La Cucina, the magazine of all things Italian and delicious from cuisine to culture to lifestyle asked me to put together a team to photograph “The Feast of the 7 Fishes” story for their December issue. This meal is a traditional Christmas Eve dinner believed to have originated in Southern Italy. With Rebecca Jurkevich on food and Christina Rudolph on props we created a cool blue environment to show off the recipes which were culled from 7 well known chefs all across America. All 7 dishes were full of flavor but the favorite was the Spaghetti ai Ricci di Mare or spaghetti with sea urchin roe, a popular dish from the coast of Puglia.
Working with the incredibly creative chef Kurt Guttenbrunner on his first cookbook was exhilarating. Kurt was involved with every step of the process from recipe selection to the preparation and plating of his food, to the prop and background selection. We worked closely together making sure each shot perfectly reflected his vision. When we didn’t feel we had the right background we looked to the extensive collection of art on the walls at Wallse, his west village restaurant, and began pulling paintings down to use as surfaces!
His recipes begin with the tradition of fin-de-siecle Vienna, progressing to his modern interpretation of Austrian food. We were fortunate enough to borrow props from the design shop at The Neue Galerie, which insured that we used props that appropriately represented the elegance of Vienna at the turn of the century. The Trude Petri plates from the German porcelain company KPM are my absolute favorites. Make sure you read the introduction which gives an in depth explanation of the art and culture of Vienna 1900.
Francine Segan is the mistress of Italian desserts. She is also an acclaimed food historian who has combined her knowledge of Italian food with her passion for sweets and written a cookbook full of delicious desserts. These recipes represent a collection of desserts from all over Italy, some will be familiar while others like the “chocolate eggplant” will not. Each recipe is accompanied by an explanation of it’s origin which also makes for some interesting reading. After photographing and of course tasting 30 of the recipes I can say that they are all worth spending time in the kitchen preparing. Some of our favorites were the sicilian pasta crisps, bird beak pie, cocoa-nib jam tart and the ones I couldn’t stop eating . . . the hazelnut chocolate kisses.
We worked with the fantastic creative team at TBWA\Chiat\Day to create these two ads for their Voila campaign. Despite a crippling snowstorm the day of the shoot we all managed to arrive at the studio from NJ, Long Island and the various boroughs for a 9am call time! Susie Theodorou added her exceptional china food styling skills to make the pasta looks it’s best and Lucy Attwater brought her beautiful and smart style to the set with her carefully chosen props and surfaces.
Bertucci’s asked me to help update their menu. If you’ve been to a Bertucci’s recently, you may have noticed a different feel to their menu. I’ve been photographing their menu items, both for their website and restaurant.
The Boston-based restaurant group, has really been able to bring an authentic Italian flavor to their customers. The brick oven pizza is amazing with it’s fresh toppings and thin perfectly baked crust. Their pizzas are impossible to resist.
You can’t go wrong with anything cooked in a brick oven. My favorite is the ‘pick one’ and roasted vegetables pizza. The Bertucci’s team is thrilled with the new photography and the design work of Connolly Partners.
Kelly Geary is the creator of Sweet Deliverance. Sweet Deliverance picks up your CSA share, creates meals out of the various items, and delivers them to your home. As she says on her website, “The next thing you know, your delicious dishes are waiting at the door!” Kelly and writer Jessie Knadler created a book to share their favorite preserving recipes, in a beautiful and accessible format. The result is the just released Tart and Sweet, which I had the pleasure of photographing.
Working with Kelly and Jessie was a fantastic experience! They were so excited to finally get to the point of shooting their book and we were we given total creative freedom to make photos that truly showcased their recipes.
Jessie and Kelly were with us everyday watching their recipes take the form of glorious photos. The recipes are delicious and their enthusiasm for their subject shines through.
As an added bonus, they were very generous with their jams and pickles: we all benefited by having an abundance of treats to enjoy while we were shooting and then some.
In honor of Gwyneth’s new cookbook, “My Fathers’ Daughter”, One King’s Lane, Helicopter Inc’s design director Ethan Trask, and the PR firm of Allison Speer, collaborated with Gwyneth on an intimate book release party on 4/11/11. 60 friends, family, journalists and foodies were invited to celebrate the release of her book at a home in the West Village.
I worked with One King’s Lane’s style director Elana, photographing the table settings that Gwyneth chose for her dinner she prepared in honor of the launch of her book.
All of Gwyneth’s chosen table settings were auctioned off the next day by One Kings Lane. My photos were featured on the site to showcase these beautiful items.
If you missed the sale on One Kings Lane, most of the items can be found at Canvas.
You’ve seen Gwyneth Paltrow in many different realms: Oscar winning actress, favorite guest star of Glee, showstopper at the Grammys, wife to Chris Martin and mother to two children. You may even receive her weekly newsletter, GOOP, in your inbox each week.
GOOP is frequently about the importance of preparing and eating healthy, simple dishes – and creating memories with your family around the table. Her first book, My Father’s Daughter, was released on April 13th.
I had the pleasure of working in concert with Gwyneth and her supremely knowledgeable and joyful assistant Julia Turshen. We could not have completed the process without the talents of food stylist Susie Theodorou who as always went out very early each morning to source the freshest and most beautiful chinese foods that the LA farmers markets had to offer, arriving at the shoot laden with glistening produce beautiful firm fish and whatever treasures the morning markets had to offer.
Sara Slavin completed our team by pulling together a beautiful collection of props for us to choose from. The highlight of this shoot was spending time with an incredibly talented, food loving crew of amazing and dynamic women.
Everyday our morning collaboration turned into our afternoon lunch. Some of our favorites were the Duck broth with soba noodles, duck ragu, marinated gigantic bean salad with shrimp and watercress, fried sole sandwich, sweet rice bowl and seasonal crumble. . . I could keep going! Pick up a book, invite family and friends and start cooking.