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In the studio—Culture Magazine shoot

In this age of ever-growing demand for digital content for Web sites, e-publications, and mobile media, it’s still very satisfying to see my work in print. So when I was contacted to shoot for the Fall issue of Culture Magazine and get to collaborate with my talented foodie-friends Elaine Khosrova and Emily Gold, I couldn’t wait to get started.

The photos were used for a wine-paring insert into the Fall issue, and the five recipes that Emily prepared were:
Spicy Roasted Tomato Dip with Chévre;
Sweet Potato, Chard, and Alpine Cheese Croquettes;
Savory Mushroom and Cheese Panna Cotta with Apple Salad;
Crostini with Pecorino, Pear, Hazelnuts, and Rosemary;
and my favorite—Ham, Manchego, and Fig Twists.

The studio never smelled so good!

storyboard001 storyboard002 storyboard003 storyboard004 storyboard005Wine Culture insert

Flying in Friendly Skies with Dolce

One of the things I love the most about shooting for Dolce Hotels is that each property is unique, and when I was called to fly to Forth Worth to shoot at the American Airlines Training and Conference Center I was excited to see this property. It also gave me the chance to go back to Texas after almost 19 years when I worked at the DFW airport following my tour in the US Navy.
Another thing I love about working with Dolce is that their staff is super professional and accommodating and they go out of their way to make sure the shoot goes smooth. This was the forth Dolce property I have had the opportunity to work with and these are a few of my favorites from the two-day shoot.

The chef team in front of one of the many flight simulators at the training center.

No peanuts on this flight—Executive Chef Lenny Ventura is an artist.

Ceviche

Exterior at sunset

 

Paul Smith’s College

I recently had the opportunity to shoot for two days at the culinary program at Paul Smith’s College, thanks in large part to the recommendation of Chef Kevin McCarthy, whom I first met during a shoot at the nearby Lake Placid Lodge a couple years ago for Santé magazine. The campus is located west of Saranac Lake, NY on the northern shore of Lower Saint Regis Lake and the surrounding landscape is quintessential Adirondacks. I was immediately impressed with talents and seriousness of the students and the hands-on approach in which the faculty worked with them to guide them through their culinary and pastry programs. I could have easily posted twice as many shots from this shoot but here are some of my favorites. In addition to the Hospitality and Culinary Arts Management program is a comprehensive Forestry program, in which we had time to shoot the equine and the impressive maple sugaring labs (It was in the end of March and the sap was starting to flow with the melting snow).

I hope to return to the area with Colleen this summer (when it’s not mud season), and if someday our boys want to learn the culinary trade I would not hesitate to enroll them in this program. Every student I talked to loved this school and couldn’t say enough about how positive a learning experience they had, with many of them transitioning into jobs right out of school.

Chef Kevin McCarthy evaluating the student's plate presentation

Students being evaluated by their instructor for taste, presentation, and creativity

Chef McCarthy tending to his micro-green seedlings

Fennel & Cherry Tomato Tart (part of a "Final Exam" where the student creates the menu concept and table design and manages the kitchen and servers in a full seven-course meal to guests in the mock restaurant. This particular student utilized barn boards, sunflowers, and mason jar candles as the table centerpiece, so we decided to use it for the backdrop of her final presentation dishes. From the glowing remarks from the instructor I'm pretty sure this student got an A!)

Sprouted Wheatberry and Quinoa Salad

Orange Tarragon Lollipop (to cleanse the palate)

Chef Instructor Sarah Longley critiques the meals courses prior to the first of two guest seatings in the adjoining "restaurant". (The student is also evaluated on how well they manage the "staff" of fellow students during the meal prep, plating, and service of 30 or so guests of family and friends.)

Baking and Pastry professor Deborah Misik worked with students to prepare a wedding cake.

Tools of the trade

A Photo Album for Apogee Catering

This past fall Dawn LaRochelle asked me to go through all the images over the past two years of events I’ve photographed for her catering business, Apogee Catering, and pick my favorite photos for an album. It was a daunting task to narrow down the almost 3,000 images and fit the best shots into an 80-page album. I really enjoyed the design process and reliving the weddings, dinner parties, and birthday brunches and remembering all the amazing food I got to try. The incredibly talented and professional chefs and service staff that can prepare a delicious meal and apps for 12 or 250 guests—sometimes in the middle of a pasture—was fun to watch and I was constantly impressed. These are some of my favorite spreads. Click on the images for a closer look.

The Grille or Golf?

The highlight of my week was shooting for the Mount Anthony Country Club‘s restaurant, The Grille, which is literally around the corner from my studio. The owners asked me to come up and shoot some of the items on the menu, of which I had heard good things from family and friends. The executive chef, Eric Pierce and his staff put together some really nice dishes and after trying each one, it’s fair to say The Grille is now on my shortlist of favorite restaurants. If you haven’t had a chance to go for dinner, lunch, or Sunday brunch, I highly recommend it. Oh, and did I mention the renovated 18-hole golf course with some of the most beautiful vistas in Bennington, VT? Go for the golf, stay for the food!

Sesame-encrusted tuna appetizer

Scrumptious fresh smoked salmon sushi

I really like the presentation of this sushi roll, and it tasted even better 😉

Scallops Florentina. Pan-seared sea scallops with fresh hearbs, garlic, lemon, tri-colors bell peppers, baby spinach and mushrooms, with a side of rice and garnished with a sweet basil leaf.

Turf Sliders. Seasoned beef tenderloin medallions grilled and served on toasted croutes topped with balsamic glazed onions and Vermont blue cheese. Accompanied with battered green beans and a wasabi ranch dipping sauce, and paired with a cold pint of Switchback ale. (This was hands down my favorite dish, and the battered green beans with the dipping sauce is a refreshing change from fries.)

Asian Ginger Tuna

Asian Ginger Tuna. Fresh Ahi tuna in a ginger soy marinade pan-seared and topped with a citrus fruit salsa.

Chicken a la Greque

Chicken a la Greque. Fresh chicken breast pan-seared with mushrooms, garlic, diced tomatoes, herbs, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, white wine, fresh lemon and feta cheese.

NY Sirloin

New York Sirloin with a sherry mushroom sauce and polenta cake.

Lobster Scramble “Ostrich Style”

I had the honor to shoot at David Burke’s Townhouse Restaurant in NYC this summer, and I am constantly impressed with the creativity and artistic presentation that chefs on top of their game are cooking. Not only was the lobster and ostrich egg scramble with Shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, creme fraîche, and American sturgeon caviar amazing to look at when it was brought to the table (served in an egg shell nestled in a beautiful copper pot), but this “appetizer” was incredibly delicious. Chef Burke was very gracious to go along with the fun concept for the Vibrant Rioja ad, and he juggled the ostrich eggs like a pro. He treated us for lunch after the shoot as the lunch crowd quickly filled the restaurant to capacity, and his Executive Chef Sylvain Delpique delivered dish after dish of apps to the table where we tried as much of everything we could, forgetting that the main dishes were still to come!

Lobster Scramble "Ostrich Style"

Chef David Burke

Perigee Summer Menu

I just finished shooting a selection of plates from the new summer menu at Perigee Restaurant in Lee, MA. When owner Dawn LaRochelle calls me to shoot her food I know it’s going to be good, and this was no exception. The Head Chef Joe Baczek, and Sous Chef Eric Anderson did a brilliant job with the presentations. Here are but a few of the offerings…

Pan-Seared Shrimp and Scallops, over sweet pea risotto; topped with horseradish-cilantro pesto

Roasted Duck Breast over wild mushroom and sage butter farro; topped with an over-easy duck egg

Roasted Duck Breast over wild mushroom and sage butter farro; topped with an over-easy duck egg

Pan Seared Trout Piccata over black pepper fettuccini with market-fresh vegetables

Pan Seared Trout Piccata over black pepper fettuccini with market-fresh vegetables

NY Strip Au Poivre, encrusted with pink and green peppercorns, topped with Cricket Creek Farms 'Maggies's Round' cheese

NY Strip Au Poivre, encrusted with pink and green peppercorns, topped with Cricket Creek Farms 'Maggies's Round' cheese

Seafood Martini, Asian-inspired cerviche featuring scallops, shrimp and lobster marinated with white soy and yuzu

Seafood Martini, Asian-inspired cerviche featuring scallops, shrimp and lobster marinated with white soy and yuzu

Braised Beef Short Ribs, over pan-fried polenta cake; topped with tomato and wild mushroom ragout

Braised Beef Short Ribs, over pan-fried polenta cake; topped with tomato and wild mushroom ragout

Paella Valencia, saffron rice, scallops, shrimp, smoked chicken, chorizo sausage, clams, carmelized onions, garbonzo beans and market-fresh vegetable

Paella Valencia, saffron rice, scallops, shrimp, smoked chicken, chorizo sausage, clams, carmelized onions, garbonzo beans and market-fresh vegetable

Pomegranate-Glazed Salmon, over lemon-scented farro with market-fresh vegetable

Pomegranate-Glazed Salmon, over lemon-scented farro with market-fresh vegetable