Profile of My Lavender Blues

Julia Calleo’s blog, My Lavender Blues, began as a creative outlet and grew into a professional project. She actually was recruited to her current, full-time job at a professional photography studio when one of the studio’s partners found her blog and thought her style meshed well with theirs. Although she lives in Saint Louis now, Calleo is originally from Bergen County, New Jersey, which is way farther north than any of the bakeries this blog has reviewed so far.

With the occasional help of her four-year-old son, David, she ventures to local farmers markets and other suppliers of fresh, organic ingredients to craft and plate her dishes. The blog is as much a photography blog as it is a food blog, so Calleo always begins by thinking about the final shot.

“I think part of it is from my full time job: we kind of look at the end picture before we start at the beginning, so I kind of picture what colors I would like together, like a color story,” Calleo explained, adding that, “Then I’ll  go to the grocery store and see what colors can relate to the image I have in my head and then from there I’ll start picking out ingredients.”

In my non-expert photography analysis, I found her style to be minimalistic, but not like a cold, sterile aesthetic. Instead, her photography has a warm quality to it: with towels placed under warm dishes and cocoa powder spilled artfully underneath a wire cooling rack, you almost feel like you’re in her kitchen while browsing the site. The large images that accompany the recipes seem to come off of the page.

What really drew me in, though, was her writing style. Calleo’s sense of humor lends itself well to her conversational, personable style of writing: you feel like you’re part of a conversation when you’re reading.

“I guess it just kind of flows,” Calleo said during our phone interview. “I read a ton of books, all different kinds of genres. I prefer self-deprecating humor, I love stand-up.  I can’t really say where it’s from, but if I had to guess it’s what I purposely surround myself with in what I read and what I watch.”

My Lavender Blues has a fair mix of dinners, desserts, lunches and brunches. I have to recommend the hasselback philly cheddar cheesesteak, which has all the cheese and fried onions goodness of a cheesesteak, but on top of a potato with melted cheese in between slices. If you’re feeling fancy, you can also try the baked hasselback pears with brie & pistachios.

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