editorial

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Here’s my guide to 10 can’t miss Mexican inspired dishes in Tucson, Arizona. For the Food Network.

Tucson, Arizona, is famous for its Sonoran-style Mexican food. A college town located just 60 miles north of the Mexican border, and situated between Santa Fe and Southern California in both geography and style, Tucson boasts a truly unique regional cuisine.

In fact, Tucson has been designated the first U.S. City of Gastronomy by UNESCO, celebrating its unique regional cuisine, which is influenced heavily by the city’s proximity to Mexico and its location in the Sonoran Desert, where prickly pear, mesquite and chiltepin grow wild. Native American and Hispanic cultures mix with those of generations of settlers who moved to the Southwest looking for a new life.

Visit FoodNetwork.com to see my 35 can’t-miss Tucson dishes with a distinctly Sonoran-Mexican influence.

Janos' J-dawg Chorizo black beans, smoked poblano crema, whole g

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Easter Cake Decorated with Peeps and Jelly Beans

There’s a Peeps extravaganza going on over at the Food Network just in time for Easter. I came up with 8 party ready ideas featuring everyone’s favorite sugar coated marshmallow candy.  The Peeps Bunny King cake is shown above.

Below are the Peeps brownie bottomed terrariums:

JackieAlpers_Peeps_chick-terrarium

Eventually these Peeps will become Peeps infused Vodka. Click on the photos to learn more.

Peeps infused Vodka

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In my latest article for Random House’s TasteBook I share recipes for my favorite Mexican street snacks, including TostiNachos and these Walking Tacos made with Tapatio Doritos. They’re perfect for the Super Bowl, a day when it is perfectly acceptable to eat all of the junk food you’ve been attempting to avoid the rest of the year.

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I have two features in this month’s Edible Baja Arizona Magazine. For “The Plate” I selected and photographed four local dishes that should never be taken off of the menu. The Mexican street corn at NOX and the Charcuterie plate at Zona 78 are two of my picks. Visit the Edible Baja website to read the article and see the rest.

street corn at nox
Plate

Haile Thomas is an 11 year old chef who has been honored by Michele Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign at the White House for her efforts to teach kids about healthy eating. I photographed three of the young chef’s healthy recipes for her column, “Halie’s Swaps”.

Halie’s Vegan Breakfast Wrap
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I’m very happy to have my photo of a triple bacon honey bun cheeseburger in Bloomberg BusinessWeek. You can check out the on-line version of the article here: A Food Site That Aims to Quantify Healthy Eating

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Yes, I Did Eat Menudo

November 16, 2010

I was a little worried, because the menudo I’d had in the past was awful. Greasy and of questionable origin. Plus, it’s tripe. But, when I’m on assignment, I always like to taste the food I’m photographing. So, I was determined to give the menudo at Teresa’s Mosaic cafe a try. It was delicious! Not greasy at all, and they serve the menudo spices on the side so you can make it as hot as you like. And speaking of hot, they garnished the margarita with a jalapeno in addition to the usual salt and lime. It was the perfect combination of salty, sweet and spicy.

White menudo with all of the fixings.

Giant margarita

Jars of drinks sit on the counter.

Teresa making handmade tortillas at the comal.

Ah, Sandwiches

November 10, 2010

I recently did an assignment for the Tucson Guide on the various sandwich options available around town. I visited an authentic South Philadelphia style cheesesteak shop, a combo Jewish/Italian deli, and a place whose name was inspired by The Lord of the Rings (Baggin’s). The sandwiches were are absurdly huge and extremely yummy, and I got to go behind the scenes and see how they were all made. You can read the whole article here: http://tinyurl.com/262zphx

A giant Reubin with corned beef on rye

Orders on the line

An Italian Hoagie

Frankie taking my order

Topping for cheesesteaks

Hot sauces at the Bison Witches bar

Jason holding an italian sub for the Tucson Guide Cover

Opening interior spread

spread 3

I’m thrilled to have been selected a runner up in Saveur Magazine’s cover contest.  Five images were selected from over 900 entries.

Buon Appetito Tucson!

March 2, 2010

I’ve been shooting for the Tucson Guide for a while now,  but the new March issue marks my first cover. I love shooting for the Tucson Guide because it’s a way that I can help promote the restaurants in my community. It also gives me the opportunity to experience my own town like a tourist would – through fresh eyes. Contributing food editor Edie Jarolim wrote the story. I’ve worked with her before, and she always picks really amazing restaurants and dishes.  I often have to force myself to wait until I get the shot before devouring whatever they’ve placed in front of me. In fact, there have in the past been certain food items included in the article with a bite missing. In this issue I believe all of the dishes remained in tact, not for a lack of deliciousness, but as a tribute to my own restraint. You can read the entire article online starting on page 56.

Members of the Sanchez family rolling the ham croquettes by hand.

Little girl sitting in restaurant by Jackie Alpers

A little girl dining with her parents at Casa Vincente

Garbanzo bean salad cold tapas

Guests dining on smoked salmon tapas at Casa Vincente.

Gnocchi allâ arrabiata are made on the premise

Chef behind the counter at Yoshimatsu

Healthy Sushi Lunch

Owner Amanuel Gebremariam standing behind a large sampler platter at Zeman's

Sun City for the AARP Bulletin

December 18, 2009

The folks at AARP Bulletin sent to me Sun City, the nations biggest and oldest retirement community. They wanted to show how the nature of volunteerism had progressed in a community dependent on the act. Women in Sun City have gone from organizing bake sales to starting small businesses. They asked me to photograph retired school principal Carol Struck, a volunteer who started a book store and a coffee shop in order to give back to the community using her unique skill set.

Carol Struck in the bookstore she opened in Sun City

Portrait of Carol Struck for the AARP Bulletin

I’ve been photographing portraits of southern Arizona artists for Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine for many years now. Here are a few of of my favorites:

Portrait of Carol Alleman in a mesquite grove

Sky Davidson at home on his ranch

Rose Cabat with one of her Feelies

Phil Lichtenhan with nest made of found materials

Judy Bateman with buzzard feathers

Acadia Alder in her garden