Q+A with Visual Artist Matt Armendariz + Food Stylist Adam Pearson of Long Beach, CA

Thank you Matt & Adam for opening the doors to your amazing studio to lark! We are fascinated with the original Art Deco build dating back to 1924, making it just shy of 100 years old!

We loved how you cared for the building and how you really got into all aspects of interior design (one of our favorite realms).

The studio is a great combination in design, photography and full of good energy…and our chef cannot believe his lucky stars to have a beautiful, convenient, and fully functional kitchen (rare on a lark!).

Below are some fun Q + A’s for everyone to get to know you more: 

Adam & Matt on a super fun (& delicious) lark with Chef Kyle Powers at Urban Americana in Long Beach.
Image captured by the talented Talia Pashey.

How do you know each other?  We met online many many years ago, went on a date and have been together ever since!

How did your professional relationship evolve?  We both fell into our careers serendipitously and while we both perform different jobs within the photography world, it’s nice to have our work paths travel together.

What made you take “the leap” in pursuing your passions full time?  It was a necessity! We both wanted to work and like most things you must give it your all to get it off the ground. So we did. It’s easier said than done I realize.

You have done so much amazing work for magazines, books and just about anything that needs a great photo, what is/could be your dream duo project?  We’ve worked on so many amazing projects all over the world, I think at this point we are the happiest working with amazing people from all creative disciplines. As long as everyone is kind and the vibe is there, we’re happy!

As it is essential to your craft, why FOOD?  Food unites us. We all eat. We are all experts. We know what we like and what we don’t. It’s inherently political, sensual, personal. We have an immediate built-in common element with everyone through food.

What is your most memorable meal (one you made or one you’ve had)?   We’ve eaten in Michelin-starred restaurants all over the world, dive spots from coast to coast, and while they’ve all be once-in-a-lifetime experiences, we both tend to remember the meals that are personal, humble, and focus on the connection between people. I’ll never need another 29 course tasting menu!

What is your most prized ingredient for meals OR for photographing? There’s not one ingredient! All of them make our jobs so interesting and worthwhile!

What is your idea of perfect happiness? When life, work, health and energies are in balance.

What is your greatest extravagance? Adam: Caviar, fragrances, and skincare.  Matt: Champagne, my Oudh collection, and long summer days in the pool! With bubbles, of course.

What do you find yourself saying when people ask what it’s like to be a food photographer / food stylist? It’s quite a mystery to so many people; we’re usually met with “Wait, that’s a job?!”  The conversation then moves to what people THINK we do, as they think we use fake ingredients and slight-of-hand tricks. Alas, we do not.

What is your current state of mind? Clear.

If you could change one thing about how people look at and/or enjoy food, what would it be? We need to remove the shame-based aspect of food. Subsequently, we also need to remove the sanctimony involved with our food choices. Of course we can all make food choices that benefit the growers, the farm workers, the animals, the environment, but we don’t need to use these and things to brag about and make others feel less. But back to my shame-based statement… how many times have we said “Oh I deserve this because xyz” or “I can’t have that because I didn’t work out”?  Food is food. It’s for everyone and we deserve to eat what we like, not because we’ve earned it.

Who in the food world inspires you? José Andres for using his voice and heart for the entire world.

What words or phrases to you over-use? Adam: “Fuck.”  Matt: “Totally.”

What do you most value about food culture? It unites us. We can argue about politics and religion all damn day, but we all eat. 

What do you think the future of dining is?  It changes every few years. What’s new on the horizon next year will be dated in 3 years. It’s ever changing. So the future of dining will be anything and everything.

What is your motto? Be kind to yourself so that you may be kind to others.

Any favorite photos — perhaps one that comes with a fun behind-the-scenes story?   I could never pick any favorite photos!

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We love all the thoughtful answers (definitely food for thought) and can’t wait to step into their inspirational + gorgeous studio for welcome drinks & mingling leading up to a four course chef crafted meal and wine pairing…all while enjoying the (rediscovered) art of conversation.

Modern. Organic. Inspirational. Come on a lark with us!

Studio Armendariz + Pearson
428 West 10th Street
Long Beach, CA 90813
(x-streets Pacific + 10th)

Saturday, July 23, 2022, 6:00-9:00pm
$178 per person all inclusive 4-course chef curated meal + wine pairing
by the talented Chef Taylor Elam of Merkato

Purchase Tickets: Let’s Go On A Lark!
(non-refundable/absolutely transferable)