A little over a year ago, we were guest speakers and presents at a unique little blogger retreat called The Big Potluck. Tucked away in Temecula, California, it was one of those weekends where you leave so inspired by other people's creativity that you're practically levitating for a week after. One the bloggers that we met while there is Brandon Matzek, the man behind Kitchen Konfidence. Whether you're a foodie or not, it doesn't take much perusing through Brandon's blog or Instagram to figure out that he's a talented cook and mixologist, a wonderful writer, and an understated artist.
We get to see him in about two weeks during our book signing blitz in San Diego, right after he returns from Tuscany (jealous much?). Can't wait to virtually follow along on that trip.
Last week we asked Brandon a few questions to share with our readers, and here's what he had to say:
This Girl: When did you discover that you had a talent for cooking and making drinks?
Brandon Matzek: I've always been food-obsessed, but I didn't truly realize my cooking and cocktail-making skills until 2008. At the time, I moved into a house with 3 other roommates, and they all loved having big dinners together. They also loved throwing parties! As the months rolled on, I quickly cooked through all the dishes in my comfort zone, and started testing out new recipes, ingredients and techniques. This exploration really sparked a passion in my life that eventually lead to me launching Kitchen Konfidence! The frequent house and dinner parties were also good practice for cocktail-making. Each party I threw had to have a signature cocktail!
This Girl: Your photos are gorgeous. Did you have any formal training?
Brandon: Thank you!! I am mainly a self-taught photographer; however, I did take a 1-day course with Matt Armendariz back in 2011.
This Girl: What inspired you to create Kitchen Konfidence?
Brandon: In 2009, I purchased my first DSLR camera. I started taking photos of raw ingredients - strawberries, leeks, asparagus, basil. I just loved the look of these photos, and so I started taking more photos of food - ingredients, process shots, final plates of food. My photos were getting really good feedback on Facebook and Twitter, and people were asking me for the recipes. In 2010, I decided to combine my passions for food and photography in a food blog called Kitchen Konfidence.
This Girl: What's special about being a foodie in San Diego?
Brandon: A couple of things! First, we're so close to Mexico, so the Mexican food here is craaaaaaazy delicious. Carne asada chips are my favorite guilty pleasure. Also, it's an easy 20 minute drive down to Tijuana where the Baja food scene is really having a moment.
This Girl: What was the first drink you ever ordered, and what's your go to these days?
Brandon: The first alcoholic beverage I ever ordered was a beer in Germany. I was 16 at the time, living in Bad Reichenhall, Bavaria, and knew absolutely nothing about beer (my parents aren't drinkers). I also didn't like the fact that all the beverages I had ordered thus far at restaurants were served room temperature (soda, water, etc.). So when it came time to order a beer, I was cringing at the thought of drinking a room temperature beer, and I ordered Ein Bier mit Eis! (one beer with ice) The table broke out in a riot of laughter, and I even remember the waiter chuckling. I've learned a thing or two since then. Now I really enjoy a good Old Fashioned or I'll order any specialty cocktail that peaks my interest.
This Girl: What comes first...the idea for the blog post of the plate of food?
Brandon: I always start with the recipe.