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Georges Duboeuf Crus Beaujolais 2013 Preview Event

I am always honored when asked to shoot the annual Beaujolais Crus events for Georges and Franck Duboeuf, and each year the location, wine, and food pairings are superb. So when I was asked to cover this year’s event at Chef David Bouley’s Test Kitchen in Tribeca, I was really excited. Bill and Peter Deutsch of Deutsch Family Wines hosted the event and my friends at PadillaCRT coordinated the details down to a T, with beautiful flower arrangements, and as always ran a very polished media event for the attendees. The space is perfect for hosting private functions like this and Chef Bouley’s Test Kitchen is absolutely amazing. Here are just a few of the photos…

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A Taste of Tradition—Cider of Asturias

If you haven’t noticed, the cider market is booming. And last fall I was asked to cover a tasting event sponsored by Sidra de Asturias at Tertulia in Manhattan. Sidra de Asturias is a Protected by Designation of Origin (PDO) product of Spain and the Asturias region, or Green Spain, is located along the northern coast. The region has been producing cider since the 11th century and supplies 80% of the national production.

For centuries, servers called escanciadores have been pouring Asturias cider in a way that aerates the beverage and enhances the flavor and aroma. Only a shot is poured high over the server’s head and is to be consumed in a single gulp. For more info on Ciders of Spain and the beautiful Asturias region check out these links:
http://www.cidersofspain.com
http://www.sidradeasturias.es

It was a really fun event and towards the end the pros let the attendee’s give pouring a shot, needless to say the floors were a bit sticky by the end of the night, but coupled with the fantastic cider and the amazing tapas cranking out of the kitchen by Chef Mullen’s team at a dizzying rate, no one seemed to mind.

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A Slice of Heaven

Of all the photo shoots I do throughout the year for clients, when I get a call from a restaurant owner to come shoot their food and their restaurant I get excited. It’s really the thing I enjoy doing the most.

These are some of my favorites for a series of shoots I did for Baba Louie’s. The owners, Eileen and Paul Masiero just get it, and like any successful restauranteurs they start with fresh ingredients, and in my humble opinion make the best pizza in the area. They have set up a bakery which pre-bakes the sourdough crusts fresh everyday for the 3 area restaurants, as well as bread for the sandwiches and dinner rolls. I am a sucker for great pizza and have been striving to bake the perfect pizza at home, but I can’t hold a candle to what Baba Louie’s is doing. The crust is perfect, thin and crispy and the toppings are loaded thick with fresh toppings and cooked with a hot wood-fired oven. The sandwiches, salads, and pasta specials are just as good, but the pizza menu is all I look at when I’m there. My favorite is the “Isabella” with roasted sweet potatoes, roasted parsnips, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, fresh mozzarella and shaved fennel, drizzled with reduced balsamic vinegar and parmesan. It’s simply a slice of heaven.

If a client tells me their customers love the food photos on their website and had to come in no matter the weather outside on a dark night, then I know I’ve done my job. And I love my job.

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Salade Lyonnaise: Red-Wine Poached Egg & Salad

What do you do with that half bottle of red wine that has been on the kitchen counter for over a week? Poach an egg of course.
Check out the recipe here.

Poached Egg

Menu Shoot for Double Tree by Hilton

I wanted to share some of the shots from a menu shoot I did for Double Tree by Hilton—Valley Forge in King of Prussia, PA. Executive Chef Stephen Delaney plated some really delicious comfort food from lounge menu. People ask me all the time if I doctor food for shots, and I really don’t (save for an occasional brush of olive oil here and there for some extra shine). I rely on the plating techniques from the chefs as they are the true artists and my job is to make it look as delectable as possible. If you want to eat it, we have succeeded. Nothing makes me happier to hear from restaurant clients that they have customers come in on a cold dark night because they saw the food shots on their website.

Chef Delaney

Executive Chef Stephen Delaney putting the finishing touch on the foam.

Calamari

Fried Calamari with a spicy dipping sauce.

BLT

Grilled cheese with bacon, tomato, and avocado.

FB Pizza

Flatbread pizza with brie, caramelized onions with balsamic reduction,
portabella mushrooms, and arugula.

Salmon

Grilled salmon.

Triple Choc Mousse

Layered triple chocolate mousse.

Crostini with Pecorino, Pear, Hazelnuts, and Rosemary

With holiday office parties and family get-togethers upon us, I wanted to share a recipe by my eminently talented foodie friend, Emily Gold, with whom I collaborated to shoot some recipes for Culture Magazine last year. (See the related blog post here). And I would be remiss if I didn’t give props to another foodie friend and Editor Elaine Khosrova for styling and art-direction. I really enjoy collaborative efforts in the studio and plan on doing a lot more in the coming months.) Enjoy!

Crostini

 

This freeform recipe casually pairs savory, sweet, herbaceous, and nutty elements. It’s important to use a really exceptional pear jam or butter that is not too sweet. Simple to assemble, it makes for an extremely toothsome and wine-friendly snack. The recipe is inspired by an autumn specialty from Eric Warnstedt at Hen of the Wood, in Waterbury, Vermont, that combines Bonnieview Farm Coomersdale cheese with honey-roasted pears, grilled bread, and hazelnuts. 

Serves 4 to 8

1 baguette or sourdough loaf

Olive oil

¼ cup hazelnuts

1 stalk fresh rosemary

Pear jam, pear butter, or apple butter

Young pecorino or medium-aged sheep’s milk cheese

Heat oven to 350ºF. Cut bread into ½-inch-thick slices. Brush both sides with a little bit of olive oil. Place on a sheet pan, and bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake another 10 minutes. At the same time put the hazelnuts on a separate sheet pan and bake with the crostini for the second 10-minute stretch.

When the crostini come out of the oven lightly brown and crisp, rub one side of each slice with the rosemary. Little pieces of the leaves will break off onto the crostini, which is what you want.

Let the hazelnuts cool, then rub off skins. Chop coarsely and set aside.

Spread a thin layer of pear jam on each crostini, and top with slivers of pecorino (use a vegetable peeler for thin, uniform pieces). Return to oven for 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese gently droops over jam. Remove from oven and top with hazelnuts.

Pairing suggestion: Pinot noir or Trousseau, such as the Arbois Rouge 2010 Trousseau Les Bérangères

(Note: for more info on Emily, check out her Website: www.papercakescissors.com)

Remembering Chef Charlie Trotter

With the recent passing of Chef Charlie Trotter, I wanted to take a moment to post some photos from the Santé Magazine Restaurant Symposium held in 2007 at the Equinox Resort in Manchester, VT. I have to admit, that at the time I was still relatively new to the culinary scene and during those symposiums and guest chef dinners I was photographing some of the top chefs in the industry and didn’t have the time to reflect on it at the time, being too nervous to make sure my exposure and focus was spot on in the kitchens while dodging boiling pots and harried sous chefs. So when Chef Trotter came to the hotel to begin preparing for the amazing wine-pairing tasting with Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein, and tables we set up in the back prep area, I could sense his intense focus and preparation and how that carried over to the hotel’s chef team assisting with the plating for about 80 seminar attendees, many of whom were accomplished chefs and restaurant owners.

Much has been written and documented about his career, I hesitate to use the word “star”—even though he was—I could tell I was in the presence of a brilliant mind. He seemed to be simultaneously focusing on the task at hand but another part of his mind seemed somewhere else, thinking of the next step. His restaurants pushed the envelope and everything I have read, as with all great chefs, he worked hard at his craft and brought everyone around him up a level, pushing for excellence.

According to the Chicago Tribune, he apparently died of an in-operable brain aneurysm that he was diagnosed with after some dizzy spells, and had recently closed his restaurant in Chicago being told by his doctor to avoid flying and stressful working conditions. I can only imagine how that must have affected him.

His legacy in the industry will be felt for a long time.

A6DC2618 A6DC2619 A6DC2625 A6DC2626 A6DC2627 A6DC2630 A6DC2632 A6DC2633 A6DC2636 A6DC2659 A6DC2663 A6DC2709 Trotter with Equinox Chef Team