Paulée Restaurant in Dundee

Paulee Restaurant Chef Daniel Mondok at work in the open kitchenA few weeks ago, John Valls photographed an opening event at the new Paulée Restaurant in Dundee where former Sel-Gris perfectionist Daniel Mondok has teamed with wine expert Brandon Tebb. The gorgeous interiors create a living stage for the diners to experience a world-class food and wine experience. Here’s a few photographs from the opening event.

New images: Oven and Shaker

Recently Oven and Shaker needed new images for their restaurant launch. I had the pleasure of working with Cathy Whims, who also owns Nostrana. Cathy and I share great synergy: her approach to food is a great fit with my style of photography. Shooting with her is a fantastically satisfying experience. Over several days we did portraits, food and interiors. These are a few of my favorites.

I’ve got three portfolios on my main website, and one of them is called “Dark”. It’s funny, that’s where many of my favorite images live. Sure I’ve got my sunny side, but often it’s the gritty, moody work that resonates with me. I think of few of these might migrate the the “Dark” section.

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Gregory Gourdet at Saucebox


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.

Cheap Eats for Food & Wine: The Helvetia Tavern


A hamburger at the Helvetia Tavern is practically as big as your head. You’ve got to commit to get through the entire burger plus fries. It’s the massive burgers along with great beer that makes this quirky spot popular with locals and cyclists looking for a major refueling. Food and Wine Magazine was writing about chef’s favorite cheap eats, so they sent me out to illustrate the piece. And yeah, the burger was killer!



The rest of the photos from this restaurant assignment at Clarklewis are just what you would expect: gorgeous food, great-looking chef, sexy dining room atmosphere with groovy peeps. However, this is the image that speaks to me. This photo is chef Dolan Lane in the midst of dinner service. I love that it’s layered, dark and moody. For me it captures the hard work and intensity required of a passionate chef.