Chances are, if you're here reading Bay Area Bites, you probably read other food blogs, too. From blogs that focus on just one meal a day, to photographers shooting with film, to writers telling stories of people that produce the food you're eating--here are a few food blogs that are not only beautifully photographed but are innovative in the way they approach content.
Sprouted Kitchen is the work of Sara Forte and husband/photographer Hugh Forte. Sara left what she calls her "big-girl-career" job in March to pursue cooking and writing about whole foods in an approachable way. Hugh takes the photos for the site, and the two have just secured a book deal which makes those of us who love The Sprouted Kitchen really, really excited. A few recent stand-out posts are the Pear and Buckwheat Pancakes and Rustic Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza. In addition to being one of the prettiest blogs around, Sara's recipes test beautifully; I'm always confident that anything I decide to try from the blog will come out perfectly. And last, Sara's incredibly generous with comments. She usually replies to her reader's comments and is gracious about participating in the community that has, not surprisingly, developed in and around her blog. This is not something that everyone does. It makes you feel at home at Sprouted Kitchen.
The Blue Hour
So The Blue Hour isn't technically a food blog, but it's one of the few sites that I actually visit each and every day. Photographer Brian Ferry lives in London and uses The Blue Hour to post photos about his daily life: from images of meals in a local pub, to blooming flowers, to a button-down shirt draped over a chair in the corner. I'm including The Blue Hour here because food is so much about the simple pleasures of daily life, and there's no one else I can think of that celebrates and captures that better right now than Brian Ferry. Some posts are themed (like this one on shooting out of airplane windows), but most tend to capture the mood of a day, to explore the threads that weave together each hour -- from the mundane to the more monumental. In addition to photos, Brain often offers links to music, videos, and things he likes around the web. His perspective shines through immediately; I'm a fan. I think you will be, too.
Beyond the Plate
In the spirit of full disclosure, I must say that Danielle Tsi, author and photographer behind Beyond the Plate, is a good friend of mine. We met through our blogs, actually, and have developed a great friendship beyond that. Her blog is a mixture of personal writing, pieces on local food purveyors and farmers, and beautiful photography and recipes. Danielle has a way of staging each photo so you feel like you've been invited to sit down to the table -- you feel as though you've been there, you are there. A few of my favorite recent posts from are the Bamboloni and Meyer Lemon Curd (spring encapsulated!) and Pasta Carbonara posts. If you're interested in a food blog that's moving beyond recipes and photos and into engaging stories about real people producing food, this one is it.
What Katie Ate
What Katie Ate is the work of Katie Quinn Davies, a self-taught Australian photographer with one of the most beautiful blogs around these days. Katie's photos have a true tactile quality that make you just want to reach into the frame, touch, and taste. There is a real rustic simplicity and a moodiness in Katie's work that you don't often find in the often uber-exposed photographs from other pretty food blogs. For me, reading a new What Katie Ate post is like settling into an old worn-in leather chair on a Sunday afternoon with a cool drink. It doesn't get much better. From the typewriter-like font to the unparalleled food styling and unique approach to each photo, Katie's work is different and special. A few of my favorite posts are her Black Forest Gateau, Poached Salmon Salad with Crumbled Feta, Chickpeas, and Crispy Capers, and Sunday Morning Baked Eggs.
I love Simply Breakfast. It's a simple blog. It's predictable. You may not necessarily see an image that will floor you with its new approach or unique camera angle. But what Jennifer Causey does remarkably well is to make you excited about breakfast again, appreciate routine and ritual, and long for creating a morning meal that means something--however small and insignificant. It could be as simple as coffee and a scone or a more elaborate meal such as a scramble with mushrooms and onions and a mug of green tea. Sometimes Jen eats out in the morning and photographs that meal, but more often than not, they're a snapshot of how her mornings start at home. For that reason, they're also a chronicle of the turning light, the seasons, and what I imagine are most likely her changing mood and tastes.