Paola + Murray Get Stuffed in Houston for GQ
325 million people live in America, and that number represents just as many palates, preferences, and food cultures. There are thousands of communities ready to display their unique takes on new and classic menus, and while some are part of an expected roster there are surprising additions all the time. This month GQ highlighted the food scene in Houston Texas and asked Paola + Murray to document their own time through the Space City. “Murray and I loved shooting the Houston story for GQ,” says Paola Ambrosi De Magistris, who makes up the photography duo with her husband Murray Hall. “It was our first time in the hot and sticky city and we were not expecting to find such an interesting mix of people, foods, architecture, art, and culture.”
Houston is a massive city built by a confluence of cultures that each offer fantastical flavors and a roster of special personalities. “We met a few different characters but our favorite was definitely the Bookity Bookity Boudain Man,” explains Paola. “We had to hunt him down on our first night in Houston. You will usually find him in the Walmart parking lot in the outskirts of the city but only on certain nights and the only way to find him is via his Facebook page that is not always up to date. We could not find him right away and had to drive to two different parking lots in different spots if the city… He was the nicest guy, one that did not have an easy life but he loves to share his passion for making boudains and making people happy. It was really late when we found him and we had eaten so much already but we could not say no to the ‘boudain man.’” Their hunger and curiosity were sated by the exploration and experience that ended with a great meal, a meal you could only find if you looked hard enough and cared more about the experience of your taste buds than eating off freshly pressed linens.
Every food scene is different, and no one knows that better than Paola + Murray who have followed their tummies and camera lenses the world over. They know something about what makes local food great. “Quirkiness, big hearts, and open arms were a common denominator of most of the people we met in Huston,” Paola says. “This GQ assignment was honestly so much fun and so different from the many other travel assignments we have been on, mainly because of the people we encountered and the diversity in the food we tasted and photographed.” If the photos whet your appetite, at least now you know where to get your next meal.