poem I Wish I Was a Doughnut, and My Milkshake Bringeth—a medieval take on Kelis' hit song. My absolute favorite is our first post, They're Eating a Cupcake, I Think, featuring the dreamy (nude) photography of Lynn Bianchi who photographs real women eating real food. It has set the tone for the entire blog.
What's something great that you've learned or that's happened to you since starting your blog? I've met some fascinating people in the industry, and I've been amazed how many doors the site has opened for myself and everyone who has contributed. Two highlights that come to mind were being in the Blackberry Do What You Love commercial in the winter of 2011, and being in the September issue of Glamour Magazine for their How To Do Anything Better guide. They were a lot of fun!
We've also done a few food related installations—the first was a piece we did for Something I Ate, for which we made a giant #sweet out of handmade boozy lollipops for guests to eat during the gallery exhibition. That project was extremely exciting and inspiring, and I hope to have more opportunities like it in the future.
Credit: Emily Arden Wells
What are your favorite ingredients and tools? My Cocktail Shaker! My bar is slowly growing, thanks to my grandmother. She recently gave me a good portion of her party equipage—a silver punch bowl with a set of matching silver cups, a handsome silver and glass martini pitcher, her crystal cocktail shaker, and her Spanish silver champagne and wine goblets. I'm always so thrilled when I pull them out to entertain, I love to share them with my guests. Family heirlooms are really special.
As for favorite ingredients, I love pink peppercorn cracked over savory dishes or boiled into syrups for cocktails. I'm also obsessed with ghost pepper salt, we put it on everything—edamame, pasta, and it makes a fantastic rim to a Michelada. I love fresh fruit and vegetables, garlic, ginger, butter, dry aged steaks, and spices I sneak back from foreign countries (Persian saffron!). I have a special place in my heart for Concord grapes, and picking berries from the garden. I'm ashamed to admit that my favorite spice is spike—a critical ingredient in the first dish I learned to cook, Bridget's Chicken, which calls for soy sauce, spike, garlic salt, and fines herbs. It's very easy, and shockingly delicious.
What are your favorite food and cooking resources? The internet! There are so many resources for recipes with all of the incredible websites and blogs out there. Its so much fun to stumble upon a recipe and make it right away. I have quite a few gorgeous cookbooks (Modernist Cuisine, to name an epic one), but the internet always wins.
I love thrifting for antique entertaining items, ebay and Etsy are my go-to resources. I love Williams-Sonoma, where I always find a million things I want and don't have space for. But if anyone wants to give me a Copper Kitchen Aid, I will gladly make room for it.
Credit: Zachary Stevens
Where else can we find your work? I have been doing a bit of writing for Gilt Taste, developing a cocktail column for them. You can also find some of my writing on The Huffington Post. By day I'm an architect, and I work for Adjaye Associates, New York.
What food blogs do you follow? I love Eater, Tasting Table, Food Republic, and the Heritage Radio Network. There's a French blog called Griottes, which has the most lovely food styling. Whenever I visit Emilie's site I'm so inspired and humbled, she's got great vision and a lot of creativity. I also read quite a few design blogs—Dezeen, Yatzer, The Selby, Sartorialist, and of course, Notcot. But of them all, I lose the most time to Pinterest. I'm into aggregators, I guess you could say.
Do you know a blog or blogger who deserves to be featured in this space? Email a nomination — including a link to the site and a few sentences on why they're worthy of love — to firstname.lastname@example.org.