Category: food photography

Reality According to Observation

The Modern Man’s Riddle:

If you didn’t take a picture of it

Did it even exist?

Or rather, if it is not documented then is it even worth making?  Food art is temporary, but if it is not showcased through a photo, how can you capture the essence of the moment?  Is the sense of satisfaction of the eater not enough to make the dish worthy of high praise?

The answer is to raise your own person awareness and savor the moment. The art of food is in the playing of tastes and textures on your tongue, it is about the innovative use of ingredients, it is about surprising flavor combinations, it is about nutrition and fuel as much as it is about plate presentation.  It is great to be in love with what is on your plate and the beauty of food, but a picture cannot taste, photographs do not need nutrition, and you cannot rely on a snapshot to salivate your glands.  This obsession of documentingpoignant observations applies to food as much as it does to appreciating any kind of temporary beauty.   Things cannot be preserved, especially food and nature.  Hiding behind a camera and relying on this snap frame to preserve the feeling of excitement and the thrill of curiosity will only take you away from the reality of the experience.

A picture may be worth a thousand words,

But poetry is priceless.

Cool, Creamy, and Charred

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Tres Leeches de Coco.  A coconut lime cake soaked with 3 coconut milks, pistachio crunch, charred tequila pineapple, blood orange purée, toasted flake.

It’s about representing winter, and focusing on the wonders of natural ingredients.  It’s about representing the elemental forces in a dish, it’s about highlighting the flavors and textures of the season.  It’s about capturing the essence of fire and exploring everything that the coconut has to offer.

The cool and creamy coconut milk mimics the fresh snow both visually and texturally, the pistachio cookie mimics the crunching of the frozen snow underfoot, the charred pineapple is reminiscent of the flame produced by fire, reconnecting the consumer with the power of this primal tool.

The coconut is represented in all ways: the fresh grated flesh forms the base of the cake, the coconut milk is soaked throughout, the lightly toasted desiccated flake adds another texture and reminds the eater of warmth.  This is paired with a blood orange purée, a slightly bitter flavor that rounds out the sweet, the char, the toast, and the nut.

Together this creates a harmony, a refreshing taste after the hot and obnoxious summer.  This dish highlights the integrity of a few ingredients with minimal processing.  Nature steals the show with this dessert.

Gifts from the Garden

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Late ripening heirloom tomatoes are the trend in the 7th inning stretch in the Chicago summer.  The secrets of their jeweled inside hang seductively like hidden chandeliers.

We are uncertain if the good times are over, or if the weather might swing back into a good mood before the long hibernation ahead.

Gooey Galaxy

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Rich, warm, sultry.

Dense like an imploding star

Dark like the depth of winter’s charm

Crunchy like the frozen ground underfoot

Tart like the twinkle in a lonely star

Creamy like the lost milky way.

Come and find, indulge your intrigue.

Fall Inspirations

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Although I am currently struggling with the complications of Autumn, when I think about the warming and comforting fall flavors, I get those good Goosebumps.  The chill is coming, but warming up with food is amazing.  This is the definition of comfort food, it is a feeling of safety, it is a physical reaction of an internal hug.  It warms you, calms you down, makes you forget about the harsh reality of daily living, transports you to serenity, if even for a moment.

Maple, caramel, clove, allspice, ginger, bay leaf, molasses

Pears, apples, pumpkin, squash, grains, beets, brittle, fennel, saffron, persimmon, bananas

Spiced rum, hot apple cider, dark roasted coffee, oatmeal stout, caramel

These are the flavors on my mind, and nature is my tool of inspiration.

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This dish is to remind you of fall at a Midwestern cider mill.  Apple cider doughnuts tossed in a rum-maple glaze, squash mousse flavored with chai spices, bacon brittle, dried apple shoe strings with sage.

I’m a Rebel! Again.

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Are you as excited as I am to see the portraits from this guys eye?  Are you excited to see the pictures he captures with his sleek shutterbugs style?  My new guy is modern, he is certified to communicate with the oracle. I am very thrilled with my new aperture to the world, a new mirror to reflect my reality, a fresh focus on my daily routine.

Stayed tuned for the name, Marigold is sure to have a full christening explanation.

Spring Taste

Crème Fraiche Coffee Cake with blueberries and lemon glaze
Crème Fraiche Coffee Cake with blueberries and lemon glaze

The spring is not set so tight this year, it’s gotten loose and rusty from years of abuse and over anticipation.  It’s a slow start, still getting cold at a moments notice, bone chilling when the sun hides.  Scarves are still in full effect, slippers are a house standard, the bed is still weighed down with blankets.  Despite the rusty snap that has yet to scar away old man winter, I cannot contain my excitement to throw off my puffy winter jacket, sacrifice it to the fire pit, watch it burn in jubilation of light clothes treading.

Strawberry Shortcake, poppy seeds and whipped coconut cream
Strawberry Shortcake, poppy seeds and whipped coconut cream

Maybe it is too soon to think about berries and juicy fruit, airy mousses and food as light as the clouds, bright tastes and sunshine colors, but frankly that does not bother me.  I don’t want winter foods. Squash time is past time, pomegranates are winter’s whore. Pears are a long way off, let’s forget about the apple for the time being.  Maple is for later, and so it the brussel sprout.  So to begin the new growing season, the season of fun, outdoors, and social interaction, I made these things:

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Pistachio cake, tiramisu semifreddo, fresh raspberries
Coconut panna cotta, rhubarb compote, strawberry-rum granite, candied cocoa nibs
Coconut panna cotta, rhubarb compote, strawberry-rum granite, candied cocoa nibs
Cookie Plate, with honey caramel and peanut butter frosting
Cookie Plate, with honey caramel and peanut butter frosting