@bottomlyssbites on Living the Foodie Life

Meet Alyssa Palladino of @bottomlyssbites, lab gal by day, foodie by night. Raised right here in the Boston area, Palladino grew up with a passion for both photography and food. She’s now combined her two great loves, and become one of the city’s favorite food influencers, snapping everything from bagels to sushi. Read on to hear more about her favorite spots in Boston and who she loves to follow on the ‘gram.

Tell us a little about yourself. How’d you end up in Boston, and what inspired you to create your Instagram account?

I’m originally born and raised in the Boston area, so it has always been my home! I graduated from Salem State University with a Biology degree so if I’m not snapping pictures of my food, you can find me in the lab! Ever since I was little, my mom was always taking pictures and videos so it became a habit for me to capture memories this way. As I grew up, I began to develop a deep passion for portrait photography and just snapping pictures in general, so much that my camera roll was always full. I always enjoyed taking photos when traveling and started taking pictures of my food too as something to look back at. After a huge accumulation of food pictures stored in a photo album, I spontaneously decided to make a food page and the rest has been history. Never would I have imagined the amazing community that I would become involved with. I have been to so many cool restaurants and have met so many amazing people (a few who are now my close friends) and I am forever grateful.

What makes the Boston restaurant scene special? 

I think the fact that it is so diverse and the options are endless! There are so many businesses, either big or small, that are all so unique from one another. From different cuisines to interiors, I feel like the choices are endless! Even living here my entire life, there are so many restaurants, both new and old, that I have yet to try.

Name the top five dishes on your Boston food bucket list.

  • Wagyu & Claypot rice from Shore Leave – The perfect amount of crispiness and so so good!
  • BEC from Bagel Guild – Seriously the best bagels and cream cheese (I highly recommend the honey sriracha).
  • Mejillones con Chorizo from Gustazo –  Mussels with chorizo? Best combo ever.
  • Strawberry Creme Fraiche Souffle Pancakes from Bootleg Special – So fluffy and light.
  • Miss Waldorf sushi roll from Fuji at Ink Block – Hands down one of the best sushi rolls I’ve ever had.

What do your friends and family think of your life as an influencer?

To be honest, I feel like no one really took it seriously at first because the idea was so strange to everyone. I would go out to eat with my boyfriend and he would be like “Omg Alyssa, do you really need to use that bright flash right now?” which is so funny to think back to now because it was even odd to me at that time too. Now, my friends and family think it’s the coolest thing ever. My dad loves hearing about the different foods I get to try and my brother loves the leftovers he gets as a result.  I’m also always used as a resource of different spots to check out which is my favorite part of being a foodie! 

What’s your food photography philosophy, and can you share your top tips for taking awesome food photos? Do you use any fun tools or equipment for snapping the best ‘gram worthy photos?

My biggest goal with food photography is making the dishes look as realistic as possible. I avoid over-editing any photo because I feel like it completely takes away the true look of the food. With that being said, I tend to edit minimally (adjusting contrast, saturation, etc.) that way my picture can look almost exactly what you’ll order. I play around with SO many angles of each dish that way I can decide which looks the best. Also, my external light is my best friend!

What advice would you give someone just starting out as an influencer?

I would emphasize how important it is to have fun and be yourself. It can be so easy to become consumed with gaining followers and trying to gain exposure, but the most important part is creating a space that you are happy with at the end of the day. Be authentic and creative and it will go such a long way!

Which Boston restaurants and chefs are nailing it on social?

Beyond chefs, what are your top three favorite food Instagram accounts to follow? 

  • @mydietistrash — The sweetest human ever who takes the best videos and content!
  • @jordansplate_ — I’m obsessed with the quality of her photos and her content is always so unique!
  • @bostonfoodbae — Her photos are beautiful and she always visits the best places!

Favorite spot that everyone should try once: Trattoria il Panino

Favorite place to splurge: Next Door Eastie

Favorite brunch spot: Mike & Patty’s

Favorite pizza joint: Frank Pepe Pizza or Bardo’s Pizza

Favorite neighborhood for food: North End!

Favorite spot to take visitors from out of town: Crazy Good Kitchen

Favorite foodie book or movie: Does Ratatouille count? Haha

Meet The Tastemakers is a monthly column that shares the stories of those contributing to the conversation on Boston’s food scene.

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