Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Katie’s ‘All America’ Post 2012. Yee-Harr!! :)

I should probably start by explaining why I decided to do a big USA post on the blog a few months ago, especially when I sort of did a similar thing almost exactly 12 months previous by way of highlighting a 5 week trip I did to the US in May-June 2011.

Aside from working in the photography industry and apart from having a massive interest and love for all things design and such, I am also a massive ‘music head’. Long story short, one of my favourite bands is Oasis ~ or should I say more correctly; “was Oasis” as they are sadly no more. I’ve always respected that the soul behind this band was the main song-writer; Noel and herein where I come to my point re. this post… Noel Gallagher released a song and accompanying video last year which I love and which was shot at a location 1 hour north of Los Angeles called; ‘Club Ed‘.

Club Ed‘ is an old movie set which, if I cut to the chase, was considered to be too ‘cool and valuable’ a location to tear down, so it is now rented out for movies, adverts, music videos etc… To be totally honest, very rarely does something inspire me as much as Club Ed did/does. I was utterly and fully smitten when I saw it, gobsmacked almost. (Obviously) I am a huge fan of all things ‘Americana/Retro/Californian’, one of my favourite areas of the U.S. is the Californian desert and the the whole feel and atmosphere of this location just knocked me for 6. It covers everything I am inspired by.

I decided to rent Club Ed and go over to the U.S. to shoot at it (note this is not a cheap place to rent for shoots especially when they are not commercial and being paid for by a client ~ you’re looking at $$$$ to be allowed to take any shots full stop). Without waffling on too much, all I can say is that because of a few different factors due to work and some personal stuff, sadly, this time it didn’t eventuate ~ I was utterly gutted ~ beyond belief and I still am a tad. But I do however see it as a mission of mine to shoot it in the coming 12 months. So watch this space as without a doubt I will organise this shoot in the next year. You can’t let things which inspire you as much as this place does for me, pass you by.

Wonderfully I came across these initial, 6 post opener (stunning) shots by photographer Jill Odice. to me at least, they are outstanding and I had to share. Jill has captured Club Ed next to exactly as I hoped I would. Check out her site, she has some incredible photography on there.

Please note ~ All the above 6 photos are taken by photographer Jill Odice.

Jill kindly agreed to these above photos to being used on the blog (for gratis), for which I am very grateful.

The original Noel Gallagher song which inspired this post… I guess you could call it the ‘soundtrack to this post…’

So Club Ed and lads from Manchester aside, here we go guys, I won’t lie, this one was a tad ‘mammoth’ in its execution ~ hence why it took me so long to get it up on the blog, but eventually I got there with the recipes and shots all taken in-between work shoots and over the odd weekend over the past 4 weeks, then putting it all together. And how amazing to have so many shots from all your contributions (!) I loved putting them all together. I hope this post offers a good feel for the U.S. as shown by various different readers of What Katie Ate. It’s so great from my point-of-view to be able to showcase all this work by people who follow the blog. and I am chuffed to have so many of you included in this post.

I thank everyone – all 200+ of you, who sent me emails with photos. I am so sorry I could not include them all, my selection was based on various different factors when meant some couldn’t get included but I am truly so grateful to all you took the time to send me shots.

All the following recipes in my ‘American Retro Food Special’, have come about via meals I had during my recent trip to the US and before. My aim was to take the great food experiences I had and replicate them in my own style or combine 2 meals to produce a new one. Either way it’s my take on fantastic, honest American food ~ savoured either in all-authentic diners; bars; top notch restaurants; NYC cheap and cheerful pizza joints or at the local Mexican or Italian family restaurant… I hope you enjoy and give some of the recipes a bash! If you do let me know how you go :)

I will work over the following 2-3 weeks to put this whole post into a downloadable document. At present time constraints are meaning I can’t do it quite yet, but I will for sure.

Also on a last note, my good friend Andy at The Gourmet Grocer (whom I have mentioned many a time here on WKA, has very kindly offered to give away a hamper of amazing American food products to one lucky reader. This will consist of a fantastic array of American sauces, rubs and marinades. I sourced a lot of my U.S. ingredients and condiments from Andy for this shoot along with some I brought back to Aus from the US in May (much to the dismay of that lovely customs official at Sydney airport…!)..

Anyway to win this hamper – note it’s only open to Aussie residents (which is sort of fair enough as it’s all stuff which is hard to buy here in Australia), just leave a comment below with your name and state and Andy and I will pick a random winner out of a hat at the end of June.

Thanks and I hope you enjoy the post, the recipes and all the incredible guest photos :)


P.S. To all the contributors whose photos are featured below, if you want to send me higher res shots to replace the ones in situ below, please do so to my usual email address. Thanks.

Chipotle Pulled Pork Pizza

Pork and apple, nutty hot dog subs

Caesar Salad

Smokey Bacon ‘n Chicken Mac ‘n Cheese

Buffalo Roast Chicken

Baby Back Ribs

Chocolate, Caramel and Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream

Chocolate cola spiders

Raspberry Elderflower Granita

Lemon Pistachio Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Melting Moment Cookies

Basil Jalapeno Margaritas

Raspberry Pomegranate Cocktail

Sour Apple and Green Chilli Margarita


92 Responses to “Katie’s ‘All America’ Post 2012. Yee-Harr!! :)”

  1. June 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

    What a post, Katie. Spectacular photographs!

  2. June 10, 2012 at 11:44 am

    WOW WOW WOW – What an amazing post!

  3. June 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

    You make me homesick for the US with all these absolutely gorgeous photos! Oh and very hungry too :D

  4. June 10, 2012 at 11:47 am

    WOOOOOW!!!!!!!!I really admire your work and your blog :)

  5. Emma, NSW
    June 10, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Phenomenal post Katie! Those photographs are absolutely amazing!

  6. June 10, 2012 at 11:58 am

    One word: stunning!:)

  7. June 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Catherine – Victoria

    Amazing post Katie. I’ve never been to the US and these photos give me a real sense of what it’s like. Looking forward to trying out some of the recipes.

  8. June 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Love all your posts and this one is terrific. ADORE the photos. Carol Victoria.

  9. June 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    It’s like settling down for a cuppa, in my favorite spot with my favorite magazine – full of style, ‘feel’ and mucho much inspiration!

    Thanks for putting all of this together – it’s gorgeous!

    Katy xo

  10. June 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Excellent post & pictures!

  11. June 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Just one word: AMAZING!Thank you so much for this, It’s so nice that it’s sort of a collective post, I enjoyed each and every picture, I hope you’ll manage to do a downloadable document, I’d love to have one

  12. June 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    HUGE post!!! I love it ♥ I’m sure it was a lot work for you, so thanks for sharing. I have been reading your blog for quite a while now and I’m glad you’re back. Definitely back, as it seems :) Take care

  13. June 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I was born and raised in that desert! My in laws live 1/2 a mile down the street from Club Ed. I have been hiking all over those buttes taking pictures since I was a kid. Its a beautiful place. One of my favorites for photography. There are lots more old buildings and ruins like it out there if you know where to look. Actually, the church from the movie Kill Bill is about a mile down the street from Club Ed.

    Now that I live far away its nice to see such beautiful photos of that place. Thanks for the reminder of how beautiful such a harsh climate can be.

  14. June 10, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    great post! all of these pictures just make me feel at home…they’re so comforting.
    and now i want to road-trip and have an american adventure with sunshine, sight seeing and diner food!!

  15. June 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Most favorite post ever! Wish I’d sent something in, the contributor photos are fantastic. Thank you for all your hard work, Katie. You continue to amaze and inspire with your refreshing perspective :)

  16. June 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Oh my, what a post – I love it!! Thanks for including my images from TX. How exciting to be part of it!

    Brenda @

  17. June 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Far out! I might set my laptop up on my coffee table with this post as my new ‘book’ – beautiful! After Club Ed I would go to the Neon Museum in Las Vegas too – gorgeous! Right, Im going to scroll back through
    Trish, Victoria.

  18. June 10, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Oh my giddy aunt! To say that this post is tremendous, is an understatement. I can’t imagine the amount of effort involved. Recipes look amazing and so do the photos from everyone. Katie, you’re a star!

  19. June 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    What a journey Katie, thank you for sharing all these beautiful images!

  20. June 10, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    What a spectacular trip! And such amazing photos to remember it by and share. Now I’m feeling homesick and craving some greasy spoon diner food.

  21. megan webb
    June 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Megan Webb – NSW

    ABSOLUTELY LOVE this post!! Especially as Im heading off to the US in 3 days, perfect timing! (and Im a photographer and a foodie and I am SO inspired and excited now)!! Thanks Katie xxxxx

  22. June 10, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    i think a Heroes episode was filmed at Club Ed! at least…from how i remembered it! :D & there are gorgeous photos and recipes! :) i can`t wait to try out that ice cream recipe!

  23. kathie
    June 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm gawjus! Seriously the pics are amazing I feel like I’m there. I love the daggy old diners!I am homesick for NYC,it is two years since our trip of a lifetime and it all came flooding back!!

  24. June 11, 2012 at 12:33 am

    Jane, NSW

    Amazing Katie…your work is a true inspiration.

  25. Angela Cook
    June 11, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Fabulous photos. Angela Cook, Sthn. NSW

  26. June 11, 2012 at 1:07 am

    what software are you using to edit and collate your images please?!

  27. June 11, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Amazing, so inspiring and definitely going to come back to this post to try some recipes when my kitchen is back in working order!

    Angela, New South Wales

  28. ELLIE
    June 11, 2012 at 2:01 am

    This post is great, thank you for lifting my study-blues.
    I’m Ellie from ACT and I would love to win the hamper!

  29. June 11, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Amazing images – makes me want to go back and explore the US properly! And I’m looking forward to trying the recipes. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Catherine, ACT

  30. June 11, 2012 at 2:47 am

    Amazing images, they make me want to go back and explore the States properly. Can’t wait to try the recipes either. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Catherine, ACT

  31. June 11, 2012 at 4:43 am

    I have been excitedly waiting for this post since you posted the pic of the pulled pork pizza (how’s that for alliteration!). Everything looks delish!

  32. Gemma
    June 11, 2012 at 5:26 am

    Beautiful photos, such a lovely sense of authenticity.

    Gemma, Queesland

  33. June 11, 2012 at 6:31 am

    Oh wow Katie, this post is amazing! I’ve added your ice-cream recipe to my to-do list (I agree, my ice-cream maker is a godsend).

  34. June 11, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I love this massive slice of Americana.
    This looks to be a yummy competition. I am from VIC.

  35. June 11, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Oh and it would probably help if I mentioned my name too…
    Melissa Gaggiano [VIC]

  36. June 11, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Super fantastic shots and recipes – Bring it on America!
    Bec VIC

  37. Kristy W
    June 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    A group of friends are heading to the West Coast of USA in Feb 2013, I have already used your original post as inspiration for our trip… this is awesome though, I now can’t wait and thanks to your recipes I can also have an early taste of things to come…

    P.S. Can’t wait for your cookbook :)

  38. June 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I’ve been so much looking forward to this post, CA is my home and it’s always so much fun to see it through others eyes. AND I wanted to thank you for featuring one of my photos as well – total shocker! I’ve flipped through the post a few times already, LOVEING IT! You’ve certainly captured the CA I know and love.

  39. June 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    This is just the most gorgeous post ever – I’ve only just discovered your blog and WOW what a way to impress & have me wanting to come back again!

  40. June 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Wowsers! This post must have taken you a month to prepare, love the new way you present the recipes, top stuff. Americana dreaming…

  41. June 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    wow!!! what a post!!!

  42. June 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I’m truly stunned and amazed by this collection of photos you have captured here. Wow!

  43. Anonymous
    June 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    I’m so excited! We are going to the USA in Septemeber for 7 weeks and seeing all these gorgeous images makes me want to go right now!

  44. June 12, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Fabulous post Katie! Thanks for sharing so many great pictures and delicious recipes. I am sure I will come back to this post more than once!

  45. Nikla
    June 12, 2012 at 2:19 am

    OMG. So much deliciousness and so little time. Loving it!

  46. June 12, 2012 at 6:18 am

    I would feel like a theif winning this as Katie gives me so much already through her words and piccys x

  47. June 12, 2012 at 7:26 am

    This is such an incredible post!

    I would love to win the hamper too. I’m an American living in NSW, so amazing American food products would be such a treat! They are so hard to find here.

  48. June 12, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I love this post – it’s making me homesick for CA! Luckily I’ll be going home for 2 months in July. These all remind me particularly of road trips I have taken all over the US. Love the feel of the different styles of photography with one theme! Great post! :)

  49. June 12, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Lovely photos – I love seeing different styles within the same theme! This post made me super homesick for Cali, and reminded me of road trips I have taken in the US throughout the years. Good thing I’m going home in a month! :)

  50. June 12, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Absolutely perfect!!!Top!

  51. June 13, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Your work is incredible. And you’ve posted about one of my favourite things… “pulled pork” YUM

  52. June 13, 2012 at 2:05 am

    I’m floored… i’m also hungry again, even though i just finished my lunch. how amazing.

  53. June 13, 2012 at 2:43 am

    Beautiful photographs! I now have a terrible craving for basil jalapeno margaritas though… shame I’m at work otherwise I’d indulge!

  54. June 13, 2012 at 3:05 am

    AH-MAY-ZING! Truly inspirational!
    Leah Rollston NSW

  55. Anonymous
    June 13, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Oh my god girl! This post is INSANE! Can’t believe you put so much work into it, kudos. Can’t wait for your book to come out…

  56. June 13, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I’d love one of those Blue Plate specials!
    Rebecca, A.C.T

  57. rochellerochelle
    June 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Rochelle from VIC-great pics!

  58. Anonymous
    June 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Epic post Katie – truly amazing! Thanks for the time and effort.

  59. June 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Oh, what an awesome post Katie!

    It made me very hungry. I showed it to my boyfriend and it made him equally as hungry (especially for the PB Melting Moments) but it also made him a little homesick too.
    Homesickness gave him the momentum to make a few skype and phone calls he had been meaning to for a while. And that in turn made his Mom in NY very, very happy in turn.

  60. June 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Another out of this world post. Not sure whether to drool over the photography or the food therein.

  61. June 13, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Going home to make your ice cream tonight!

    Kaylen Baker

  62. June 13, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    absolutely brilliant!

  63. June 14, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Wow, Katie. Wow. Amazing.

  64. June 14, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Amazing recipes. I am looking forward to making the Peanut Butter Chocolate Melting Moments!

    Sahar Dickson, NSW

  65. June 14, 2012 at 2:40 am

    Awesome. I look forward to the downloadable feature and thanks for choosing my images for your showcase. Now just bring those American goodies on, I’m hungry! :)

  66. June 14, 2012 at 2:56 am

    Wow, that is a truly epic post! And amaaaaazzzing… I lived in Vancouver for a couple of years and did a massive US roadtrip at the end of it – so many memories among the fabulous photos! American food can get a bit of a bad rap, but there are so many things that are awesome. Among my favourites (and also featured here) –
    1. Pulled Pork! Love love love it.
    2. Blue cheese dip/sauce and anything spicy
    3. Salted caramel, although this is ramping up in popularity here in aus now
    and one that wasn’t on the list
    4. Chowder, esp when in the pacific northwest – I see you ventured to the Seattle market!

    Well, your post has certainly made me homesick for North America. Thanks Katie and co.

  67. June 15, 2012 at 12:18 am

    The great America….

  68. June 15, 2012 at 4:43 am

    wow, amazing photographs (:
    they make me miss the us like crazy!
    xo, cheyenne

  69. Anonymous
    June 15, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Alana – NSW

    I love randomly looking at your blog – great photos, interesting stories and good looking food! Thanks!

  70. Anonymous
    June 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Sophie K NSW

  71. June 17, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Oh my! Sensory overload, but in a good way.

  72. June 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Thank you for posting this. It’s exactly what I was looking for!

  73. June 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Katie….you have outdone yourself!!! Amazing post and I love how you included so many readers photos.
    Last year I parked my car on right by Club Ed ~ It was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen. I got the camera out (I thought it was abandoned) and started taking some photos.
    All of a sudden a guy came out with his dog screaming frantically threatening to shoot me. Not with a camera.
    I had not a clue he was expecting thousands!
    Best of luck planning a shoot there! I have no doubt you will make it happen :)

  74. June 20, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Woah – that’s amazing. What a post! Your photos are so beautiful, they really bring the subject to life. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  75. June 20, 2012 at 4:47 am

    Rosaline – NSW

  76. June 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Love these photos!! So American! :)

  77. Anonymous
    June 21, 2012 at 2:56 am

    Great post, thank you :-)

    Hana C, VIC

  78. June 21, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Amazing photos as usual. So inspiring.

  79. June 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Brilliant photographs!

  80. Ewa
    June 22, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Gosh, these pictures are really gorgeous and beautifully done!! I have just started up my blog .. thank you for being an inspiration!


  81. June 25, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Zosia – Collingwood

    …and yum!

  82. June 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    this makes me so hungry!

  83. June 28, 2012 at 11:01 am

    thanx for your topic

  84. June 29, 2012 at 12:16 am

    That post was awesome!

  85. June 29, 2012 at 1:22 am

    These photos make my heart soar to the skies and beyond.

  86. June 29, 2012 at 10:44 am

    holy! unbelievable pictures! just by looking them i have now an uncontrollable urge to go on a road-trip in the US. hello diners. hello pie.

  87. June 29, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Hi from WA – that’s Western Australia, not Washington!?
    Hehe. Congratulations on such a well executed post! Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  88. June 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Rochelle stole my comment :-) . You’ve managed to make me homesick and hungry all in one truly beautiful post. Thank you so much, Katie, just brilliant!

    your twin in name,

    Katherine Davies
    An American lost in France

  89. July 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Hello! Just stopping in to tell you that I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! You can check it out at

  90. July 8, 2012 at 1:11 am

    These photos are a,axing. So sad you didn’t get in to shoot yourself. I’d have gotten lost in there only to wander out hours later with full memory cards & dead batteries.

  91. November 19, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    That was an great article had a great time while reading this article
    hope you may post in future are also these kind of interesting articles.

  92. August 31, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Beautiful photos! Love your perspectives!

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