I’ve always been a fan of good food. My parents were what you might call “foodies” before that cloying term had ever been coined. Growing up, on special occasions I had the good fortune to become familiar with some of the highlights of East Bay eating, such as Baywolf, and my perennial favorite, Lalimes. I thought I knew a thing or two about food. And then it happened. Two books caused a minor revolution in my entire perspective on food – from pitchfork to dinner fork. I lay the blame entirely between the opening exploits of Kitchen Confidential to the final conclusions of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. From Anthony Bourdain’s amplified depiction of the steamy underbelly of high pressure kitchens and the renegade chefs that reign there to Michael Pollan’s broad appeal to consider the environmental, political and economical impact of every food decision we make, I have experienced food in a more immediate and vital way than I ever had before.
Santa Fe, like my native San Francisco, is one of those towns that lures pilgrims from distant states. Most people you meet here aren’t from here, and the most common conversational icebreaker is the ever-useful, “so what brought you to Santa Fe”? I’m surprisingly flummoxed by the question, because rather than having a pat answer, I have a stammering tendency to use that polite smalltalk placeholder as an opportunity to really get at the meat of the question, because the real answer is that whatever brought me here doesn’t have all that much to do with why I’m still here, and still happy here. And the reasons I’m happy here tend to shift and re-settle as I explore more.
Looking over the body of work here in Eat, Drink, Grow Santa Fe, I can see one of the answers to that prodding question about being here. During the time that I was having my own food “awakening” – discovering the divine nature of the shallot, and learning what “local, sustainable food” means, I happened to have moved to a smallish city that is positively buzzing with supremely accomplished chefs and dedicated local farmers. I live down the road from two organic farms, I’ve now known many of the farmers I see weekly at the farmer’s market for years, and I live in town that some say has more restaurants per capita than any other US city. And I began photographing the food of Santa Fe for local magazines. That’s a recipe for really living with food.
On assignment for Local Flavor, New Mexico Magazine, The Santa Fean and Trend Magazine, I’ve had access to many of the kitchens and furrows, chefs and growers, that comprise the food world of Santa Fe and beyond. I’m grateful for that access, and always looking forward to the next opportunity to meet and shoot the people and places that keep this community thriving. Eat, Drink, Grow Santa Fe is meant both as a showcase for the work I’ve shot on assignment, and as a celebratory contribution back to the food community here. I love being part of this world, and I hope that comes through in each frame.
All images on the site are available for licensing. Please contact me if you are interested in licensing.