So, I made my television debut today on The Chew. I settled in at 1pm at my studio to watch the show and was enjoying Catherine McCord’s segment on Green Mac & Cheese when all of a sudden ABC went to a Breaking News Weather Alert due to a tornado warning upstate. I knew that I was in the fourth segment which would run at about 1:30pm so I still had 15 minutes. The alert ran for a full ten minutes and we caught just the end of Catherine’s second segment before the commercial break. During the News Alert I had several texts and phone calls lamenting the interruption. I think my mother used some expletives…well…actually I’m sure of it.
So, when all of the commercials ran I thought we were in the clear…when the weatherman appeared again with those blasted radar readings and doomsday graphics. When the alert finally ended they went back and there we were…Daphne Oz, Yvette Nicole Brown and me…laughing and joking and talking about ugly cookies. So, it wasn’t a total loss…only the NY audience was effected and here is the link to the entire segment that was posted on the ABC website earlier today. It was a lot of fun and we even had a little drama to go along with the comedy.
Over the past year in addition to my other assignments, I shot a cookbook for the ABC TV show The Chew. Some of the other things I have been doing outside of my studio, as many of you know, is teaching food photography workshops and speaking at blogger conferences about food photography. On top of that the Outtakes column on The New York Times Diner’s Journal has given me the opportunity to share what I know with a broader audience still. Well, I am getting yet another wonderful opportunity to do more of the same.
The Chew has invited me to be part of a segment on “Taking Better Blog Pictures” and it will run Wednesday May 22nd at 1pm ET. It will also be available on the web later that week. I hope you will be able to check it out.
This dish looks really familiar but if you have never heard of shakshuka (like me) you might have been expecting something more alien. Eggs poached in tomato sauce is a Mediterranean staple in many cultures and the subtle tweaks in this Israeli via Tunisia version of one of my favorite dishes is well worth a try. I have seen it called everything from the mundane “baked eggs” to the provocative “eggs in hell”. It appears in this week’s Good Appetite Column and whatever you call it, it’s great.
Maybe I missed something over the past ten years but I had to ask myself that question when I got this assignment. It turns out that since the publication of the Jerusalem Cookbook these spice mixtures are really making their way into the mainstream. This week’s Recipes for Health focuses on dukkah used in salads, as a fish dredge, for crudite as a dip and as a topping for poached eggs. It is quite delicious. Pictured here is the peanut dukkah. Give it a try.
Here is a selection of some of the fun things I have been working on lately. The first shot is from Eating Well, a feature on Thai food that appears in this month’s issue. The next is a shot of maple syrup with a makeup brush from New You Magazine. It was a feature on Foods for Beauty. The third is a pasta machine for the product pages in La Cucina Italiana. Also, if you have been following me on Twitter you have seen that I have been writing the Outtakes column on food photography for the New York Times Diner’s Journal for the past few months. Please jump over there and have a look.
Creating a memorable burger shot is one of the more challenging in food photography simply because it’s like trying to improve upon what has already been perfected. The burger shot is the iconic food image that everyone is familiar with and in a lot of ways emotionally connected to. Last week, I had the chance to shoot these two as part of the latest Recipe for Health images. I always joke that I am chasing the Holy Grail of food photography and I’m anxious waiting for my chance to put my spin on that iconic burger picture. I feel like I am getting a little closer with these two shots. Closer to that burger ideal.
I was going to run this for my new Outtakes column on Diner’s Journal but I was a little late. Glad to be able to share it here.
With a subject as simple and somewhat monochromatic as this Turnip Slaw by Melissa Clark , published earlier this month, it helped to take an all or nothing approach. White on white on white may seem like it has little to offer on the surface but when you begin to see the subtle variations in color, light quality and tone it can make for a beautiful study. The image that ran with the story is a more traditional approach to food photography where this effort is more of an indulgence. I am inspired by the cover paintings of Cook’s Illustrated and seek to make my own art in that vein whenever possible.
By adding the bold architecture of the bottle and grinder and to the image and by keeping the depth of field very shallow the image took on an ethereal quality that I found very appealing. Also, the fold in the napkin gives the overall composition a lived in look, less fussy and formal. The distance from the viewer is intentional, meant to give the illusion of having to stand back and look at the spaces around the shapes. It did not surprise me that this was not the image that ran with the story because this is more about form and shape rather than food but making pictures like this is an exercise in being versatile and following your influences as an artist.