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Food Blogger Interview: Matthew Ivan of Plating Pixels

Matthew Ivan - Plating Pixel - portraitMatthew Ivan - Plating Pixel - logoMatthew Ivan - Plating Pixel - recipeThe world is full of unique foodies and cooks, and we've got a ton of them in our community. Today, we're talking to Matthew Ivan of Plating Pixels who talks about creative, delicious recipes that teach you about cooking. Following their blog for easy-to-follow recipes with food science and cooking tips.

Where is your food blog taking you?

My goal is to create a go-to resource for readers with quality recipes that teach them about cooking. I'm passionate and excited about food, and want to share that with others. If someone comes to Plating Pixels, I want them to find a recipe they're eager to try, and learn something about cooking at the same time.

What literary tools do you use to be a better food blogger?

There's too many to count! I'm an avid reader of food blogs, books and how-to's. Everything I've learned about creating a blog, food photography, recipe writing, social media and SEO has been self-taught. I'm working my way through America's Test Kitchen's "The Science of Good Cooking. It's fascinating to learn why recipes and techniques work, and I'm happy to incorporate that knowledge into my recipes.

What issues related to food are you passionate about?

My family has always been open, and non-discriminating, on any food type. Lately I've been looking for organic ingredients. I think growing up in a nurturing; food-loving home inspired me to put that love into my food blog. I appreciate all ingredients and types of food; which is why I chose not to niche my blog into a specific food, diet, or cuisine type.

How's the financial side of your food blog?

I recently have seen a significant jump in my income from my blog. It's nowhere near full-time, but I have goals to get there. Creating unique recipes and taking beautiful photographs is critical. Pinterest is over half on my traffic and without amazing, well lit and styled photographs, you won't get pinned or shared. Make sure you have ads in good locations on your site (including in-post mobile optimized) and join high-tier ad and publishing networks once you build your traffic and a social media presence.

Describe your all-time favourite recipe.

That's an almost impossible question to answer, I love all food! I recently posted this Best Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger recipe. You can view it here - For one, it might just be the best, juiciest burger you've ever had. The post also captures what I want Plating Pixels to be. A recipe resource that teaches you about cooking. I go into detail as to why each ingredient is critical to the success of the recipe. I also give tips on how to pick the best meat and ingredients for the most flavourful burger, as well as prep and cooking tips for a perfect juicy burger.

What's your secret to taking great food photos?

Use natural light. It's as simple as that. If you have a studio, or good camera equipment you can get away with artificial light (if you know what you are doing). However, NEVER use a flash or your overhead kitchen lights. A flash is probably the worst thing you can do a recipe and dish you just created. If you make a dish and don't have time to photograph it under good lighting (without a flash), then don't photograph it. Make it again during a weekend day, or sometimes you can store the recipe and photograph it another day, during ideal lighting conditions. I've even stored dishes in the freezer and defrosted them weeks later to photography them! There are plenty of tricks to bring leftover food back to life for your photography.

What cookbooks do you always reach for and how many do you own?

I'm too embarrassed (or maybe proud) to say. I can say I have an entire shelf with traditional cookbooks. My girlfriend, Olia, is obsessed with cookbook magazines; the special edition or seasonal ones you get a grocery counter. They're a great source of recipes and food photography inspiration. I'd say we're getting close to having 100 of just those.

Where are you taking your food blog next?

Plating Pixels will be the best food blog in town because it will be a quality and valuable source to improve your cooking, while you make delicious recipes. I want readers to know that each time they visit my blog; they come away with a great recipe and new tips to be better in the kitchen.

Thanks again to Matthew Ivan of Plating Pixels for participating in this interview!

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