Monday, June 14, 2010

How to pose your meatloaf.

Food photography is a funny thing.  You spend all this time preparing something delicious only to let it sit there and get cold while you set up the perfect picture.  The problem is, food isn't always pretty.  Sure, someone who is a amazing photographer can probably coax some beauty out of a pile of scrambled eggs or a puddle of gravy.  I aspire to be that person one day.  I want to create pretty landscapes of mashed potato mountains and a sea of split pea soup.  While I lack decent lighting and a fancy camera, I do pretty okay with what I have.  I take a lot of food pictures and not all of them are winners.  That doesn't mean that the food failed.  No, as a matter of fact I sometimes take pictures of really delicious food that is pretty unappetizing to look at.  Granted I am extremely hard on myself.  I am not trained in the art of posing a pretty meatloaf for the perfect picture but I am learning.  I am a classically trained chef.  As much as I want to take the prettiest pictures, the thing that matters to me most is how does the food taste?  As for how it looks through the lens, as long as the food doesn't get cold, I'm happy to primp a chicken leg for a pretty picture.  As the saying goes, you eat with your eyes before your mouth.  Creepy literal images aside, my food usually looks tasty.  Now I just have to translate that into a photograph. 

Here are a couple pictures of food that may not win any beauty pageants but they sure tasted delicious.

Grilled Mad Hatcher Farms Chicken with Indonesian Celery Rice Cakes and Soy Sesame Jus

 The organic WA raised chicken was glazed with kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), grilled to get a crust and then finished in the oven.  The celery cakes are made with sliced celery, cooked jasmine rice, fresh ginger and garlic, cilantro, soy, eggs to bind, and cap jempol (Indonesian chili sauce).  Soy, sesame oil, and chili garlic paste were added to the chicken dripping for the sauce

Scrambled Eggs with Dungeness Crab, Heirloom Brandywine Tomatoes, and Fresh Thyme

Dog Mountain Farm free range chicken eggs scrambled with fresh, local dungeness crab meat, tossed with sweet, diced heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs.  Drizzled with a yogurt based herb pistou. 

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