About Charles

Portrait Combo

I was born in 1980, in Atlanta, Georgia.  But although I was born a Georgia peach, I didn’t stay there long.  By the time I graduated to cheerios and high chairs, I was in New Orleans, Louisiana, a fitting place for a budding foodie.  A few graduations later, I had a high school diploma, a history degree, and eventually, a law degree.

Cooking happens on the night shift and on weekends.  By day, I am a lawyer, working at law firm in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.  Before that, though, my first job out of law school was within the Judicial Branch of our government, serving as a law clerk to a federal magistrate judge here in Saint Louis.  It was a job that I loved and how I decided on the first half of my blog name.

About the Blog

Judicialpeach was born in October 2008.  At the time, I was looking for a convenient and central place to store my recipes.  Between greasy hands and handwritten notations, my collection of printed recipes was quickly becoming indecipherable.  The blog, with easy edits and digital permanency, was simply the best answer to the problem at hand.

The blog not only stored past recipes, it stored ideas for future ones as well.  It stored my comments, and eventually, comments from readers.  The blog showed me restaurants on the horizon and specialty stores worth trying.  Hyperlinks reminded me where I bought my vanilla beans and stone-ground grits.  Embedded articles taught me how to build a soufflé and how to coax meringues.

In the first few weeks, the blog was just cookbook recipes on a screen.  Only a few errant bloggers seemed to find me, no doubt lost on the Internet highway.  But with time, my blog became a place to collect my own creations, and in turn, it  developed into an online destination.  My recipes, and the blog itself, were now page-one google results!

About the Photography

I’ve received several compliments on my photography.  Which initially, came as a total surprise.  When I started the blog, I thought the writing would be the force behind the blog – not the photography.  On the writing side, I believed I was well-armed.  On the photography side, I was armed with nothing but a simple, point-and-shoot Canon.

I still use my Powershot.  After a year with the Powershot, I recently upgraded to the Canon Rebel, which offers sharper pictures and the possibility of adding lenses.  But the key to successful food photography, I’ve learned, is less about the camera, and more about the lighting.  To that end, I try to photograph my meals in natural sunlight.  Sometimes that means making dinner around noon.  Other times, it simply means preserving leftovers until the sun rises again.  Other than lighting, I try to use a wide aperture (anywhere from f1.8 to f4.0) and to take pictures from different angles against neutral backgrounds.  Finally, I take a lot of pictures.

About the Recipes

If a recipe is on my blog, I’ve made it.  Some of the recipes are straight from cookbooks.  Other recipes may be adapted, but essentially unchanged.  If that’s the case, I provide the source of the recipe.  Increasingly, though, I’ve set out to try things on my own.  In that case, there is no attribution.  If a recipe is my own, I take particular pride in it, toying with the ingredients and their quantities until I think I have it just right.  Sometimes, that means making a recipe twice.  But other times, it can take four or five tries to get it right.  If you’ve tried one of my own creations, I invite your feedback.

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40 responses to “About Charles

  1. Great photographs and recipes on the site. You’ve come a long, long way from the Dod basement!

  2. Site looks good man!!! You’re going to have a lot of fun with this. Nice Recipe!!! May try it dude!!!

  3. Charles, this website is fabulous, almost as good as your cooking, which I truly miss. Heard about the pumpkin bread which was described in glowing terms! How about some red beans and rice? I intend to try the cookies real soon.

  4. Dude, this site is phenomenal! Hope you are well in STL!!

  5. well done, i heartily and hungrily approve.

  6. Ramin Ganeshram

    Dear Charles

    I am a food writer and Managing Editor of the book project One BIg Table by Molly O’Neill, a portrait of America at table. I think your redux of Jefferson’s fricasee is interesting and would like to include it and you in the book if you are willing to speak with one of our reporters. Any interest? Please email me.

    Thanks
    Ramin Ganeshram

  7. TheRebecca

    Charles,

    Thank you for your post about my hamanthashen! Your blog is awesome! I would add you to my blogroll, but it has magically disappeared from my WordPress blog…when it’s back, I’ll add you to my list! Can I ask how you came across The*Rebeccammendations?

    Thanks again for stopping by!
    Rebecca

  8. Hey there Judicial Peach. Love this photo of you (and the lemon ricotta pancakes)! 🙂

  9. I like the simplicity of your blog, as well as the recipes.

    By the way, great day job! I’m an attorney, too, and would kill for a law job that lets me write.

  10. bigcapresesalads

    This is a great looking site; I’m glad I stumbled to it.

    It seems like food blogging is en vogue with lawerly types. The woman who runs http://www.sugarlaws.com is a lawyer too, and I’m a 1L myself.

  11. 50,000 hits — congrats, babe!

  12. You know, I notice a strong resemblance between your 29-yr old face after eating cheerios, and your 2-yr old face above. 😉

  13. Lol. I don’t know how it happens, but I do tend to leave a bit of food on my face!

  14. I love your blog!!! – great recipes and easy to read. Your beautiful photos drawn me in every time!

  15. Love the new link to your foodgawker gallery. Your photos are so impressive!

  16. Kristine Waggoner

    Hey Charles–not sure how to contact you, so I am writing here! How do you shorten your blog posts with “Continue reading–>”? Is that something your theme does for you automatically?

  17. Cindy Davis (USDC-EDMO)

    Great web site Charles!!

  18. Thanks Cindy! I hope you’re staying warm in St. Louis!

  19. I am from Hong Kong. By chance I searched some recipes on Internet and was directed to your blog. Thank you for writing this blog. It is so wonderful. Your recipes are informative, even though I seldom cook, I am interested to try some of your recipes after reading your blog.
    Please keep writing and sharing.
    Cheers, Isabella

  20. Isabella, thank you for your kind words! I intend to keep writing and sharing.

  21. Georgia to New Orleans to Missouri? I’m not to far off; North Carolina to New Orleans to Chicago with a few places in between. Moving around seemed to bring more love into my kitchen. Looking forward to reading your blog/recipes. Best and happy cooking!

  22. I just found your blog after seeing it on Freshly Pressed and I love it! I also love to cook! I’m a rising college junior, hoping to head to law school in a couple of years. Reading that you love your job is extremely encouraging for me! Some people have discouraged me from pursuing a law degree, but it is truly my passion! Keep up the great work with this blog!

  23. I love your blog! Your photos are amazing, and all the recipes look so good. Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!!

  24. Great recipes- are you a vegetarian? Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  25. Carly, while I do not eat a ton of meat, I am not a vegetarian.

  26. Congrats on Freshly Pressed! Also, I’m getting hungry just looking at those tuscan white beans. In fact, 10 out of your 10 recent posts look pretty amazing, so rest assured I will be visit your blog again. Good work!

  27. Awesome site- you got me at the caramel!

  28. I think you need a job and geography update! 🙂

  29. Thanks for posting Lady Bird Johnson’s Lemon Bundt Cake.
    The bio on her was really an eye opener. Thanks again.

  30. I have enjoyed your blog. As a a result I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Congratulations! Go to my post to view.

  31. This is really cool, Charles! Spent only a few minutes here, but will be spending a lot more time over the weekend perusing your recipes. Such fun! Thanks for sharing.

  32. i hear you may have a relationship status update?! mazel tov!

  33. Inquiring mind...

    JP, also curious about this relationship status update? 🙂

  34. Well, “Inquiring mind” I recently proposed to my wonderful girlfriend. So I am officially engaged!

  35. Pingback: Weekend Weeding: Live It Up « Wrecking Eden

  36. Almond butter brought me here. A shoutout from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia!!

  37. stanley insler

    It’s time to start a parallel blog called judicialimpeach.

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