beth kirby local milk

My name is Beth, Elizabeth Evelyn to be exact. A native Tennessean, I was born in the South. I didn’t care for being Southern, but I grew up. And when you grow up you get eyes in your head. And what I saw was myself in the South and the South in me. It’s a broken place, and its richness lies in its brokenness. It’s an awfully human place. A bloody place. A pig fat place. One morning you wake up, look in the mirror, and see that the river and mountains and murder ballads are in you. They are you. You’re them. And you know its nonsense to say otherwise. I am, for better or worse, some strange breed of Southern.

I went further south after high school—swamps & Spanish moss south—studying philosophy & writing in the low country at Loyola University New Orleans where I had religious experiences in the form of oysters on the half shell swimming in Tabasco, brown paper bags of crawfish, muffulettas from Central Grocery, and midnight beignets at Café du Monde. In the summers I backpacked in Europe on a shoe string and spent most of my time in a small village in the Netherlands eating homemade bread and stroop waffles at a place called L’abri, which translates as “shelter” from French. It was there, spending afternoons in the kitchen helping to prepare the communal meals we ate around a large table, meals punctuated with the questions of being (par for the course at L’abri), that I rediscovered a love of cooking that originated with my grandmother who passed away when I was 14. Her kitchen & its fine patina of flour came back to me, a recalled dream. That’s when I began to cook in earnest. I was 17.

I ended up back in Tennessee like a boomerang ( a theme in my life) in my mid-twenties and years later moved to La Jolla, CA where I forgot about my then recent divorce by consuming copious amounts of uni, hamachi, ceviché, and grilled fish sandwiches (not to mention cheap vodka, but that’s neither here nor there). Now, again, I find myself back on the North Shore of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga where I spend my days working and, best of all, making a home with my husband. Love changes your eyes, and your eyes change everything. Home is all at once home.

I’ve been restless most of my life, spending the majority of my 20′s dissatisfied, drunk, and chasing some sort of spangled rock & roll chimera. But, as late twenty-somethings are wont to do, I calmed down and came to appreciate the mundane & prosaic: an antique tea strainer, what I learned from a failed pie crust, and the feet on my first macarons. That’s what this space is about: finding the sacred in the mundane and the beauty in daily life.

Working as a freelance stylist, photographer, and recipe developer making the business of everyday living not just beautiful but interesting is my raison d’être. I’m not in it for the simply pretty. I’m in it for contrast and mess, the counter-intuitive, the strange, and the dark. I’m a mystic with the moon forever in the corner of my eye.

So. I’m no Martha or Ina. I’m certainly no Rachel or Paula. But I think that as we’re starting to hunger for real food, we’re hungering for real people. I have faith that there’s an audience that’s more interested in human beings and real life than some staged South Hampton fantasy or deceptively tidy suburban cloisters, neither of which exist. Don’t get me wrong, I like tea towels and bowls of lemons in sun-dappled kitchens, really, I do. And I think cake is swell, grand even. I love the farmer’s market and the flea market, candle lit dinner parties and all of those cheerful, earnest things that seem so ubiquitous on blogs. But what I’m really enamored with is the texture of life itself from bone marrow to neuroscience, relationships to mortality. I’m not interested in an aseptic silence that avoids discomfort. There are messes that abide for weeks, screaming matches, missed deadlines, and ill starred decisions. And there is fresh bread, floral tea, and good work to be done. And there is poetry in all of it.

Beth Kirby | by Sanda Vuckovic Pagaimo

Living is a glossy, unctuous thing, and cooking is a divine, ancient art. It is the elevation of biological necessity. It is the beating heart. It is an empire built on grain and cacao. It is selenium and potassium. It is kale and cauliflower. It is sustenance. It is actually the art of living. From patisserie to charcuterie to yeast leavened breads to molecular gastronomy—there is no facet of food and cooking that does not interest me. I want to meticulously decorate a cake, cook an entire pig, and sous vide an egg. I like sharp knives. I like technique. I like ratios. I like simplicity. I like rustic. I like refined. I like food.

All of the work I do is inspired by the notion of nesting wherever you go and traveling even when you’re at home, and when I’m not behind the stove, lens, or keyboard I can usually be found combing farmers markets & flea markets in search of inspiration. That’s why you’ll find everything here: seasonal cooking, simple gatherings, workshops with friends & makers, and vignettes of both a quiet life lived in Tennessee  & my travels and wanderings. For me, eating locally is just part of the larger picture of living mindfully, of being present. We are here, and it is now. Slow food & a slow life make moments more prismatic; tomatoes are more salt & earth, and days more farm stand than fluorescent.

My philosophy is that regarding the quotidian as art down to the detail renders so much more out of life. That’s the aim of my work be it baking a pie, writing prose, styling a photo shoot or just a table, arranging foraged florals, hosting a gathering, teaching a workshop, or cooking a dinner.  I strive to appreciate every scent, every texture, every season, every taste. I want to love my sugar bowl and my toothpaste, what I learn from conflict and from a weeping meringue. Sometimes beauty is very ugly, and sometimes the ugly is very beautiful.

Want to work together? Contact me here.

“When I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and it is all one.”

-M.F.K. Fisher

For my take on living with mental illness you can read this.



195 Responses to About

  1. the new re-design is gorgeous! love your writing and poetry. it’s an inspiration!

  2. .kat. says:

    ” . . . I think that as we are starting to hunger for real food, we are hungering for real people. I have faith that there is an audience that is more interested in human beings and real life than some staged South Hampton fantasy or deceptively tidy suburban cloisters, neither of which exist . . .what I’m really enamored with is the texture of life itself from bone marrow to neuroscience, relationships to mortality. I’m not interested in an aseptic silence that avoids discomfort. There are messes, tears, failure, and heartache. And there is sweetness, fresh bread, vertiginously passionate kisses, and good work to be done. And there is poetry in all of it.”

    A-men!! Needed that. Absolutely pleased to have found your space. Thank you.

  3. Carol egnatz says:

    subscribe to newsletter? hope so!!

  4. Sina says:

    this may come out clumsy but i hope it is forgivable since i am not a native speaker of english: having just read your “about”, i strongly feel that you are a person that i’d like to get to know… no, seriously. i will start by reading your blog entries on a regular basis. meanwhile: thank you for writng like you do.

  5. My Homepage says:

    … [Trackback]

    [...] Informations on that Topic: [...]

  6. Emily says:

    Love the site redesign Beth! Lookin’ good…as always!

  7. laurasmess says:

    Beth, you are beautifully eloquent, wise and insightful… way beyond your years. I adore everything about this blog. This is my first visit but I’m excited to read your archives. I’m also a seasonal cook… I think food needs to be celebrated in its natural form, rather than disguised in overly complex, ridiculous recipes. Thanks for sharing your life, thoughts and food with us xx

  8. Lovely. Not sure if this: “More about that & this blogs inception here.” is meant to be a link? But this is probably one of the best “about” pages I have ever read. Thank you for writing it. :)

  9. eme says:

    i like what you’ve got going on here.

  10. Alexandra says:

    Beautifully written, life is a the ultimate paradox, I love how you don’t categorize yourself. So many blogs worship the phony….your perspective is so very refreshing, like lemonade on humid day.

  11. […] And while we’re on food, I found an amazing blog on Pinterest this week. Save up a good half a day and visit   […]

  12. Courtney says:

    “And I like to take anything and turn it into a pancake.” ha!

    Thank you.

    Thank you.

    And, thank you.

    Your writing and your thoughts are a melody and a beat to a song I always knew existed, but I never knew the words. Please keep writing forever. I will keep reading and hopefully it will help to soothe the aching words from my own lungs. Bravo Beth! And Gracias and Gratzie and Merci to you!

  13. Beth, I just found your blog today. I have to tell you – your photos are unbelievably gorgeous! Honestly. X

  14. Wow! that was a pleasure to read. So happy to come across your blog, Cant wait to explore the rest of it.

  15. Claudia says:

    Just discovered your blog and I’m in love! Your photos and food are amazing. Well done
    p.s School us on the difference between baking soda and powder!

  16. I am madly in love and totally hooked on your blog after reading it for the first time today. Your writing style and vocabulary are so wonderful and a breath of fresh air! New {and ongoing} reader here!

  17. Noor says:

    I am not sure if you know where Rhea County is are not but it is small town between Chattanooga and Knoxville. That is where I am from and all my family live but now I am living in Saudi with my husband. I do not come across a lot of foodies from the area so it was nice to find you. I actually did bc I follow your pinterest.

  18. Lili Bailey says:

    Really love your photography. So glad to have found your blog via Pinterest, lovely collection of images as well! Your photography is so amazing it totally made me want to try a few recipes, hope I get it right!

  19. April says:

    Your words & kitchen creations remind me of a calm, supportive conversation between good friends, and I very much appreciate your honesty and genuine approach. But here in your bio, what made me gasp was “the shock of grey in his left eyebrow”. The man who I am fortunate enough to call my husband, with whom I am also disgustingly, beautifully, wholly in love, has about 1/3 of his right eyebrow bright white. There is something mighty in that brow…

  20. kayleigh says:

    Very well written and inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing. I’ve fallen in love with your blog in the last 1/2 hour that I’ve been perusing through it.

  21. Gretel says:

    Hauntingly beautiful….when you write, you are mesmerizing. I love your southern gothic humor that hints of pain.
    and that food you cook…….
    many thanks!

  22. Emma says:

    Isn’t it funny how being ‘disgustingly in love’ often opens us to new journeys with food and flavour. I remember Nigella did a pasta dish for the first night and said it should be eaten shared from a big bowl cross legged on the dishevelled sheets. I’m currently on a similar journey. I love your way with words and your photos are like postcards from a still, overcast Sunday. Thank you.

  23. I found your blog through one of your Pinterest boards — it was one of the most wonderfully curated boards I’ve ever seen, I think, and now that I’ve seen your gorgeous blog, I’m not surprised in the least. Your photography is inspiring, and I am so happy to have found your blog. So excited to keep reading you in the future.

  24. it hurts me how pretty these words are.

  25. Andee says:

    I must say I just stumbled upon your blog through pinterest. You have such perfect taste and an amazing eye for design. I’m in love with your impeccable style.

  26. Oh Beth I’m so glad I found your blog. I saw you on Master Chef and so fascinated by the way you cook. Its like you are crafting a work of art, which I adore so much! Your blog is so beautiful, the pictures are lovely, the color tones are perfect. Followed!

  27. Chelsey says:

    Just stumbled across your blog and wanted to tell you I think it’s divine! Your writing, tone, and outlook are humbling and inspiring. I’m an instant fan.

  28. Carly says:

    Just found your blog- this is fabulous. Can’t wait to read more!

  29. Aurélie says:

    Wonderful ( from france)

  30. Shivani says:

    I just found your blog, and I had to drop you a note to say how positively mesmerized I am by your about page. I am adding your blog to my Feedly right now, and you’re inspiring me to try writing one more time. Thank you, I am so happy I found you.

  31. Heather says:

    ” . . . I think that as we are starting to hunger for real food, we are hungering for real people” – I breathed a little more deeply when I read this. I couldn’t agree more. So glad to have found your blog!

  32. Dear Beth,

    Really love your site and what you are doing. Honest and straight forward. Refreshing. Fantastic images.


  33. […] favoritblogg heter Local Milk och är en alldeles underbar matblogg. Den drivs av amerikanska Beth Evelyn och är både välskriven, vacker och inspirerande. Fylld med grymma recept, ljuvliga bilder och […]

  34. Talia says:

    I am…. in awe. I just came across your blog and I think I’m already head over heels — for you, your photography, your words, your food, your life. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship [blog-friend-ship? blog-ship? you know what I'm getting at]. amen, sister!

  35. What!? Your awesome, Im stalking you immediately on InsTA, Pinterest, Twitter, and subscribing. Love your writing! Hope you are writing a book.

  36. teri says:

    found you on pinterest and loving your blog

  37. What a truly inspirational about me! Your words are pure poetry, I’m so happy to have found your blog and get a glimpse into your southern life! I just moved to Encinitas,CA- would love to know your local recommendations for this area. Do you ever have photo workshops in America? :)

    Looking forward to diving into your content and photos- so gorgeous.

    Thank you,

  38. Nicole says:

    “I have faith that there is an audience that’s more interested in human beings and real life than some staged South Hampton fantasy or deceptively tidy suburban cloisters, neither of which exist”.

    In this sentence you have so eloquently said how I feel about the depictions of the faces of food and its subliminal deception. I love Ina, Gina, Paula, and the list goes on as well but when watching their shows at times there is this semblance of what cooking is and how women are. For that reason, I go to blogs because I feel they are more real and honest. I seriously love your blog!

    Thanks for sharing!

  39. Magda says:

    I was really touched reading about you. Even though I follow your blog for quite some time now, I had never taken the time to read this whole page. Isn’t that strange? I’m impressed by the way you view food and life and I like you so much more now that I know more about you. I love your food and your photographs and I want to thank you for being such an inspiration. Keep up the wonderful work that you do here. Have a Happy 2014, Beth.

  40. Sarah says:

    I love your photography! What kind of camera do you use? And do you edit the pictures? All the recipes look fantastic too!

  41. Mary Louise Bond says:

    I can only hope I am what I feel myself to be: a kindred spirit. It was a new year’s treat to stumble upon your site this morning as I searched for recipes after devoloping a strong desire to make pistachio shortbread today. You are a true poet and I thank you for your beautiful, inspiring writing.

  42. Susannah says:

    Wow. This is STUNNING! Best “About” page that I have read on any blog ever, by far! I am new to your blog but can’t wait to check it out, especially after reading this!

    “…Regarding the quotidian as art down to the detail renders so much more out of life.” <– perfection!

  43. Jenny says:

    I’ve had one of your cakes pinned for a long time but never looked into it until today. It was the 3 Leches cake with the naked cake story. I wasn’t ready for that at all. Immediately went to read the “About” and wow! you stopped me right in my tracks. I absolutely love your writing and I can’t wait to read your entire blog.
    Sorry if my English is not good- my 1st language is Spanish.
    So so glad to have found you!

  44. What a discovery. I love your blog and prose as it feels like it unfolds into a story that tells of life that is well-lived. Lovely.

  45. Blaise says:

    Write a book. Write a book every year for the rest of your life. I will read all of them.

    I never leave your blog uninspired. Thank you.

  46. Vaida says:

    this is the best “about me” I’ve ever read. really.
    so honest, so true.
    this might sound weird.. but I kinda fell in love with you… and your blog :)

  47. I’m a new reader but I am ecstatic to let my eyes and my heart become filled with these gorgeous photos and words. It’s such a breath of fresh air to find a blogger like you who cooks and speaks from such a place of true and connected inspiration!

  48. Cristina M says:

    Well said! I love the way you use words to make beautiful poetry of every day life.

  49. Aina says:

    Such a beautiful piece of writing! Wish I could describe my inner thoughts in such a interesting and seductive way. Love the fact that you are keeping things real, a huge miss in this often superficial illusion of a world.

    ~ Aina ~

  50. I absolutely love you’re blog. Very unique, you’re photos are simply stunning. <3

  51. Karen K says:

    I’m a little speechless. Finding you on Pinterest led me here. But I’m fairly certain I’ve always known you, in some way, somehow. Your brave words make me want to come out of hiding, let my light shine, and take in every moment of this day. Thank you.

  52. Brenda says:

    I love your writing and your photographs. Your soul comes through them so transparently. I am not far from Chattanooga – Marietta, GA. Maybe I will find you sometime. I SO wish you would write a book. :)

  53. Jemima says:

    Beautiful writing and photography.

  54. Akua says:

    This “about you” spoke to me just now in ways I cannot even describe. It didn’t just speak to me about food but about life. Wow this really did something to me and I cannot even put it in words.

  55. Saghar says:

    I just got blown by this. Beautiful, & most importantly, real.

  56. Laura says:

    Reading this brought such a light to my day. Your writing is beyond beautiful and your life is inspiring.

  57. […] Michael Pollan/Cooked revelation. Seek to create, to form, to work instead of passively consume. As Local Milk puts it, cooking is the art of […]

  58. Christine says:

    this is the best About Me I’ve ever read! You’re a delightfully skilled writer!

  59. Erika says:

    I read it all in one breath…
    Inspiring, uplifting yet down to Earth, love your blog, your style, your recipes and your honesty. I love contradictions. And gummy bears too :)

  60. Tatiana says:

    Your writing is SPECTACULAR. I am so happy to have discovered your online space and look forward to being inspired by the beauty that you bring. Love to you !

  61. Sasha says:

    What a beautifully written piece of art about life and food. I love your work and it is refreshing to have it brought to the table, so to speak, in such an artful way. Thank you for sharing your journey. Yay for you and your creativity!

  62. Elizabeth says:

    Sorry it took me so long to find you but you find things when you need them and are ready. Here I am now.

  63. Rachel says:

    Wow. I am left a bit speechless from reading the above. You are uber talented and I am glad I found you. I knew even before reading this that you were not far from me, I am a bit further up the Tennessee in Knoxville. Maybe it was the connection of the river or maybe it was something deeper, soul recognizing soul. I am left inspired and awed. I look forward to reading more of your works. Thank you!

  64. Nadia says:

    Can I just say that your raw and authentic output is phenomenal.

    Thank you.

  65. Tre says:

    Beautifully written!

  66. Lindsay says:

    Really beautiful and inspiring. Happy I found my way to your blog. Best!

  67. Adrienne says:

    So lovely, all of it, really.

  68. Nice new bio, but when I saw the “soundtrack: ghost stories”, I thought you were talking about the Coldplay album and I was like whattt???? Good thing I clicked through ;-) Anyway, love what you do, keep on moving forward you shark, you.

  69. Francesca says:

    It is a rare thing to come across such a well written ‘About” page. I found myself completely engaged, following your path, which I am sure, will have more branches and futher dilemmas and choices along the way. I am really tiring of ‘Valley” talk in those that blog about food. Your voice is refreshingly devoid of this. I am pleased. Francesca.

  70. […] Kirby van het prachtige blog Local Milk is styliste, fotografe en schrijft de meest prachtige teksten over haar dromerige keukenkunsten.  […]

  71. […] Dancing with the Stars. It’s just not my cup of tea. However, when fellow Chattanooga blogger Beth Kirby of local milk fame appeared on Season 4 of MasterChef, I started watching just to see her. After […]

  72. Leanda says:

    So glad I discovered you on instagram, which led me here. Both you and your blog are beautiful. Your words and pictures divine! Such a welcome alternative to so many rather superficial blogs out there, you now have a devoted follower in me.

  73. Monica says:

    We all have just one thing to do, it is to live everyday seriously.
    I am a chinese girl, I like your life style.
    Into the natura, back to our souls. It’s very like the mind of Zen.
    Living mindfully and stay at the present.
    We are here, and it’s Now.
    It’s the real life.

  74. Susanna says:

    I’m so glad I found your beautiful blog and was so interested in the fact that you spent time at L’abri. I spent a summer at L’abri in Switzerland, my parents spent several summers both at English L’abri and Swiss. Anyways, I loved preparing meals there as well and the fresh flowers on every table, etc were such a natural touch. Edith Schaeffer’s “The Hidden Art of Homemaking” is one of my favorite books.

    Anyways, I’ll be following your blog!

  75. Sarah says:

    Wow, I am so impressed with your ability to transfer your thoughts into words in such an engaging, thorough, and meaningful way. I came across your website under the ‘clients’ page of Wooden Spoons Kitchen and am so glad to have encountered your talent; your pictures are unique and your style is refreshing.

    Like many others who have expressed appreciation for what your blog has to offer, I will be following along regularly! Thanks and keep up the great work!

  76. Jude says:

    The Japanese have a term that I love: Wabi Sabi.. perfection in imperfection. We are kindred spirits in this journey of sobriety and serenity. You have amazing gifts that I am so glad you share. Among the many gifts that you possess is hope and being geniune. For people who have not had to deal with addictions and mental health issues, it’s a difficult scope to fathom. But for those of us that have been in the abyss of hell, your words hold a special meaning. There is a Light. There is Hope. Bless you Dear.

  77. […] am so inspired and enthralled by the ideas, the writing, the photographs, and the art of this human being lately. reading her about page is like being introduced to some deep, distantly familiar part of […]

  78. Phoebe Reid says:

    I think that this is the most beautiful about me page that I have ever read.
    From a fellow southerner, INFP and lover of Appalachia music I’ve just fallen into the rabbit hole and spent my morning basking in every wonderful bit of your words and images. Thank you!

  79. Katie says:

    Oh my oh my, I am in love with this site, it is truly scrumptious. Amazing !

  80. Your photos are just gorgeous…your story even better. :) I am sensing an odd kinship, will be here often.

  81. Hi Beth! Your article “Comorbid: finding stability on shifting ground” is affirming, inspiring, and deeply cathartic. Thank you for your poetry and your brave authenticity. I have struggled deeply with barely concealed mental illness and had never considered being unashamed of that until I read your piece. Never considered that is it just as much a part of me as my eye color or my voice. And once considered, it was such a freedom to think for the first time that perhaps I am not less for my mental challenges. It makes the hard climb and repetitive falls so much more bearable–beautiful even–to see them as an authentic piece of myself, instead of a burdensome or broken happenstance. Thank you.

  82. I almost fainted when I discovered your blog a few minutes ago!
    Where had you been?
    And that rustic table that I am dreaming to build some day !(I am a carpenter)
    Best to you, looking forward for the next post.

  83. Hi Beth: I wanted to thank you for the lovely blog you author. I also wanted to connect with you to see if you may be interested in checking out my website
    This is the eleventh year of my social business and every item in the gallery is designed my me, hand produced by commission in India and most of the profits are returned to the craft producers in India. We are a unique gallery that believes that true luxury is physical beauty that attracts but helps you transcend just the material.
    Hope to hear from you and thanks.
    Warm Wishes

  84. Thomas says:

    Very inspiring, thank you!

  85. […] 1. Local Milk by Elizabeth Evelyn Kirby […]

  86. Kaylin Lydia says:

    I just found your site and I am so glad. This is the most beautiful thing I have read in a very long time. You have taken so many of the thoughts from my head and put them on paper exactly. I am looking forward to reading more. Xoxo.

  87. […] thanks Local Milk. This Cornmeal Brown Butter Scones with Lavender Peach Curd recipe is not only perfect right out […]

  88. Hilary says:

    You have a beautiful website! So glad I stumbled upon this! And I love how you list all three of your astrological signs that make you – you :)

  89. John Cornish says:

    I saw your work on instagram which led me here. Beautiful work and inspirational story. Thank you for opening yourself up in this way and sharing you with the world. Brings a huge smile to my face. Cheers

  90. Nish says:

    I loved reading this. Thank you.

  91. Waz says:

    Rather gutted that Beth is not on the gift guide.
    The most beautiful women I’ve ever seen!

  92. Louise Laughland says:

    I follow you by chance on Instagram as I liked your style & have a deep love for style & especially cooking. My friend & I cook together regularly & held an 11 course tasting menu (one night only) Pop Up Restaurantfor our sins!? We regularly attend all things cooking & would love to join you on one of your beautiful retreats. Please reply as we are waiting to book our next venture. I see we’ve missed amazing Venice! I hope you all enjoy! Kind Regards Lou & Mo

  93. Dana says:

    Goodness me! I love eating and cooking and beautiful photos and I am now hooked. I can’t wait to dive into some of your recipes. Until then I have some great things to look at. Your photos look like Renaissance paintings.

  94. jan bertolini says:

    Good Lord, what a glorious site! I am immediately a fan {possibly for life}. Stumbled across a recipe on Pinterest {white peach, rose + basil hand pies} and here i am.
    Beautiful photographs, lip smacking recipes and what a life you have lived so far and a story you tell.
    Thank you.

  95. Catherine says:

    I love your blog and your instagram, Beth. :) So inspiring, every image is so beautiful. Would love to see a kitchen tour if you ever have time for that one day! My husband and I are about to build a new kitchen from scratch, and I would love some inspiration.

  96. […] made with chunks of panettone and candied orange peel) and just before coffee. When Beth, sitting on my left, had left the table to check on something in the kitchen. And Taylor, on my […]

  97. Kathrinejoysorongon says:

    Hello Beth Kirby!
    Truly you are a piece of art, that makes you feel something.
    As I follow you on your instagram and led me into my desktop and search for your blogsite. I am truly inspired to capture the things I want to do, capture them in perspective on “how you see them”. The things you see and you have shared to us is truly amazing! Thank you for sharing! :) What a life you have! :)) See you around on your instagram! :))

  98. Aisling says:

    Love your style, what camera do you use?

  99. Alyssa smith says:

    Just read your article on addiction and i can’t tell you how encouraging it was. Than k you, thank you for being so honest and open about your own journey. It gives me so much hope.

  100. Aimee Finlay says:

    Dear Beth, your words are so beautiful I feel blessed to have read them, to have seen your beautiful pictures with my eyes. You are truly and inspiration. Aimee

  101. Oh my, this page reads like a novel! I have been following you for a while and love the stories you tell through pictures and food. I’m not sure why I have never read your about page entirely, but it is a great inspiration. I’ve actually read it while eating stroopwafels in a small town near Utrecht ;) Thank you and I can’t wait for the next chapter! xx

  102. […] many of the blogs I return to, I discovered Beth Kirby’s work on Instagram. On this platform the art form of Still Life and Food Photography has had a huge […]

  103. Dear Beth
    I was already in awe of the clarity and beauty of your vision and what you produce, see and do. But after reading your post on Esme Wang, I admire you more than ever. To some extent I have experienced the other side of what you have been through, growing up with a mentally ill mother (schizofrenic and borderline). For the sake of my own health and after trying to “save” her for the first 25 years of my life, I let go and have not had much contact with her for the past 6 years. I am trying hard now to define who I am without her and her illness which has taken up so much space. I am also a photographer and in many ways share your views and desires for life and simplicity and creativity and creating. I am a mother of two small kids and work hard not to pass on to them the baggage my mom has passed on to me. Your story gives me courage and inspiration more than you can imagine. keep living a life that does you good. I wish you all the best the world has to offer on your journey.

  104. […] Some of our favorite creatives are Nora & Laura, Ginny Au, Joy Thigpen, Jacob from Brumley & Wells and Beth Kirby. […]

  105. Donald says:

    Not sure I have ever seen a mess quite like you
    But I’m glad I have

  106. Nikita says:


    I am reading this page, the second night in row..and half-way through I realized I was wishing it never got over. Painfully beautiful, your words elucidate something divine..


  107. Lisa says:

    In the midst of so much veneer, it is wonderful to find substance. Happening upon your blog is like finally being able to exhale. Thank you

  108. Coral says:

    Your blog and work is a glorious visual treat.

    Thank you!

  109. […] — Beth Kirby, a woman of many trades, has created this amazing Rosemary + Fig Bourbon Cider that I can not wait […]

  110. francesca says:

    è meraviglioso quello che scrivi, che fai. la tua arte è così dolce e delicata. ti ho conosciuta per caso, da Pinterest. ho passato delle ore fantastiche leggendo il tuo mondo.
    Grazie ! :)

  111. Kathryn Steadman says:

    Love your blog, so eloquent.

  112. jo says:

    thank you from Australia. very glad I found you today :)

  113. Lynnette says:

    I am so drawn to the way you write. It is wonderful to read :) What a great blog you have, I can see your love poured into it and it is beautiful :)

  114. Aunt Kitty says:

    I am sitting on my patio in FL with friends from Chattanooga and just read them your “biography”. They, as well as myself, are mesmerized by your writing ability and foresight into life (good or bad). They think you are amazing and so do I. Keep it up and don’t let anything stop you!! Can’t wait for the next Christmas dinner!! Love, Aunt Kitty

  115. Gayle says:

    I think we must be kindred spirits…Love the blog and the author

  116. […] seriously beautiful atmospheric photos, amazing food, and one of the best ‘About’ pages I’ve ever come […]

  117. Emily says:

    Wow! Looking forward to delving more deeply into your blog, and feeling inspired by you on many levels. About to try a recipe this morning!

    Loved your article on mental health. I’m a very messy person, in lots of ways, with a life that is “all over the map”. Trying to embrace it now, finding beauty where I least expect it. I appreciate other people’s efforts to document their own journeys of radical self-acceptance, so I can feel less alone on mine. Seriously hard work! Lots of falling down and getting up again!
    I also went to school in New Orleans ….It was in the 90′s… (Tulane) and while I loved the Central Grocery and Mid City lanes experience, I think those years for me marked a serious turning away from my true self. It’s hard to find time for self-reflection between hangovers.
    Anyhow, thanks for your efforts here! Your writing is enticing, honest, clear and inspiring.
    Have a great day :)

  118. Piyatat says:

    hi, I really like the way of living..a slowing living. I wish more people could read this article. :D

  119. Wow what a great blog! As an artist of 2D art I’m always looking for inspirational blogs and imagery. I love your simplistic and elegant still life photos, and how the joyful appreciation of life comes through their imagery. I am always looking for examples to show my students of everyday items set up artistically, lit well and composed nicely in the frame. The fact that I’m an additional foodie/cook adds additional interest. I hope you might allow me to note your blog in my own art blog ( as a great place to see examples of well done set ups. Since I work primarily in colored pencil (20-25) layers, a time consuming art, set up needs to be well thought out. My students will love your site I’m sure.

  120. Jaime Disiere says:

    At my crossroad in life and desperately wanting a change, to embrace finally, at the ripe age of 49, my authentic self …I remembered that I had bought “Where Women Cook” awhile back …sitting in my apartment alone and tired from my 68 hour work week I longed to just bake something, anything ! I opened the magazine and the first recipe I saw was your recipe for herbs de provence and rose olive oil cake, which I have in the oven as I’m writing this…which brought me to searching for you on Instagram which led me to your blog and finally reading “about” you.
    Reading your words and descriptions on how you see and embrace life pretty much made tears well up in my eyes ..not gonna lie! Thank you so much! Perfect timing and one more affirmation that I’m on the right path to getting back to the girl I am at heart and living the “true” lifestyle I was always meant to live. xo~ leaving Las Vegas

  121. Alishka says:

    Its a whole new world with you… I feel like I’ve jumped back a few hundred years in a small town with a simpler life for as backdrop … where everything is real and raw and from the heart and a soul so old so genuine so deep… its incredible how the internet can take you from a bright sunshine spilled beach to a space that deeper and more real in seconds…

    captivating and drawing in… thats your world… and so welcoming.. I don’t ever want to leave :)

  122. Shaurora says:

    Wow, wow. Your post on “living with mental illness” made me weep. I too have been in the psychiatric ward…..very surprising for someone “like me”. Concurrent disorders, it was called, and the most terrifying experience of my life. Benzodiazapines and alcohol…..crept up like a monster. 30 or so days without alcohol – off the benzos but had no idea about benzo withdrawal!! No one said a word about how anxiety and other things like sweats etc. would creep up on me out of nowhere, making me think I’d have to go back to that place which then adds to the terror/anxiety. A wonderful acupuncturist told me about the withdrawal… docs had prescribed Ativan for years for anxiety – which i took daily, sometimes a few times a day. Evidently it may take a year or even more for me to return to “normal”….. ;-) Anyhow, a friend turned me on to your website which I will enjoy. So far love your writing and the photos – you are certainly wise before your time. Your blog is well-timed as I’ve been…..messing with alcohol – “it’s just a glass of wine”…..but it’s like poison at the moment. So difficult as I am such a foodie and the romance of wine is…..everywhere and in my face.

  123. Beth,

    I am so glad that I stumbled across your site. I was immediately amazed at your photography and would love to know how you do it! Have you done any workshops or posts about your photography style/process that I would be able to check out?

    Keep up the great work!

  124. Farah Mahbub says:

    Greetings from a land far far away … found you on instagram, and glad I looked up your blog its good, wishing you all the best.

  125. Marta says:

    I found you through Pinterest, and your work resonated so much with me I wanted to leave you post. Great stuff. Looking forward to more.

  126. Ash says:

    Wow… Your words flow like warm milk from a bottle. Creamy, smooth, and full of simply yet luscious contours. I love your writing, but not quite as much as I love your mentality and the way your experiences so clearly create a remarkable present. Beautiful.

    • Ash says:

      P.S. I think everyone should have Rose Quartz. My personal favorite gemstones (always subject to change) are Labradorite and Charoite. I picked them up by intuition and, after a look at The Crystal Bible, they proved to be precisely what I needed. :-D

  127. Lisa says:

    I think I might like you. Thanks for taking the time to write such an introduction – in this day and age it is rare.

  128. I love not only this recipe but all of your work is so lovely, and I loved your article on Esme’s blog. Is there a way to go back to the beginning of this blog and read it through. I can’t find a way to find other entries back to the beginning.

    Thank you, and bless you for all that you do.


  129. […] get to link to people/articles/neat stuff as much as I want to without crowding up my timeline! (You have to read The Web […]

  130. Rebekah Tomko says:

    Received the March issue of Better Homes and Gardens that included the article :Cake Walk”. The magazine has not left the kitchen and I have made all the cakes featured. Love them all! Today I was looking for a fresh apple cake recipe and looked up the credits to the article and saw your blog. What a pleasure to read your articles and the comments of others. Count me in with your other admirers.

  131. Supriya says:

    Beth, I stumbled upon your site looking for inspiration not expecting to stand under the waterfall of your words. I found echoes of some of my internal churnings and sparkling beauty than shines through your writings. Beautiful words and beautiful food are my passions too and I am wowed by all that you’ve done here.

  132. […] credits: Janette Mallory; Beth Kirby of Local Milk; Amanda Johnson; Bethany Nauert; Nanette Wong; The Graphics Fairy; Nicole […]

  133. […] el primer blog de gastronomía al que me enganché. Las fotografías de la norteamericana Beth Kirby son auténticas obras de arte. Considero que es uno de los blogs más bonitos que existen, además […]

  134. […] seriously beautiful atmospheric photos, amazing food, and one of the best ‘About’ pages I’ve ever come […]

  135. Lindsey says:

    Hi Beth! I have been an avid instagram follower of yours and am always blown away by your pictures! I love your composition and use of light. It’s so unique for “food pictures”. I’m curious if you have ever thought about publishing a photography tips post for your readers. I would absolutely love hearing about your process.

  136. Diana from San Francisco says:

    Your biography must be one of the best written I have ever seen. It is honest and poetic. I have just started reading your blog and I am grateful to find something that satisfies my need for beauty, lovely writing and great recipes. Thank you.

  137. Vicky says:

    I’ve come across your blog by accident (well I originally found your instagram and was so enamoured with that I followed it here) and I just wanted to say how much I love it, from the coca cola birthday cake to such a thought provoking about page. I feel like you’ve articulated so many things that have whirred in my head! (I am the late twenty year old you’ve described who is transitioning from partying to appreciating an antique tea strainer!) Alhough I have not lived with Cormobid, I just wanted to say I found your writing on it very brave and very beautiful! Anyhoo, I will stop hurling awkward compliments at you now! Though one of my favourite things about the world of blogging is it so easy to say “thank you” and “I love it” to people!

  138. Ratika says:

    You write beautifully…it’s enviable. But very poetic. Beautiful blog. :)

  139. […] before, when I started my blog I even used a few of her recipes, and her name is Beth from the blog Local Milk. Her photography and writing are beautiful. I think we are quite different people, but I applaud […]

  140. Emily says:

    I want to join in with all the others who have said it before… absolutely engaging and wonderful writing. Thank you for being you and sharing that with us here. Much love.

  141. Susan says:

    Your writing is breathtaking and your story is so moving. So glad you are in this space. I love what you are doing.

  142. Hélène Pelucchi says:

    I accidentally came across your blog – there are beautiful “accidents” or serendipity – and want to “thank you for everything”, as the old, worn and much used formula goes. Everything means your style, your beautiful writing, your insight, your sense of harmony, your love for food, and sharing your thoughts and everything with your readers. You are a belle personne as we say in France, merci pour cela aussi, and sorry for my awkward English.
    Hélène from Nice, France

  143. Beth, your words are magical and the beauty and honesty behind your intent is inspiring. I am happy to have found you and this blog.

    Thank you for doing what you do. ♥

  144. Miquila says:

    Oh, I’m going to really love your blog, I can tell. You’re a wonderful writer. Looking forward to reading more.

  145. […] beats a fresh-baked loaf of bread, and after seeing Beth Kirby of Local Milk bake a fresh loaf of sourdough bread from her very own sourdough starter, I knew this was a project […]

  146. Teresa Bowers says:

    Quite a story Elizabeth. I too am familiar with rehab(s) and lets say, less than stellar behavior. You are a beautiful inspiration and your words remind me of Instructions for the Tenzo by Dogen. Be well.

  147. Chris says:

    Hey! Ur on yahoo!

  148. Traycee says:

    I found you – by accident on yahoo news; however, the more I explored your page, the words, the food and the beauty of broken all taped back up, I realized no matter how big the world seems, all of us humpty’s find a common denominator — joy happens (and I want to cook dinner tonight).

    • Traycee says:

      I’m in awe.
      I believe in God and His ability to move me and use me.
      I received a message from a friend who wrote sad words and I realized her battle is real and deeper than I can understand; I kept clicking your links and I have forwarded your story on to her — I said I found you by accident; I believe your page and words are a vessel for someone to find true comfort and I am in awe.

  149. James says:

    What an absolute talent you are, Beth. Love your writing and photos…..oh so refreshing! I’m hooked on your blog and look forward to creating some of your recipes.
    I’m half a world away from Tennessee, but after reading your “About You”, I feel like I’m right there with you in your kitchen creating wonderful, real food. God Bless and Thank You, Beth.

  150. Dear Beth,

    From one Tennessee gal to another, I just have to say, I love you! I just discovered your blog via your honey loaf recipe, which was pinned on Pinterest, and now my soul feels so full (after a rather taxing day). I am also from Tennessee, but I’ve been living between Berlin, Germany and Cairo, Egypt for the past 5 years. I’m starting to find myself by cooking old family recipes and I now find it more invigorating to sneak a cast iron skillet onto my carry on, instead of a fancy handbag. Blessings and love to you from Berlin, I can’t wait to learn more about you and try your beloved recipes.

    With thoughts of freshly made Sunday biscuits,
    Whitney Buchanan

  151. Kelly says:

    I absolutely adore your blog and your story. I, too, was born in Tennessee; Nashville, to be exact. I’ve always considered myself a city girl, but my Southern roots pop up here and again at odd times and in odd places. I’ve lived in Michigan since I was 10 due to my mother’s remarriage, so the accent is gone. But an accent is just an accent; you don’t lose your culture and heritage. I’m so inspired by your breath-taking pictures and that kitchen looks so dreamy! I hope to one day be spiritual and passionate as you are about cooking. Have a lovely holiday, and keep up the inspiration!

  152. Herb Ratliff says:

    It’s hard to separate my love of words from my love of food. Finding you made it unnecessary. What a gift you are. How can your arms be so thin when I know you love butter.
    You have a gift for feeling like a close personal friend without even knowing if you like pinto beans.
    Hope you write and muse forever.
    Herb Ratliff

  153. Nicole says:

    I am stealing a line from Traycee… I found you by accident – ” I believe your page and words are a vessel for someone to find true comfort and I am in awe.” Your photos of Venice were absolutely stunning. Thank you

  154. […] country estate was our home for a creative slow living retreat with food photographer and stylist Beth Kirby of Local […]

  155. […] country estate was our home for a creative slow living retreat with food photographer and stylist Beth Kirby of Local […]

  156. […] country estate was our home for a creative slow living retreat with food photographer and stylist Beth Kirby of Local […]

  157. Ilaria says:

    Dear Beth, you are an inspiring woman! Your work, photographs and recepies have a personal style. Brava!!!

  158. Teddi says:

    If you change Oregon for Tennessee, Spain for the Netherlands, add an extra marriage and 30 years our stories are quite similar. Okay, maybe not so much. Anyway, I enjoy your fresh point of view and ability to create an intimate relationship with your audience. Thank you for inviting us into your day.

  159. Larissa says:

    ” As we’re starting to hunger for real food, we’re hungering for real people”

    What a quote!

  160. Meg says:


    I love your blog, its so inspiring and your photography is just amazing. I was wondering what camera/settings you use? I would love to credit and recreate some of your work for a University project!

    • beth says:

      I shoot on a Canon Mark III, but the settings I use for every photo are different! Depends on my goals for that photo and the light I’m shooting in!

  161. Bharathi says:

    So happy to have stumbled upon on your blog. The about page is so inspiring and is a delight to read over and over. Love how poetically you talk about mundane things. Hearty wishes to you and the little one inside you. May you spread joy and continue your awesome work.

  162. You take my breath away Beth ! Just listen to your guest post on Journal and I´m so impressed by your strength and cleverness! I follow your blog of cause and you are such an inspiration to me in many ways. Thanks a lot – V

  163. […] perfectionism that often intrude on her life. In the ‘About’ page of her personal website, linked to her Instragram account, Beth writes that ‘I’ve been restless most of my […]

  164. […] blog; Jessica Stein, the face behind travel blog ‘Tuula Vintage‘; Beth Kirby, creator of highly influential ‘Local Milk‘; and Christina and Robert Martinez, a […]

  165. […] Dancing with the Stars. It’s just not my cup of tea. However, when fellow Chattanooga blogger Beth Kirby of local milk fame appeared on Season 4 of MasterChef, I started watching just to see her. After […]

  166. Lisa says:

    Beautiful blog/stunning photos!!!

  167. Maria Galletti-Basch says:

    Where have you been all my life? So well said. So glad to find your site. Looking forward to more.

  168. Talia says:

    Beth you are a gem. Your writing, photos, unique sense of being, your recipes- I love all of it! I just read your blog post about mental illness and it really touched my heart. Both my mother and brother suffer from mental illness and addiction and it hasn’t been easy to grow up with or to filly understand. I really appreciate your willingness to share and your heartfelt words. So happy to see you live a beautiful life and are able to accept yourself exactly the way you are- as you should! You’re perfect as you are.

  169. Steph Wilkie says:

    I have just read your contribution to Esmé Wang’s “Journal”. I rarely read something so moving and relatable on mental illness as your piece there. I thank you very much for articulating difficult thoughts so often trapped within others’ heads. I dare say I can see a Philosophy degree’s influence on your writing too. I am a fellow Phil grad and I have yet to attain such mastery on my thoughts and words as you have and do.

    All the best in the on-going (sometimes beautiful) struggle,

  170. Beth says:

    Finding your blog today was a true gift. Amid all of the crazy political news I decided today I would start only reading food blogs. I went searching and somehow I came upon your blog. Your style, the poetry of your writing and the excitement of what more is in store for me to read your blog. Oh, and we have the same first name…not short for Elizabeth though, just Beth.

  171. Kai says:

    This is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you. I look forward to exploring your blog.

  172. […] by Beth Kirby of Local Milk (who has a Jersey Ice Cream Co. kitchen; see The One-Month […]

  173. […] by Beth Kirby of Local Milk (who has a Jersey Ice Cream Co. kitchen; see The One-Month […]

  174. Yami Sharma says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this awesome info! I am looking forward to see more postsby you.

  175. Nikita Arora says:

    Sounds delicious! Mmmmmm, that looks EXTREMELY tasty.

  176. I am incredibly inspired by you, your blog, your recipes, your story. I too am a 30 year old woman with a passion for a modern Farm-to-Table lifestyle and recipes. I once had an unbalanced and hard to deal with past. I have found peace and comfort in cooking and creating. Creativity has saved my life and soothed my soul. Please keep doing what you do. I am moved by your words. Thank you.

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