Based in Portland, Oregon, Mattie John Bamman is the editor of the rapidly growing food news website Eater Portland and a freelance culinary travel writer. His interest in food, community, and sustainability has its roots in the tiny fishing village of Milbridge, Maine, where he was born. He grew up as part of the back-to-the-land movement; his dad was a wooden-boat builder—he’d cut down trees, use horses to drag them out of the woods, and saw and plane them into boards to build boats. The family produced the majority of its own food.
One of Mattie’s neighbors growing up was the poet Theodore Enslin, who wrote over 100 books during his lifetime. He’d hire Mattie to do odd jobs, and one day he said, “Judging by the way you stack firewood, you’d make a good poet.” The friendship lasted nearly two decades.
Mattie got his start in journalism in San Francisco in 2005, interning at McSweeney’s Publishing House (The Believer; McSweeney’s Quarterly Review) and working as a freelance writer and photographer for a variety of publications—mostly tattoo and music magazines.
While living in Italy’s Puglia region in 2008—famous for its primitivo and negroamaro wines—Mattie specialized in culinary travel. He regularly interviewed winemakers and wrote for a variety of travel blogs, as well as authored and updated travel guides to Italian cities for Northstar Travel Media.
Having moved to Portland, Oregon in 2010, he mostly writes about food, wine, and travel in the Pacific Northwest for Northwest Travel & Life Magazine, Edible Portland, and more. In 2015, Mattie took over as editor of Eater Portland.