About Me

Hey, you guys!

My name is Matthew, and I’m the creator of Jam & Bread. Thank you for taking the time to browse my corner of the internet today!

I am a self taught cook and baker. I learned everything I know from the women in my family (hi, Mom!), scouring years of Cook’s Illustrated magazines, and old-fashioned trial and error. I have had more genoise sponges collapse than I would care to admit, and there was a moment in time where my better half actually begged me not to make another batch of macarons for fear that the finicky French cookie would completely destroy my sense of self-worth.

But perseverance pays off. Little by little I have learned what to do — and what not to do — to create exceptional at-home food for my family and my friends, and I am thrilled to share that knowledge with you.

What else do you do besides this website?

I’m so glad you asked! I’m a musician by training and I’m currently the associate conductor of the new Broadway musical Mrs. Doubtfire. If you’re interested in my music career please check out my website matthewsmedal.com

What I Do

My Best Recipe For Spiced Rum Cake | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal
My Spiced Rum Cake

Food Photography

The Covid-19 pandemic hit my music career particularly hard. A few months into the forced closure of Broadway my friend Heather offered me her old DSLR because — as she put it — “I think you should take photos of all this wonderful food that you make.” The first picture I took was a completely black frame. I had a lot to learn.

I currently shoot on that same camera, an old Canon T4i. Every photographer worth their salt will tell you it’s not the gear, it’s the operator, and I live by that motto. That being said I have definitely upgraded my lenses and shoot with both a Canon EF 50mm f1.4 (for straight on and flatly) and a Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM (for detail shots).

The Best Turkey Burgers You Can Make At Home | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal
My turkey burgers

Food Styling & Recipe Development

Coming from a theatrical background I have first hand knowledge of everything that is lost when the lights and the costumes and the props are added to a production. People in theatre often comment that the final run in the rehearsal studio is the best the show will ever be. That’s because the focus is entirely on the subject matter. There is is nothing to distract from it.

Taking that knowledge with me, I have developed a passion for clean, editorial, slightly casual, food styling that puts the hero front and center. I work tirelessly to showcase the actual food and let the scene and the props support, instead of overwhelm it.

Flaky Pie Crust | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal
My flaky pie crust recipe

Food Copy

I have always loved to write. I remember being in 8th grade creative writing class churning out novels while all my friends were beside themselves to fill a single page.

I have recently changed my writing style for my blog. What started out as a thoughtful, slightly nostalgic, love letter to the people and food in my life has become a more standard, less personal, race to the recipe.

Why did I make this change? Because Google doesn’t reward quality in writing. It rewards keyword usage and short sentences. These are the times we live in.

Even still, I strive to create quality content that is easy, entertaining, and educational to read.

Want to collaborate?

I love collaborations, and I welcome the opportunity to work with any company, large or small. If you are interested in working with me please send me an email using the button above, or simply write to matthew[at]jamandbreadofficial.com