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!

+ + +

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)

Lark x McGee&Co x Chef Kyle Powers | Pop-Up East Side Costa Mesa, California

Radiating good vibes on a lark at the design haven of @mcgee&co in East Side Costa Mesa!

On Thursday, May 30, 2019 we enjoyed a most gregarious lark at the design haven of @mcgeeandco in East Side Costa Mesa! Here gathered around the communal table to disconnect + reconnect over a chef crafted meal, delicious wine & the subtle art of conversation.

Food, wine & conversation enjoyed on a super fun lark at @mcgeeandco in East Side Costa Mesa!

The Master of Makeshift, Chef Kyle Powers, rocked the menu once again – and the McGee gals came through with some serious style.

We are super thankful to all the beautiful people who came together to create such a memorable & adventurous evening @mcgee&co @mrforky @forkintheroadcatering @theurbanspring @lunareececeramics @emweber @dperlof @kaileeinthekitchen @mb.maher @amenahdesigns + @theflowerstand.

Our next lark finds us greeting the first day of summer, Friday 6/21/19, by taking in salty air + beautiful surroundings at the gorgeous waterfront retreat of @tressapothecary in Newport Beach.

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

Asparagus curry, naan croutons with yogurt thoroughly enjoyed on a super fun lark at @mcgeeandco in East Side Costa Mesa!
Image captured on a super fun lark at @mcgeeandco in East Side Costa Mesa!

Image credit to photographer, foodie, conversationalist: MB.Maher.com

On a Cozy Winter lark at Coast Modern in Seal Beach, California

Friday, February 22, 2019–We were thrilled to lark with husband & wife team Cecilia + Bryce Cole, co-founders of the locally loved Coast Modern in Seal Beach, whose highly intentional lives project the high impact of their design experience from graphics to textiles to architecture.

We are thankful to all our friends, old and new, who came a little closer to share an an amazing chef crafted meal, wine pairing & conversation! The warmth of the space filled our bellies and our hearts.

MENU:
1/mac + cheese brûlée
2/smoked heirloom tomato in clear tomato broth, micro greens, rosemary bread grilled cheese, truffle salt
3/smoked brisket w/braised collard greens, pickled black eyed peas, charred lemon grass + pistachio romesco {veggie option: sub brisket for smoked purple sweet potato boat}
4/pecan pie, mascarpone + goat cheese affogato

Special thanks to: @coastmodern, @lunareececeramics, @theurbanspring, @dperlof, writer + poet Nick Banning, @mymiddlenameisstarr, @housebeer & photographer MBMaher.com

On a super fun lark at Coast Modern in Seal Beach
On a super fun lark at Coast Modern in Seal Beach
Good (& delicious) times on a lark at Coast Modern in Sunset Beach
Super fun times on a lark at Coast Modern in Seal Beach
House Beer meets Natalie Martin on a super fun lark at Coast Modern
Menu illustrated by Emily Boelsems of @mymiddlenameisstarr + poem by Nick Banning

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

Coast Modern: Love By Design | Mid-Century Modern Blossoms in Seal Beach, California

Meet husband and wife Cecilia + Bryce Cole, co-founders of the locally loved Coast Modern in Seal Beach, whose highly intentional lives project the high impact of their design experience from graphics to textiles to architecture. 

Coast Modern

Q.. How do you know each other?

A.  We met while Bryce was designing a men’s clothing line and I worked for the agent who was handling the manufacturing. 

Q. What is good design to you? 

A. Good design is pleasing to the eye, functions well while being simple and in some cases elevates your consciousness.

Q. What is better living to you?

A. Everyday of our life we are dependent on products, systems and structures that were designed and created by someone, those designs when good, make our life better, good design can improve the quality of our life, that is why we say “Good design for better living”.  

Q. Why the name Coast Modern?

A.  We both love architecture, we would go to architectural tours often and even lent our home for one many years ago.  We also had the pleasure of seeing and meeting Julius Shulman a few times and saw many architectural documentaries, Coast Modern is one of them and we thought the name made sense being two blocks from the beach and represented our passion for mid century art, architecture and design. 

Link to trailer: Coast Modern Documentary

Q. What is your most memorable meal together?

A. Our first date. We went for a drink while waiting for a table and realized more than an hour later that we had forgotten we were waiting for a table or that we were hungry. We have been together ever since. 

Q. What is your most prized possession? 

A. We are grateful for our home and the furniture we have been able to collect.  Yet, the memories of our time together,  traveling, doing home projects while listening to music, watching our son grow up and turn into an adult we are very proud of.  Those memories and the time we get to spend together and with the people we love are priceless.  

Q. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A. Traveling. 

Q. What is your greatest extravagance? 

A.  I think for myself (Cecilia) my extravagance is shopping at the Farmer’s Market in Orange, the kombucha bread is phenomenal, though not economical and the cheese is addictive, the celery looks like a flower arrangement and the rest of the fresh produce are just as lovely.  Bryce seems to never have enough mechanical pencils and notebooks.

Q. If you could change one thing about how people approach design what would it be?

A. From Bryce:  To Keep it simple.

Q. What designer inspires you?

A. Bjarke Ingels for me (Cecilia) for Bryce:  Paul Smith , Craig Elwood + Alexander Girard

Q. What words or phrases to you over use? 

A. “Clear accounts, long friendships”  though, Bryce says I use the “F” word the most, ha ha ha !!

Q. What do you hope to accomplish in life?

A. Be of contribution to others and if we can make a difference in the world, it will make us very happy. 

Q. What is your motto?

A. Be kind to others and be kind to yourself too. 

Bryce + Cecilia Cole of Coast Modern in Seal Beach


We are thrilled to have Coast Modern open their doors to our next communal dinner party with the talented Chef Kyle Powers!

Their Mid-Century Modern vibe at their Coast Modern home is intimate, well curated, and with its smart use-of -space, warmly reminds us of our favorite meals enjoyed in the cozy restaurants of Japan.

Join us as we gather to partake in cocktails and mingling leading up to a chef crafted menu + wine pairing….. all while enjoying {the rediscovered art} of conversation.

Come on a lark with us on Friday February 22, 2019! Tickets $125 per person includes good vibes, four course meal + wine pairing curated by Chef Kyle Powers.

Purchase Tickets: Let’s Go On A Lark!