A Plate of Health or Get’s You Going

This is a different kind of back of camera and camera as well …my Iphone, also one of my favorites , forget the phone part ,who uses that today anyway! I love to cook especially in my new place that offers a great kitchen that opens into a large dining area…great to shoot in,good light … sorry for the plug.

Let’s first say that I have been using Organic items as much as possible and of course affordable. So start off the same in this recipe to really taste the goodness of this earth. I’m not specific on amounts because they can be varied according to taste and preferences… but here is mine for this very simple dish:

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one head of Broccoli ..I use the florets…

( yeah I know, why not use buy the florets instead of chopping? Because like a fish with its head on, the net product stays fresher in the end, not dried out and tasteless like the packaged one)

two Zucchinis ..cut in chunks,not slices…

( why? they stay better firm rather than slices do that will appear like a Salvadore Dali painting)

Half pound of mushrooms quartered… (why? see above Dali )

One red pepper or orange if you prefer…( why not a green one? This isn’t chile amigo,next time)

Half an onion…I first slice then half the slices…( really? see above )

One clove of garlic diced…. ( two or three if you’re over your love life )

A little sea salt or that pink one from Tibet ( yeah sure ) and a little Herbs de Province…you can make your own if you like..(recipe another time )

Swiss cheese shredded or Mozzarella and grated Parmesan (amount to taste )

One cup of white wine,the cheaper the better..

Start by steaming the broc its quicker, and lighter in final taste.Don’t over steam it..keep sticking a fork into it to test…usually 6-8 minutes…but test it. Meantime saute all the other items, adding herbs etc… together in olive oil, a good one, not the 99cent one at GoodGuys..( why? Reality check..) keep stirring them around or flipping them in the pan like a real Saute Chef…feel the food young Jedi. Meantime in a deeper baking dish put a layered amount of cheeses…In about 10 minutes all should cooked…mix all ingredients together and start layering them in dish one layer of mix and one of cheese…

When you run out top it with Parmesan and add one half the cup of white wine…drink the other half. Put into oven ( 325 for those who count) just for a few minutes to melt it all…don’t try to make a baked dish out of this one,it should stay firm with melted cheeses…

Bon Appetite MF…if there’s wine still in the bottle, finish it off !

Like it? Pass it one and re-post.

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.

 

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                                        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 .                                     

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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…

 

Hot Dog Rubens…not for the faint of heart

WARNING:  If you’re watching your weight, your heart, your cholesterol, your health, your breath, your religious beliefs, the last notch on your belt,maybe your immediate sexual expectations …DO NOT GO FURTHER!! this is not for you…BUT, if you are an all around person, a belly up to the bar type, thinks belching out loud in public is normal, haven’t seen your toes in a while, or just tired of grazing on rabbit food, trying to convince yourself how good thistles taste, and don’t give a rat’s ass about what Dr.Healthy has to say…proceed, give caution to the wind and try ..

Hot Dog Rubens

_MG_0215web  I owe the credit to my ex sister-in-law for this one. She got me started. I passed it on to the family and for the last 20 years or so, we turn to it like a drug. It’s really easy to make and while this example is only for a master of debauchery or if you have suicidal thoughts, I would recommend making only one layer.

Start with great hot dogs, not the greasy kind. Get good Rye bread, Jewish by preference, they know their stuff when it comes to that. This one is a whole loaf that I sliced nice and thick ( the packaged kind with their idea of a slice is for sissies.  Get a good package of sauerkraut, the German kind and good Swiss cheese or sliced Gruyere along with Thousand Island Dressing.

_MG_0130  Mix Kraut ,diced onions, and dressing in bowl. Feeling ambitious? Saute onions first till light golden brown for more flavor….

Slice 2 dogs lengthwise (I know there’s 3 here..in case you’re really brave)

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Put a slice (or two) of cheese on the first layer of bread,then the dogs,then the mix and another layer of cheese on top. Stop there and add the top layer of bread,if you’re a beginner, if not repeat the process on the next layer…Come on,you only live once and isn’t that enough???

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Now the best part, put butter on the bread and some in the pan and saute this beast till the bread gets golden brown…

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Pour a glass of lip smacking beer, did I say a glass?  What’s wrong with me…Share it with your mate, I didn’t say lover cause after this one, you’ll be done for the night!

Matthew Pace is a #foodphotographer working in Miami,South Florida, and Atlanta. More work can be seen at http://www.miamifoodphotography.com   http://www.foodphotographyatlanta.com

Give It a Swirl

I shoot food, all kinds of food. Sometimes basic and sometimes complicated, but I always strive to make it better or more interesting, even if it’s not called for.  My client needed some quick shots to go with a special, a few different pitchers of sangria and wine drinks. Not overly complicated, I shot it at their location downtown.

Satisfied with this simple shot, I wanted to go a little further…

Photoshop to the rescue. Selecting the Elliptical marque, I marked out the iced area on top. Then went to the Filter menu and selected from Distort=Twirl. Playing around with the amount of twirl gave me 95% as acceptable….

Interesting but to finish it out, I selected the background and added a gradient color..

Not too bad but the Miami food photographer in me had to do one more…and drink up!!!

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

 

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