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Twenty-one years ago today a photographer living in a garage apartment in Palm Beach agreed to have dinner with me. She stunned me.  By the end of the meal, my cheeks ached from grinning, I was so happy. Donna drove a white Alfa Romeo convertible and as I said goodnight to her in the balmy Florida air, I promised not to call her (she was just getting out of a relationship and needed space, she'd call me).  I called her the next day and two years later we were married.  We don't celebrate Valentine's Day and even our anniversary feels secondary to this, the date of our first meal together at 264 on South County Road. Her background is photojournalism—she worked for a newspaper and magazine when we met.  She is not a foodie and has no interest in food porn.  But she does enjoy the lighting and colors and shapes to be found in the kitchen and I wanted to publicly say thank you to you, Donna, for helping me in so many ways, not least of which are pix for this space.

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48 Wonderful responses to “Food Pix: An Anniversary Thanks”

  • Katy Kafantaris

    You two are so great together and my husband and I are glad to have met you both! Thank you Michael for sharing the photos and thank you Donna for taking them! (I’d say that’s a pretty good team) ~Katy :)

  • Aaron

    Thank you for this post. My wife and I have a similar anniversary. Our first “date” was on the 23rd of February 2008 at A Dong, a Vietnamese restaurant near downtown Des Moines, IA. We were married in October of this year. We celebrated our first of many to come at the same place just the other evening. Much better than Valentine’s Day!

    Congratulations, and here’s to more to come!

    Cheers!

  • Hilary Chalmers

    This is so awesome a way to celebrate and showcase your relationship. And so nice to acknowledge Donna’s stunning eye and talents. Every food site, make that any site!, should be envious of your ringer photographer. I do hope you feed her well! ~ Hilary

  • bonnibella

    God bless you both, Ruhlman. Now that was an impressive post. You are a good man…and she is a very good woman. You are wise to recognize it. Not many of us would put up with [a] the hair issues, [b] the cabbage fetish, not to mention [c] the whole Bourdain thing. :-)

  • luis

    I am awaiting this book on cooking ratios for a while now. Definetelly want to read it.
    I love french cuisine and other cuisines as well. I am not so keen on the experimental stuff like molegas stuff. Basically I wish to eat well and healthy and I realize I need to cook in order to get there.

  • craig thornton

    thats why you always have these damn good photos. i was sitting here thinking damn rhulman sure knows how to work a camera. well at least now i dont feel so bad for my shitty blog pics.

  • cwolfe

    For one of our early anniversaries, my hubby gave me a new diamond band that commemorates both our first date (June 13) and wedding date (June 2). The main stone has 6 prongs (for June, you know) and has is flanked by 2 groupings of 12 stones (13 total).

    Happy anniversary to you both!

  • Marcy

    Happy Dateiversary to you both and bless the love and support you give to each other, which, in turn gives you both the positive energy to bring beautiful words and pictures to the rest of us!

  • Paula Maack

    Michael,

    This post is so beautiful! Your Donna is a wonderful photographer!!

    My husband and I celebrate the anniversary of the day we met, as well. Even though “our little Italian restaurant” no longer exists, and regardless of the fact that everyone we know makes fun of us for doing so.

    Congratulations on your anniversary – enjoy!!!

    Cheers,

    ~ Paula

  • Jennifer

    Oh, wow. Us, too. We celebrate the anniversary of our first date, as you do, and our actual wedding anniversary is secondary as well. Thank you for putting it so eloquently. It’s heartwarming to know that lasting relationships exist in this world. Best wishes for the next 21 years!

  • NWKate

    …and many more! What a gift to have found each other and to know what you have when you have it!

  • Zhopsik

    Happy Firstdateaversary! My mouzhband and I got married on the anniversary of our first date, and celebrate it each year at the same restaurant, the “scene of the crime”! As an artist myself, I can say that Donna’s eye for form and light & shade is impeccable. Her photo of your Dad and daughter on the pier was so touching that I made a watercolor from it (which I will never show, of course, as the original is not mine). Cheers to both of you, and many many more.

  • Badger

    Aw, what a sweet anniversary! Congratulations to you both! And Donna’s photos never fail to take my breath away.

  • Natalie Sztern

    Donna, nothing can equate your husband’s description of his love for you on a world wide web …Happy Anniversary to another lucky woman and her husband and here’s to 21 more..

  • Karin (Grew up in Cleveland and miss it in VA)

    May you enjoy another 20+ x 2!

    The teamwork this site show probably pales to what it doesn’t.

  • Boonie

    My wife and I share a VERY similar story, Michael. As I’ve posted before, my wife likes to snap pics of my cooking when I’m really, really hungry and just want to eat.

    By the way, Alpha Romeo should be Alfa Romeo…can I get a job as a copy editor??

  • cherylk

    Happy Anniversary. As my beloved says “everyday is Valentines Day” in our house and that is why you don’t need to celebrate it on Feb. 14th. Here’s to your next 21 years, Cheers!

  • Cucumber Pandan

    Happy anniversary to the power couple! :) I always enjoy Donna’s photos on your blog.

    I’m also blessed that I found an artistic partner in my husband. And we don’t do Valentine’s Day either, but last weekend we did ‘celebrate’ it in the best way possible: I cooked a pasta dinner and we enjoyed it with three other couples in a very relaxed atmosphere… it was truly one of life’s best pleasures: great food, great friends, great conversations punctuated by lots of laughter!

  • Laura

    What a lovely post…nearly as lovely as her photos! I always love to hear about relationships that just work, and yours clearly does.

  • Ricky

    HA! I knew my wife and I weren’t the only ones that didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.

    Congrats you two…keep up the good work.

  • jharp

    Michael,

    I’ve been waiting to ask and hope you can answer.

    Do you know of Jaworski’s on Fleet Ave in Slavic village?

    Is it still in business?

    I ask because I grew up in the area and they had the best kielbasa in the world. I will never forget how damn good it smelled in the car driving home.

  • Cameron S.

    Lovely story, and my best to you on 21 years – congratulations and I think you married very well. She is very talented.

  • Rhonda

    This post is so sweet.

    I too, would like to thank Donna for sharing her talent. Her photos are truly inspirational.

    You are a formidable team.

    Best Wishes and Happy Anniversary!!!

  • Meleyna

    Congratulations! Now let’s see if I can find myself a man who will not only put up with me, but take pictures for me too. God knows I could use the help…

  • Michael Franco

    I am a hopeless romantic and truly moved by this declaration of love.

    I’ve said it before, but it bares repeating, I respect them as individuals and as a team.

    Congratulations, Donna and Michael!