Lunch on the Cheap

Stuck for lunch? Starving artist? Hungry student ( and not just for knowledge) ? Well on “cheap street” mentioned in my last post, lies a few of the meanest sandwich production places in Florence,Italy.

People line up to order then sit on the sidewalk stuffing them down, and that is a gastronomical challenge. They are good, fresh due to the volume made, but one in a day and your done till tomorrow… roughly 5 euros each, along with a 2 euro cup of vino.

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Follow me this summer on my return to Firenze, Italia to continue my book

Read more here.    



What Am I Eating?!!!

I have a favorite lunch place in Florence,Italy. For just a few Euros you can get a great sandwich or pasta dish and a beer and enjoy the action of two sisters as they do a dance of serving and cooking for the local crowd. Trippa, a Florentine specialty is on order, and being one with the abitanti I placed my order….( I drank the beer before it came)


It was well made and tasty with a slight crackle and smooth interior although I had never tasted this before…  After lunch I headed out to photograph some food at the local Mercato, another high spot in Firenze when I saw the prime ingredient….



OMG! I now look at cows differently than before and no longer have the stomach for this tasty treat!

But don’t let me stop you, I don’t like tongue either…  and I will be back there for  more of the other wonderful things they make.


Follow me this summer on my return to Firenze,Italia to continue my book

Read more here.

Got Crabs?

Who would want that!!! Actually I did and it was the kind of challenge I enjoy doing, and of course eating. My client has a top end product, canned crab meat…all kinds. My job , just the type  I love to do, style,prop,light,create,shoot…

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showing the product , all 19 for page use….

what’s inside  Backfin_Miami Food Photography-3228

How to use…Miami Food Photography-4007-8

Colossal crab,squeeze of lemon,sweet onions,tomato,lettuce,thousand island,on multi-grain bread…mmm… if you eliminate the bread,chop up the rest,you would have a great crab salad as well.       P.S. goes great with a cold Pinot Grigio, maybe two.


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.



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…

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 case you’re really brave)


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???


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


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