… just finished up an exhausting and delicious week while the International Association of Culinary Professionals conference was in town. We’ve been a member since we worked on the Paley’s Place cookbook and it’s a wonderful collection of the best food writers, publishers and restauranteurs around. The IACP puts on seminars and gives out awards (kudos to Lisa Schroeder of Mother’s and Mama Mia Trattoria – best restauranteur). After a week of early morning classes, food-tourism in my own town, then late nights hanging with out-of-towners I rarely see, I had the opportunity to see something really special Sunday morning.
I was invited to see how the French butcher a pig. My curiosity may seem odd to many, but I’m a certified carnivore, and really interested in the where & how of meat. I must have been a farmer in a previous life. Dominique Chapolard who raises and butchers pigs in Gascony was in town for the week, and Sunday he showed a class from Camas Davis’ Portland Meat Collective how he and his brothers do it. Adam Sappington of the Country Cat tells me it’s a totally different method that what Americans traditionally do, but hey, if it still turns out great pate’, sausage, and head cheese I’m still game!
and a few photos ….
I worked with Andy Paiko on another B+W portrait for Luxe. Shooting with him creating a new piece was like a performance, for both of us. Because the glass cools so rapidly we had to move fast and couldn’t go back and “do that again”. So, as he dialed in the last details of the plate he was working on, I was zeroing in on “The Shot”. It all came together in the last few frames of the shoot; his piece was done, and I finally had the shot I was chasing down. Thanks Andy, that was great!
… just got back from a very chill trip to Zihuatanejo, Mexico. It’s a neat little fishing village where a lot of Mexicans go for vacation … and a couple of gringos too. It was 5 days of fish tacos and swimming in the ocean.
Now, it’s back to work. There’s a couple of projects coming up that I’m really jazzed about. A new cookbook to start shooting for, and a B+W editorial job that I’m doing, using some previously dormant cameras and film (!) Feels great to be shooting that way again, and I’ll post up about it when I edit though the project.
Stay tuned, and thanks for looking.
This project reminded me what a challenge it can be to do a great job on something so simple: portraits on white. The same lighting has to help everyone look their best from all camera positions, while also keeping the tonal values in check to make the knock-outs easy. All this was accomplished at the crack of dawn on rental equipment after my gear was stolen the night before. Thank you Pro Photo Supply for the rentals!
Art Director: Mike Staudinger; First Assistant: Chris Low; Makeup Stylist: AJ Lane.
This is Chef Gregory Gourdet at Saucebox. He is super professional, very mellow, and a lot of fun. We had finished shooting a couple of dishes like this halibut when it came time for the portrait. He went off to check himself over, fluff the hairdo & on the insistence of his coworkers, toughen up his look by cutting off the sleeves of his uniform shirt! I loved it, found it a great reminder that even when you’re at the top of your game you can still have a playful attitude.
It’s great when personal interests intersect with a professional assignment. That was the case for these recent images of Langdon Cook, author and professional forager. I met up with Langon on the PCT at the 5000 foot elevation mark of Mt. Rainer. On a brisk day in amazing light, we hiked and talked about the finer points of foraging. As he collected huckleberries, he told me the pleasures of sharing the food you find yourself.
Check out his blog, Fat of the Land. Langdon’s book about foraging is Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager.
Chocolate cake transports me back to my best birthday memories. A good photo can do just that: communicate an experience. This half eaten chocolate cake takes me right back to playtime and birthday parties.
Shooting with art director Nancy Austin for the Grand Central Baking book was a great opportunity to expand on the classic, highly-styled food photograph. The images are earthy and real and are filled with a crunchy regional vibe that is characteristic of Grand Central Baking and co-authors Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson.
The 10-Speed Press book debuts in October.
A year after sending in my book, I got a call from Photo Editor Cathryne Czubek at Metropolitan Home to shoot a garden designed by Andrea Cochran. I was totally fired up to shoot for them, a magazine I always found very inspirational. Can’t wait to see it out in print, although it will probably be a year or more!