Josh Blaylock has a beautiful Instagram of perfectly lit plates of food and perfectly poured glasses of bourbon, but for this 27-year-old, the work is about more than pretty pictures. It's about introducing some of Dallas' most innovative chefs to the public.
“I’ve been shooting food and beverage photography for a few years in Dallas, and I’m a big foodie myself. I’ve enjoyed the experiences I’ve had; it's given me an insider’s look into the industry,” he says. “So I’ve been playing with how I could share those experiences and perspective with anyone who’s interested.”
Blaylock’s way of sharing a behind-the-scenes look at our city’s culinary scene comes in the form of Eat Well Dallas. His sources let him in for an inside look, and he shares that perspective with people on his site and Instagram.
“It’s still pretty new. I’m getting the whole spirit of it, too. It’s not me saying what is good food in Dallas,” he says. “The way that I come across them is suggestions from the previous people I feature.”
All of this started with Blaylock's first feature about Barrett Tillman of Deep Ellum Brewing.
“I started chatting with him, and he was so open and so on board with the idea that it kind took off from there. Having someone with his influence and his pedigree, it helps open the doors," Blaylock says. “I think the stuff’s turning out pretty cool; I’m happy with it. I think that’s also the testimony and culinary scene. People are excited about what’s going on in Dallas."
One of his favorite experiences so far has been with chef Misti Norris, formerly of Small Brewpub in Oak Cliff.
“Sometimes you don’t have a lot of time; it’s a little more rushed, and she’s a busy person,” Blaylock says. “She was suggesting that we shoot at her loft, so I was like, ‘OK.’
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“I literally felt like I stepped into another world. There were jars of stuff everywhere. It was a very cool experience because I got to spend a lot of time just chatting with her and getting to know her style,” he says. “It hopefully came across in the photos, and I feel like that’s a little more rare.”
Blaylock is originally from North Texas; he grew up in Lucas. He had a stint trying to make it as an actor, then stepped behind the camera when he was in Los Angeles. When he moved back to Dallas, he started focusing on food, getting an internship at D Magazine. He also shoots photos for the Richards Group, a Dallas-based marketing company, among his other freelance gigs.
He’s been playing with the idea for Eat Well Dallas for the past year and working on it over the last four months or so, he says.
“I think just being a foodie myself, I kind of geek out whenever I get to step behind a kitchen or talk with a chef one on one,” Blaylock says. “I think I’ve just so enjoyed being able to have experiences.”