food

Cocktail Quickie

There's a mantra in the photography world that I try really hard to live by and that's ABS: Always Be Shooting.  There's a number of good reasons for this such as keeping you skills on point, expanding your creative horizons, adding to your catalogue, etc, but I also find it really good for the soul.  So much of photography is EMAILING, bidding on projects, meetings, constant technology education, billing, accounting, and on and on.  The business of photography is crucial, but you can't let it take over to the point where it's not fun anymore.  So sometimes I like to set up the studio in my place and just photograph something pretty, like cocktails or food, like these.  

DNA Dinners Supper Club

On Saturday, June 28th I photographed a pop-up supper club in Beverly Wood for DNA Dinners.  It was a small, elegant dinner at the home of Debbie Alberts and prepared by chef Alex. Here are a few of my favorites from that night.  

Check out their Facebook page to learn more about DNA Dinners or to register for their next event.

https://www.facebook.com/dnadinners

Central Coast Chefs for Edible SLO Winter 2014

Back in October I had the opportunity to photograph three chefs from some of my favorite restaurants in San Luis Obispo County for Edible SLO magazine.  The magazine came out in January and is on news stands now.  Each of the chefs are committed to sourcing local, seasonal, sustainable products and are really at the forefront of the farm-to-table dining movement.  I have eaten at each of the restaurants featured in this issue and I can safely say that if you're on the Central Coast and looking for a spectacular meal you will find one anywhere these chefs are cooking.  

Chef Jensen Lorenzen photographed in the gardens of the Cass House restaurant in Cayucos, California. 

Chef Jensen Lorenzen photographed in the gardens of the Cass House restaurant in Cayucos, California. 

Chef Shaun Behrens in front of Luna Red restaurant in San Luis Obispo, California.  

Chef Shaun Behrens in front of Luna Red restaurant in San Luis Obispo, California.  

Chef Julie Simon of Thomas Hill Organics restaurant photographed at Olea Olive Oil in Paso Robles, California. 

Chef Julie Simon of Thomas Hill Organics restaurant photographed at Olea Olive Oil in Paso Robles, California. 

Campaign for Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance: Part 1

Over the past few years I've fully fallen in love with Paso Robles.  Combining that with my love of food and wine, being asked to shoot for the PRWCA was a really cool honor for me.  Here are some images that will be used in the 2014 "Grow Wild" campaign to promote the Paso Robles wine region. 

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A big part of the campaign focuses on Paso's sustainable practices including use of animals to abate weeds, fertilize the soil, and promote a holistic farming practices.  Tablas Creek Winery was nice enough to let the animals loose in the vineyard for us even though the grapes were still on the vines.  Perhaps a bottle or two worth of grapes were sacrificed to the animals for the cause, but hopefully the images were worth it!

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We also shot in the barrel room at Robert Hall Winery.  The size of the cellar always shocks me and it's a challenge to photograph in such a cavernous space.  The barrels go on for days and the smell of oak and fermentation is heavenly.  Not a bad place to work for the day.  

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Paso Robles Farm to Fork Progressive Tour

Last Friday the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce held its inaugural Farm to Fork Progressive Food and Wine Tour.   The tour was a multi-location food and wine extravaganza of some of the best things the area has to offer.  Proceeds benefit a scholarship fund for local high-schoolers.  I donated some of my images to be used for promotion of the event and they were nice enough to invite me along for the day.  At right is the brochure for the event with some of my work.  It was a delightful, hot, whirlwind day (filled with lots of cool swag), here are a few of the highlights...

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A breakfast of bacon wrapped fig strata, quinoa with apples, roasted rosemary potatoes and chimichuri at the Pioneer Museum was the way the group of 100-plus people were welcomed to the tour. We then boarded buses and headed off to our first stop, Windrose Farm in Creston.  Once there we were treated with chipotle and heirloom tomato bloody mary's made with a local grape-based Re:Fined vodka.  In my book it doesn't get much better than this.  Then, bloody marys in hand, we were given a tour of the farm by owner Barbara Spencer.  Windrose is an organic, bio-dynamic marvel, growing more than 40 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, apples, squash, peppers, and almost anything else one can imagine.   After the tour the group sat down for a tomato tasting and some lemonade, then on to our next stop...almost.   

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I won't get into the details, but there were some bus issues that caused some very uncomfortable time in the sun.  Luckily there was a bottle of water in my goodie bag and my bloody mary was still in effect.  Once a new bus arrived to take us to our next stop we were in business again.  The second stop, Windfall Farm, was the apex of the tour.  A cooking demonstration by cookbook author Brigit Binns while sitting on bales of hay and sipping J Lohr Viogner was just what I needed after the bus debacle.  Even better, we all got a copy of the cookbook which I've been eyeing in local shops for weeks.  

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Binns demoed the food which we were to be served later, a pear and fennel salad and a braised short rib with creamy polenta, yum!  The wine continued to flow as we moved onto communal tables for lunch.  I moved on to some Petit Syrah to pair with my short rib and stopped to stroll through the spectacular foaling barn near where lunch was being served.  The group was mostly women and I had a very diverse, interesting bunch of ladies at my table.  After lunch it was time to grab a bottle of J Lohr's premium Hilltop Cabernet, and proceed to our final stop, Pasolivo for a little something sweet.  

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A tour of the olive orchard, followed by an olive oil tasting were a nice way to round out the day.  I enjoyed some local Leo Leo strawberry gelato in the shade, and the tour was complete.  Such a fun day surrounded by people who are doing truly impressive things with their resources.  I am so proud to have become a part of the Paso Robles food and wine community over the past couple of years and it brings joy to see good, hard working people thrive.  

Stocksy and Me

I am super-duper excited to be a part of the new photo co-operative, Stocksy!  Stocksy is a new concept in stock photography that gives contributing photographers 50% of all normal licenses and 100% of all extended licenses.  Started by iStock founder, Bruce Livingston, Stocksy seeks to create a stock business model wherein its contributors can make a sustainable living from photography, and not sell their images for pennies on the dollar.  

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Stocksy has quickly become my go-to place to get inspired and see creative, beautiful imagery.  They have a very stringent acceptance policy and only accept work that transcends typical stock photography.  Some seriously talented photographers from all over the world have joined Stocksy, including a couple of my favorites, Kevin Russ and Darren Muir

I have a tiny portfolio with Stocksy thus far, you can see it here, however I'm looking forward to uploading more of my work when I get some time.  I'm thrilled to be part of such a cool community and I'm looking forward to getting more involved in the upcoming months.  I noticed that their imagery of Buenos Aires is quite slim, so hopefully I can fill in some gaps for them with my upcoming trip!

Overdue and Overflowing with Work

It's been too long since I've posted!   Traveling, shooting, work, work, and more work and I have yet to get quite caught up.  My summer resolution is to be better about posting about what I'm working on and projects that have wrapped.  Where to begin?  I guess food is alway a great place to start.  

Moroccan Spiced Braised Lamb Shank

In March and April I worked on a series of recipes and food photos for a client.  It was a mixture of recipes that we've cooked in my household for years, and new stuff that I wanted to try.  It was a large project, 50 dishes, and the house was always filled with awesome aromas. 

There was so much food around that I had to resort to begging people to come over and help relieve my refrigerator of some of the prepared items so that I could make room for new ingredients. Luckily Becca, Justin, and Patrick were kind enough to eat some of the leftovers and take one for the team to keep the ball rolling.  I don't think they minded too much!

Capellini with Salmon and Vegetables
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I've just gotten back from my annual week in the desert at the Palm Springs Photo Festival: Connect 2013, shot some travel pieces, shot some lifestyle work, and have even done a beer label for a new brewery. More to come soon! 

Elegant Country Dinner and Tomato Tasting at Windrose Farm

On Saturday, September 15th, two lovely events were held at Windrose Farm in Paso Robles, California.  First in the afternoon there was a tomato tasting featuring over 20 varieties of tomatoes.  In the evening there was a farm to table feast paired with local wines from Tablas Creek Winery.  It was a hot summer night, but spirits were high on the farm.  Here are some images from the event and around the pastoral grounds of Windrose Farm. 

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One of my favorite parts of the day was simply wandering around the expansive apple orchards.  There are dozens of free-roaming chickens that made themselves at home in the shade beneath the trees.  Windrose is in a unique location in that they can successfully grow both apples (which typically require a cool climate) and tomatoes (which love the heat) due to their warm days and cool nights.  

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Windrose also raises sheep on thier property.  They have tons of room to roam about, and lead happy lives hanging out with the dogs in the pasture.  

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Barbara and Bill Spencer are the owners of Windrose.  Barbara is seen here talking to the diners about the practices on the farm and what the menu is for the evening.  

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Neil Collins (seen at right), the winemaker at Tablas Creek Winery in Paso Robles, paired each course with his wines.  Tablas Creek is known for being a leader in Rhone varietals, which proved to be a great pairing with the menu.  Almost all of the ingredients were sourced from Windrose, and were prepared by chef Clark Staub of Flatbread Full of Life based out of Los Alamos.  You can find out more about Tablas Creek and Flatbread here...

http://www.tablascreek.com 

http://fulloflifefoods.com/

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Windrose Farm owners Barbara and Bill Spencer in front of their sheep. 

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Flatbread brought out their wood burning oven from which they prepared pizza during the day and used to cook the dinner in the evening.  Chef Julie Simon of Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles came to assist with the dinner as well as Kat from Flatbread. 

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The day was a great success and I am lucky to have been a part of the festivities.  The Central Coast food and wine community is a very tight-knit group and it is nice to see people who are passionate about the things they create and who value artisinal traditions and quality ingredients. 

http://windrosefarm.org/

Summer Shooting!

Katie and I have decided to go our separate ways, and America Eats is now a solo endeavor.  Never the less, the project is moving forward with renewed zeal and gusto.  I shot a Portuguese festa in Modesto, California and had a fantastic time.  Everyone was so kind and welcoming, it was a great event.  You can see more images from the festivities and read about the history of festa on the America Eats website.



America Eats Project Off and Running

America Eats: Following Food to Find America project is off to a great start.  Jim Denevan of Outstanding in the Field was generous enough to let us shoot their event at Wattles Farm in the middle of Hollywood yesterday.  Katie and I met some great people and had a lot of fun seeing the 140 guests experiencing farm to table dining.

To follow our journey and see more about the project please go to:

www.americaeatsproject.com

 

America Eats, Wattles Farm, Hollywood, community garden, Outstanding in the Field

 

America Eats, Wattles Farm, Hollywood, community garden, Outstanding in the Field, Jayme Burrows

 

America Eats, Wattles Farm, Hollywood, community garden, Outstanding in the Field, Jayme Burrows