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Meet Our New SideDish Bloggers

Lesley Lynch (left); Matthew Shelley (right)

Matthew Shelley is our IT/Tech guy here at D Magazine headquarters. We argue about the benefits of fluoride while Matt fixes my computer every time it wigs out. We’ve always known Matt as our go-to guy in times of technology crises, but it turns out he’s also got a smooth way with the ladies words. Go figure.

Here’s the autobiography that I made him write. He says it’s the best he can do without beer.

I am a writer, photographer, herbalist, romance cartographer and past life mystery cosmonaut. I love food and the love that goes into a great dish. I live in Dallas, I have a cat, and I make my own milk.

“Into Shelley’s Belly” is a punch line examination of the lesser known badasses of Dallas dining. Not so reclusive that you’ve never been, but the places I try to visit aren’t typically a part of the mainstream scene. They are the dive institutions or lovely new places that make a formidable dish deserving to be devoured and shared. Enjoy.

Lesley Lynch sits diagonally across from me, so every day I get a beautiful view of the top of her head. She’s the research editor at D Magazine. (You’ve might seen her blog posts before on SideDish.) Before starting at D, she received a degree in agricultural biotechnology and completed her Master’s degree in bioscience enterprise before going to culinary school. Now, most of her experiments are in the kitchen. Lesley will be writing a new series called the “Happy Hostess.” This is how she explains it:

Dallas is full of amazing restaurants and bars to frequent, but sometimes I want the intimacy of entertaining at home. A place where I can control the volume of the music and not feel guilty for lingering at the table an hour after dessert is gobbled up. Having been in Dallas over a year now, I am still surprised by how often I am invited out for a drink, dinner, etc. instead of to someone’s home. Before Dallas, I was a grad student at Cambridge and it seemed that all I ever did was go to dinner parties and drink-focused parties at friends’ houses. Perhaps the shift to more public socializing has less to do with my geographical shift and more to do with the fact that my friends are no longer (at least for the most part) poor grad students. Regardless, I miss these at-home gatherings.

In an age of celebrity chefs and stationary suites, it seems that entertaining at home has become a bit daunting. At least that’s what a lot of my friends cite when I ask them why there aren’t more gatherings at houses. Entertaining doesn’t require a culinary degree or a letterpress. I’m starting a series to arm our readers with a simple game plan (recipes included) for entertaining at home to bring the dinner parties back. Anybody with me?

10 comments on “Meet Our New SideDish Bloggers

  1. Lesley – I hope you have broad shoulders. I came to Dallas 30 yrs ago from a culture of home entertaining. It has been an uphill battle since to recapture some of that intimacy and ambiance. Dallas is a culture of the here and now and epitomizes the idea of history (since it really has none) as a non-factor. A home becomes 20 years old? Well, time to raze it and build a bigger one. That is part of why Dallas is so unique and economically successful but it does limit the social options. I find that the few “home entertainers” I know are the complete Martha Stewart type. 12 piece place settings with crystal, fresh flowers in every room, servers, caterers, etc. And there is a place for that, but for me, hanging out with your friends in the kitchen and cooking up a little sumpin sumpin to go with a tasty bottle of vino that a guest has recently discovered is the best way to go. So, I’m cheering you on, it should be a fun challenge.

  2. Pingback: The Happy Hostess Presents a Halloween Dinner Party | SideDish

  3. Matt’s words of foody wisdom are helpful and hilarious! I look forward to his recommendations!!!

  4. Matthew can make a fortune teaching men to lactate. Every lactating woman would empty her checking account to impose equal feeding time on her partner.