macarons & cappuccino at La Balance.  © 2013 debora smail

Today I received an email from Jen Pelka , Tumblr’s Food & Drinks Evangelist, stating that her last day is this Thursday. She will moving to the West Coast to head up marketing at Open Table.

Jen, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such an instrumental player in the turbo boost of my culinary photography career.

You and the fine folks at Tumblr have made my 2013 spectacular!

Good luck to you & your Beau with the opening of his Greek restaurant Souvla in beautiful San Francisco.

Please, don’t be a stranger!


Last month, accomplished chefs and winemakers from around the world gathered in Aspen, Colorado for the 30th annual Food & Wine Classic. If your invite was “lost in the mail,” you can still relive the event on the Food & Wine blog.

Four amazing photographers from the Tumblr community, Noah KalinaAlice GaoChris Ozer and Nicole Franzen, were given unprecedented access behind the scenes to document the event from their own unique point of view. From candid portraits of celebrity chefs to sweeping vistas of the Rocky Mountains, and even some F&W Classic street style (or is it tent style?), the images they shared create a completely immersive experience that goes far beyond the customary #food porn.

While the bloggers were encouraged to share photos with their followers by reblogging, Food & Wine also ran a paid campaign using creative from Alice Gao to increase engagement and awareness across the network.

Together, the Tumblr bloggers helped F&W craft an all-encompassing narrative so the event would appeal to a wider-range of Tumblr users, including fashion, interiors, and landscape photography fans. Through their photos, you can enjoy the natural beauty and the human charm of the Classic, even if you didn’t get to taste the food.

 - Jen “accepting leftovers” Pelka - Food & Drink Evangelist

Photo Credits (clockwise from Top Left): Jen Pelka x 2Chris OzerAlice GaoNicole Franzen, Alice Gao.

So….this happened!

I want to personally thank Jen Pelka, Tumblr's Food & Drink Editor.
Going from 600 followers to 23,000+ followers is beyond my comprehension, but so very exciting!  Feeling overwhelmingly inspired to step my game up!

Big thanks to Culturemap's Jodie Eisenhardt & Hilary Rosenstein of Stevens Group, AND an enormous thanks to all the passionate culinary professionals that I am so fortunate to help tell their stories.


Helen and I straight up stole this recipe from ABC Kitchen, where Dan Kluger marinates and roasts his carrots in a zippy pop of orange, lemon, thyme, garlic, red pepper flakes and a generous dusting of cumin. It’s all served up with avocado, a handful of pea shoots or sprouts, a few hits of creme fraiche and a shower of sesame and sunflower seeds. Yum. It’s so very springy.

The full recipe is available here from Food 52.


What to See in San Francisco: True Sake at 560 Hayes in Hayes Valley

I fell in love with the legend of sake when I learned about one particular version of the rice wine made with natural fermentation in an igloo. (What!? I know!)  Sake is not the stuff of sake bombs. The best should be served chilled, and definitely not dropped into a Bud Light after a night of all-you-can-eat sushi buffet (college! ugh!).

When I happened on True Sake this afternoon, all I could think is that this store is a *magical* discovery. The first sake store in America, True Sake showcases every kind of sake — from premium large format bottles (for when you feel like it’s time to get over that Ace of Spades habit) to boxed sake (perfect for a picnic) and single-serving cans covered cartoons (for kids, or at least the kid in you).

True Sake is about to celebrate it’s tenth anniversary, and we would LOVE to see them on tumblr, teaching us a thing-or-two about sake. We need your wisdom! We need more sake in our lives!