When did you know that you wanted to work in food?
For me, the photographer part came first, and then the realization of the food part followed along later. I grew up in a very garden-centric, bread baking type of family and always knew I was lucky to have had that upbringing. As for the photography, I knew that was what I wanted to be since I was a teeny little kid (I was always inspired by my dad, who shot professionally back in the day). I used to get in trouble all the time for sneaking off with my parents 35mm and shooting roll after roll of our family's cat.
So, I studied fine art photography at Bennington College, and moved to New York afterwards. I had always had summer jobs in restaurants growing up, so when the photo thing was going slow, I got a job part time in a restaurant down in the West Village. To say I got swept up in the whole food scene of NYC would be an understatement. I fell in love with the rhythm, the regulars, hospitality, the hard work, the late nights; it opened my eyes to the power of a true neighborhood restaurant. I started shooting food at home and in any restaurant that would let me, and soon people started noticing. Eventually they even started hiring me!
How did you get your current good food job?
I saw a listing on GFJ for Sweets and Bitters (a seasonal mini cookbook), and met with founder Hannah Kirshner. We just hit it off - Hannah was used to explaining every detail and for some reason, I understood her goal and aesthetics very easily. Within two weeks, I'd shot my first story for them. Two days after our first shoot, they called me again, asking if I could shoot a second story for them. I was totally flattered. (Also, it was a taco and margarita party, so I was all over that!) I ended up shooting 2 out of the 4 stories that made up their second volume, Corner Store Entertaining. For the next volume, I shot two more stories.
What was the greatest obstacle you had to overcome in pursuing your Good Food Job dream?
What can you identify as the greatest opportunities in food right now?