Sudado de Pollo..( you don’t want to know what this means)

Here’s a Colombian recipe we tried that proves to be a whole lot better than its name translates to, take my word along with a cold glass of white or rose wine and a good loaf of crispy bread. It also gets better the next day…

Recipe:
5 yellow potatoes (peeled and cut in half)      miamifoodphotography_IMG_7875
1 package of frozen yuca
8 pieces of boneless/skinless chicken thighs
1 package of corn on a cob (cut corn in half)
1 red pepper
2 tomatoes
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
2 cups of water
1/2 tsp of ground cumin
1 small sweet onion
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp live oil
Goya sazon with achiote
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the chicken in 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside when done.
Saute chopped red pepper and onion.  Once the onion is translucent, add the chopped garlic and sauté for another 5 minutes at low heat.
Add 2 cup of water.  When boiling, add yuca, corn, and potatoes.
Add Goya sazon and cumin.
Add browned chicken and cook for another 15 minutes so all the flavors can blend together.

For more food photos

 

 

Truckin…from the road to solid bricks

I love food trucks. They’re like little treasure chests of food gathering in one spot, omitting the swank of getting dressed up and going downtown. I also love when they’re more than just burgers and fries. So when Chris and Rand (also a photographer in his own right) ,owners of Press Gourmet Sandwiches, called to say they had a new place to park and needed #foodphotography, I was more than happy to help.

A neat modern setting with a cool concept, “gourmet” sandwiches and who doesn’t like a great sandwich, much less over a dozen different ones! My challenge… 20 food photos; salads, sandwiches, sides, ASAP for the grand opening of their new store and to help me meet it, my first call was booking a food stylist who could handle the job under pressure, a tight space, short deadline, and tall order…enter Elaine Hazlet.  Food stylist Elaine Hazlet at work

We had worked together on other jobs and beside her talent, I always liked her positive, “can do” attitude.

 

     DSC01052       DSC01053     Food Photography

                                        Selecting the spot was simple, squeezing in studio lighting was not, but that’s what makes it more fun.DSC01036

and I knew I could re-assemble an image later for a different background, if need be… the miracles of  Photoshop .                                     

Food Photography            pulledporkbrick

Everything went well and beside eating some of the subjects, I got to play with them later, changing backgrounds.

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Behind the Food Scene part 1

You see it everywhere you go to eat…cell phone food shooters (guilty as well). At parties some,Doctors,Lawyers and Indian chiefs, beam while they  show me how they shoot food…why they should have been a photographer… and maybe I should have been one of them. Too bad my cell phone can’t litigate a case or do brain surgery for that matter… BUT .. just taking a the picture isn’t what #food photography is all about. So how many people does it take to shoot a simple sandwich? ….it all depends.

food shootLet’s start after a few meetings or brain storming sessions over what and how… and go to do we need a studio?

Again depends… 50lbs of meat and a case of buns later…yes. and testing the “stand-in” item shown here takes the most time…. Oddly what you don’t see is the 150 feet of space behind of space that goes to waste or what we call a ” client comfort zone ” a place to relax, eat,worry,work and sometimes play games! Oh there’s also a  kitchen…forgot that. Carole Rousseau

A key player is the food stylist. Sure your mom or wife does a smashing dinner spread but to make the camera taste food? That’s another story…

Carole Rousseau  Myself, client and designer  debating over how the tomato looks! What you don’t see is my assistant who is shooting this and running around while the stylist is in the kitchen making the 25th one.

Is it all worth it? Well next time you’re in the supermarket really look hard at the frozen food section and on the shelves…

Next… Shooting on Location…

Potato Leek Soup with Smoked Salmon

Like soup?  Forget cans or frozen bricks of salty bouillon with what was once a veg or meat now a carrier of some chemical experiment gone wrong. This soup is so easy to make you can direct a child to do it while you watch a movie… and real good too.

Potato,Leek Soup with Smoked Salmon

3 potatoes ( red or a good   Idaho  type if there are any left)

2 large Leeks

1 pint of heavy cream ( yes it  has fat so what,if you want a diet, just heat water)

2-3 pints of a good organic chicken broth ( or be brave,make your own)

a package of smoked salmon..not LOX…wild Alaskan is real good..

a slab of butter… mmmm

fresh chives

Parmesan and good old heavy bread…

Video:

peel and cube potatoes…  boil in water till tender…slice all the Leeks up thin…saute in butter about 3-4 min….then add drained potatoes to mix in for 3-4 minutes…add bouillon and cream and turn down heat to simmer for 8-10  minutes. Take off stove use hand or large mixer and bring to a smooth texture…you can save some cubed potatoes to add in bowl after,add pepper to taste, no salt, and stir in thinly sliced small pieces of smoked salmon…stir and top off with Chop Chives in a bowl with Parmesan… Bon Appetite … a nice Pinot Grigio goes well…

 

Everything on It

I like Burgers…who doesn’t? So when a new sports bar and grill needed food photography, guess who they came to… me a professional burger eater. A few days of shooting, a few days of eating, a few pounds that need shedding and I can attest to the fact that my friends here at Bokamper’s make the best, not just burgers, but all their food that kept me busy for days, and this isn’t just a plug for them

 

A dozen burgers later, one Cheese Burger with Workscomes out naked… no

not a waiter, the burger. “what’s up with that?” I asked. Chef Jimmy Dean says, ” It’s a build your own burger.”  Music to my ears and visuals to my eyes as I start to taste it all. Turning to my food stylist, Ellie Stern I said ” If we build it, they will come” and here it is…  and so you came! If you go, tell them Matthew sent you

 

for more on food: visit here

Lemons to Lemonade

What do you do when a food stylist brings you lemons? … make lemonade.

With most food photography, especially editorial or feature shots, I look to create a scene that tells a story. Mine was a hot bright summer day with light bathing a picnic table into pale tones, allowing the lemons to dominate the color palette.

I needed the right props, clear, not plain, and translucent to allow the light coming through, giving interest to any textures of the glass. A chat with the food stylist helped to produce an assortment. On set, with my camera tethered to a larger monitor, I could see how the props would look, judge their size, color and their relationship to each other.

Much like doing a model’s test shoot, one can see if a prop has a photogenic quality. Placing them all together on the set, and getting an overall shot, I picked out the “stars”. My lighting was not yet the issue, although I had a general sense of what I wanted, I would deal with the technical part later.

Props selected, I began moving them around in various positions, until a pleasing composition took shape. At that point I created the lighting carefully measured for the effect I wanted. Once in place, it was now time to call on the stylist and bring in the real food product. Sometimes a stand in is used for cases where a particular food can’t sit long, even fresh lemons.

There are some shoots where it may not seem like very much is needed and the reason for hiring a stylist is questionable, but there is a big difference between having and not having one on set.  What may seem like a small effort needed, really isn’t and doesn’t go unnoticed by the camera once done. The placement of the lemons on the right, and the twisted slices in the glass and pitcher in the final shot is a good example. A good stylist can take your directions from how the shot looks from your camera’s angle, and your point of view. They know how to primp and play the product into your frame. A great stylist offers positive suggestions, some alternatives and puts their mark on the shot like brush strokes on a painting. The nuances a good stylist can add are well worth having them on the shoot.

Moving along, slight changes take place including camera angles and some alternate light variations. A move here and there, an addition to or a take away from brings the shot together…. and sometimes a happy accident brings a surprise that makes the shot… like Dropping the straws

My thanks to Ellie Stern Food Stylist