Meet & Eat: Huge Galdones, Writer and Photographer
Editor's Note: If you've ever gawked at a particular photo on this site—like, say, this one—chances are high that Huge took it. As a highly in demand food photographer around town, it's kind of his job. He's a true gourmand who seems as happy sipping Champagne as he does digging into poutine. I'm thrilled to have him writing for us, even if he does have questionable opinions on French fries. (Just kidding...)
Name: Huge Galdones
Location: Chicago, IL (originally from Montréal, QC)
Occupation: Food & Lifestyle Photographer
Website/Twitter: http://galdonesphotography.com, @hugegaldones
Guilty pleasures? Very few things in life make me happier than SPAM—three eggs (sunnyside up), white rice, fried SPAM, and soy sauce, to be exact. Mahalo!
Describe your perfect meal. Caviar, crème fraîche, and kettle chips paired with a Brut Nature Champagne + 12 Atlantic oysters (lemon only) and a crisp Muscadet + soupe de poisson with extra rouille + crispy fried sweetbreads + lobster spaghetti à la Joe Beef + steak frites (hangar steak, rare) + half a dozen uni hand rolls for dessert = Perfection.
What food won't you eat? I have no complete aversions, however I do tend to avoid canteloupe and watermelon when I can (but will eat it if it's in front of me).
Favorite food person? Hard to pick just one. I like to think of Jacques Pépin as an old-school favorite. He's a true class act and is one of the main reasons why I fell in love with cooking. In terms of new-school, I really admire (read: extremely jealous of) Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern, and KF Seetoh. Engaging individuals, passionate gastronomes, and all-around great guys!
When did you first realize you were a serious eater? Back in college, instead of going out and getting tanked at the bar, my best friend and I would host über-elaborate dinner parties (and proceed to get tanked behind the stove, instead).
What do your family and friends think of your food obsessions? My parents have no qualms calling me fat. Luckily, my wife and friends are just as food-obsessed as I am, so not much judgement is passed (as far as I'm aware at least). I've often told that my line of work fuels my obesity... but at the end of the day, they understand that it's it's all part of the job...
Favorite food sites or blogs? Jared and Alice of Eat A Duck I Must do a slick job with the technique and food photography associated with the reincarnations of their restaurant favorites. I'm still waiting for them to invite me over for dinner. On a larger scale, I really enjoy Saveur for everyday inspiration and a good range of culinary fodder.
Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? I usually seem to be the one recommending restaurants to friends, however I have been known to text Nick Kindelsperger (his recent Chinatown recommendation of Cai was spot on). I also confer with Craig Perman (Perman Wine Selections), who seems to always have his ear to the ground when it comes to the industry underbelly.
What is your favorite meal of the day and where do you get it? I absolutely love a hearty (but not necessarily heart-healthy) breakfast! I've been known to order one of everything at Xoco and equally enjoy the breakfast offerings at Balsan.
Do you ever cook? What's the best dish you make? I love to cook, and cook often I do. Although, since having a child it's been a challenge finding the time to invest behind the stove like I used to. My seafood risotto and lobster rolls are usually well-received, but you'd have to ask those who I serve since I'm the most critical of my own dishes.