Blogger Spotlight - Appetite
December 30th, 2010
02:30 PM ET
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We're highlighting local and regional bloggers we think you ought to know about. We can’t be everywhere at once, so we look to these passionate eaters, cooks and writers to keep us tapped into every facet of the food world. Consider this a way to get to know a blog’s taste buds, because, well, you should.

Meet today's featured bloggers and blog:
Who: Penny De Los Santos, of Appetite
Where: Austin, Texas
Twitter: @pennydelosantos

I grew up with a mother who was an adventurous eater. She loved to try everything but held a special place in her heart for Southern food, especially Mexican and Tex-Mex food. She was a fifth-generation Texan on her maternal side, however her father was born in Mexico. Like many people who live on the border, she had one leg in Mexico and the other in Texas.  As a result, she passed down a mix of both countries and a love for its food and culture to my brother and me. Visiting her family in the Texas border town of Laredo would mean homemade tamales filled with refried beans and jalapeños, calabaza con pollo, fideo eaten with corn tortillas hot off the comal and most definitely, a carne asada.

As a professional photographer, my connection with subjects has often started in the kitchen. In graduate school, I did my thesis project on the Colonias of Texas, underdeveloped communities along the Texas border with Mexico. Many of these communities are home to undocumented people who live in sub-standard conditions with no running water, electricity or sewage. The first place people would invite me into was their kitchen offering me something to drink and eat. I found that food was a common ground between people of different cultures, backgrounds and influences, no matter where I was.

I like to think that this project laid the groundwork for the photography I do today.  I am a freelance magazine photographer and a Senior Contributing photographer for Saveur magazine, a magazine that celebrates the community and culture that happens around food. They have sent me to 30 countries on food assignments over the past five years including an assignment to photograph Iraqi male refugees in Lebanon who hold on to their culture by cooking for each other. I am also a contributing photographer to National Geographic, Martha Stewart Living and various other nationally circulated publications.

I started my personal photography, travel and food blog, "Appetite," after countless friends and people I’d meet on assignment would ask me about the most exciting country I’d visited or what culture has the most interesting food. I felt a blog would be a way to share my experiences on assignments and explore these questions.

My hope for the blog is that people will be inspired outside their immediate surroundings, learn about new cultures and foods, and maybe even pack a bag, grab their cameras and explore the world outside for themselves.

Do you read a local blog that you'd like to see featured? Send 'em our way for a chance in the spotlight.

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Filed under: Blog Spotlight • Blogs • Photography • Think

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. amelia from z tasty life

    I knew of Penny's work from Savuer (one of my favorite magazines). Then I watched her amazing 3-day photo marathon on Creative live... and confirmed my "suspicions" of how amazing she is a photographer but not only, as a unique person: she brings in "human-ness" into what she does using food as an excuse. She tells stories. Beautiful, real, memorable stories.
    Amelia from

    August 18, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
  2. Spicie Foodie

    Penny is one of the most talented photographers around. Such a humble and inspiring person too.

    July 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  3. laura hudson

    penny & her photos are full of stories that continue to share what our world can offer.
    props to eatocracy for tapping into penny's blog.

    December 31, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  4. Jdizzle McHammerpants from his iPhizzle

    Even though "good critic" isn't a real job (I stand firm), I would dig being a photographer. Not one of food, though. Nature and crap. Especially since I have the painting skills of an infant with a packet of ketchup.

    December 30, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants from his iPhizzle

      Damn you autocorrect.

      *food critic, not good critic

      December 30, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
    • RichardHead@Jdizz

      There is a HUGE Market for Crap Photography out their. As long as it's warm and steamy! HA! X

      December 30, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  5. RichardHead@Kat

    Don't want to seem like a DumbAzz or dweeb,nerd,dork or whatever but-What is a Huzzah? Gotta remember I'm Polish so Plain English will suffice. Thank You and Has my "Spatula Spanking" been rescheduled yet?

    December 30, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      It's a cheer. A hip-hip-hooray, if you will.

      1st day back & playing catch-up. All spankings may be deferred until '11 - if you're lucky.

      December 30, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  6. Jerv

    Incredible photographer. Photo number 10 under "The Tejanos Project" is priceless.

    December 30, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  7. Kat Kinsman

    Huzzah for Penny! This lady is a STAR, I tell ya!

    December 30, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
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