I really needed to get more fellas in this series. And I got us a good one today! Meet Brandon Matzek, a marketing professional by day and food blogger by night. What first grabbed me were Brandon’s images, with their photo studio-esque lighting and expert styling. What grabbed me after was how professional his posts are, and how he expands on them through his Instagram feed, where we learn about the stories, emotion, and love behind the cooking. We also learn about some great new restaurants. True story: I found out about the excellent Mexican wrestling-themed eatery Lucha Libre through his Insta!
I finally met Brandon in person this week at a blogger event, and I can confirm he’s as nice as he is talented. Oh, and he’s a Jersey native like me. Win, win, win! Today Brandon chats about what’s been on his breakfast menu for the last year, his mom’s homemade tomato sauce, and his summer treat of choice.
Name: Brandon Matzek
Hometown: Hillsborough, NJ
Current City: San Diego, CA
Professional Title: Food Blogger/Marketing Manager
Even before I started my blog, Kitchen Konfidence, I was pretty obsessed with food. I grew up in a mainly Italian family, and many of my early memories are of me and my mother (or grandmother or aunts or cousins) in the kitchen. I often got stuck with tedious tasks like snapping green beans or peeling potatoes while the adults enjoyed the more skilled work like rolling out fresh ravioli, sautéing aromatic sausage and peppers, or crafting a homemade tomato sauce. Given my kitchen-centric upbringing, I’m sure you can imagine that most of my grown-up rituals are food-related. I love exploring new ingredients, techniques, and flavor profiles, but my rituals are rooted in tradition.
Breakfast is my first ritual. When I was younger, breakfast was an important meal in the Matzek household. It was our time to connect before we got the day started. A quick bowl of cereal during the week. Dunkin’ Donuts on Saturday. Pancakes with bacon on Sunday. An Austrian pancake (my Dad’s version of a dutch baby) sprinkled with powdered sugar for special occasion mornings. Nowadays, I still need my breakfast. A single cup of coffee just won’t do! Chia pudding has been on my breakfast menu for the past year, and homemade cereal is a recent obsession. Donut Bar sometimes shows up over the weekend when I’m not making a seasonal frittata.
My mother’s tomato sauce.
I try to make this sauce once or twice a month. The smell of onions and garlic sautéing in olive oil is pure comfort. While I was growing up, my mother would allow me to have a taste of the sauce before dinner. A small bowl of bright red tomato sauce accompanied by a crusty chunk of seeded Italian bread—this is a little ritual I still like to to today.
Cold treats for summer.
I always have to have a cold, creamy dessert after a long day at the beach. My childhood summers were spent partially on Long Beach Island. The clattering bells of an ice cream truck would have me up off my beach towel in a matter of moments, sprinting towards the street, so I could be first in line. Coconut ice pops were my dessert of choice. Still today, I love a frosty treat after a day of swimming, sun-bathing, and relaxing beachside. From June to September, I try to keep my freezer stocked with homemade ice cream or ice pops. If I want to enjoy someone else’s frozen desserts, I’ll go to Pinkberry or Pappalecco.
All pictures courtesy of Brandon Matzek