Category Archives: Food Images

Photo Contests and Shooting What you Love

Eggs at the Versailles, FR market.

I entered this image in a food photography contest a few months back and was shortlisted as a finalist. The image was taken at the outdoor market in Versailles on my vacation last year. The vendor had crates and crates of eggs stacked on his table. The shadows of the eggs in the crates, the fine lines and symmetry of the crates caught my eye. And there goes the click. How this image versus the other mages I submitted made it to the finals I do not know.  We never know the minds of the judges. We can only wish that the image we submit somehow resonates with those judges. I entered another contest last year and scored very well with one judge – but one is not enough. The others had a different idea for the criteria for winning. Win or lose – doesn’t matter – what matters is being in the game – taking forward action and being confident in your own style and the value you bring to the table. No judge in a contest can take that away from you. Shoot what you love – and keep shooting it. Shoot, refine, shoot some more. Rinse and repeat. Even if you never enter a contest, this is the formula for excellent work. So go out and do excellent work.

So why do we enter photography contests? For me, it was all about validation. To know that the months of hard work and practice bring tangible results. To compete with professionals and amateurs on a global scale  – and wind up on the shortlist – this is a really great motivator to keep doing what I do.

Do any of you doubt  your talent and ability every now and then like I do? Sometimes the work of photography and art is isolated. Hold fast to your vision. The world needs it. Art matters – in history – and now more than ever. Your work enriches the world around us. Keep doing it – over and over and over again.

My agreement as a finalist was that I would not publish the image on any social media until the winners were announced on April 23. Although I did not place or win my category, “Cream of the Crop”, I was thrilled to be a finalist. It is so satisfying to do work that you love and get paid and recognized for it.

There were over 5000 entries and about 100 finalists in all categories. Each category had seven finalists and there was an overall winner. My image was on display in a five-day exhibition of the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2013 at the Mall Galleries, London SW1 from Wednesday 24th – Sunday 28th April 2013.

Keep directing energy to the thing that you love and love will come back to you in ways you could never imagine.

Carrot Soup

Carrot Soup


I’ve been working with the wonderful and talented Selina Maitreya to complete my portfolio.  After going through all of my current images, we decided that I needed at least 15 more. One missing category: soup.

After our last meeting, we decided that I needed two soups: one creamy and one chunky. Today was creamy soup day. I spent the afternoon peeling and roasting carrots and then pureeing and straining.

The end result was very delicious. Think I need to work on the styling a bit more though. My cream swirls need some practice :)

Food photography is much more than shooting beautiful food. So often we need to be the chef and stylist too. It’s fun to wear so many hats!

 

Grilled Pork Chops

Hot grill.  A blush of olive oil. Sprinkle of salt and pepper….

Dinner. Mmmmmm

Grilled-Pork-Chops

Baked Ricotta with Roasted Pears

Dinner tonight. Baked ricotta (with lemon and oregano) and roasted pears with crispy sage leaves.

Baked-Ricotta-and-Pears

More Summer Tomatoes – Heirlooms

When I was a girl, our family summer vacations were usually spent in NC with my Mom’s side of the family – on the family farm. So many fun memories :)

One of my best food memories revolved around a big juicy tomato sandwich. White bread, gobs of mayo and thick, juicy slices of home grown tomatoes. Heaven in every bite. But alas, I am nowhere near NC or Uncle Fuzzy’s garden, so heirloom tomatoes will have to suffice. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Summer Tomatoes

My favorite summer taste…

A Perfect Sunday Morning and Breakfast at the Beach

It’s storming out right now. Rain pelting the windows replete with thunder and lighting – a real Florida thunderstorm. But earlier this morning it was just right. Just right for breakfast on the beach. A little overcast, some lovely sea breeze (ok, it was windy and I had to tape down the place mats :)). And the sun peeking through the clouds just enough…

Ft. Lauderdale Beach July 2012

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

David Lebovitz’s post a while back for a French Tomato Tart inspired me to try my own version of the tomato tart with the wonderful tart crust I learned from Madame Paule Caillat in her Promenades Gourmandes class. In class, we made a sweet dessert tart, but Paule assured us that the crust would work with a savory filling too.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart (Adapted from David Lebovitz, A Culinary Journey in Gascony, and Paule Caillat’s family crust recipe)


Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart
Recipe type: Savory
 
Ingredients
For the tart crust
  • 90 g (3 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil (I used lemon, orange and herbs de provence infused olive oil)
  • 3 tbs water
  • 
1/2 tsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150 g (about 1 cup) flour
For the tomato filling
  • Dijon mustard
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes sliced into thick rounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Chopped fresh herbs (I used thyme and parsley snipped from the garden)
  • 8 ounces (250 g) fresh or slightly aged goat cheese
Instructions
For the tart crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 410º F (210º C).
  2. Combine the butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt in a large glass measuring cup or oven safe bowl
  3. Place the butter mixture in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the butter is boiling and just starts to brown.
  4. Remove the butter mixture from oven and add into the pre-measured flour. Stir it in quickly, until it comes together and forms a ball which pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  5. If needed, add flour a spoonful at a time until the dough pulls away form the side of the bowl.
  6. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch (23 cm) tart mold with a removable bottom and line it evenly.
  7. Use your fingers to press it up the sides of the tart mold. Reserve a small piece of dough for patching any cracks.
  8. Pierce the bottom with a fork and use the back of the fork to line ridges around the sides of the dough.
  9. Bake the tart shell in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the dough is light brown and shows light cracks.
  10. Let the shell cool before filling.
The Tomato Filling
  1. Keep the oven hot at 410º F.
  2. Slice half of the goat cheese into rounds and store in the refrigerator until tart assembly.
  3. Place the other half of the cheese in a small bowl to soften.
  4. Finely chop the herbs.
  5. Combine 1 tbs of the chopped herbs and ½ -1 tsp dijon mustard with the softened goat cheese.
  6. Carefully spread the cheese mixture over the bottom of the tart.
  7. Place the tomato slices in concentric circles over the cheese.
  8. Drizzle with olive oil.
  9. Sprinkle the tomatoes with some of the herbs.
  10. Top the tomato slices with the reserved goat cheese rounds.
  11. Sprinkle on the remaining chopped herbs.
  12. Bake about 30 minutes until the tomatoes are tender and the cheese is nicely browned.
Notes
When I made this tart, I only had 4 ounces of goat cheese, so I sliced some rounds from about ⅔ of the roll and substituted cream cheese for the rest in the spread. It was very creamy and delicious. Add dijon mustard to the spread to taste. It does add a lovely tang, but can overpower the tomatoes very easily. The crust is very flaky and crumbly (yum) so the goat cheese can be a challenge to spread. I used a spreader rinsed in hot water to spread a bit and then rinsed and spread until I had a nice even layer over the bottom of the crust.

 

Craving Lobster? Try Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Lobster Roll

On an unassuming corner of downtown Delray Beach, FL, you’ll find the best lobster roll ever. Really. The best. Delicious.

Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Lobster Roll lives up to its name – it is truly perfect. Huge chunks of lobster, a delicate aromatic sauce, a roll grilled to buttery perfection.

Drooling yet?

Served with cole slaw, salt and vinegar chips and sweet bread and butter pickles. Add in a cold red amber Lobster Ale and you are the closest to Maine lobster heaven you can get outside of Maine.

Next time you are anywhere close to Delray Beach, FL, go and enjoy one. Promise you’ll love it.

Salmon and Corn Fritters


Salmon and Corn Fritters
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
 
A delicious way to use summer corn goodness.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 5 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 fresh ears of corn (kernels removed)
  • 1-3 tbs fresh dill, chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • Skinless salmon filets
  • Watercress
  • lemon wedges
Instructions
  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Cream the softened cream cheese and eggs together in a bowl. Whisk in the milk, then the flour mixture. Stir in the corn kernels and dill.
  3. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Spoon about ¼ cup of the batter into the pan for each fritter. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side until cooked through and nicely browned. Keep warm in a low oven.
  4. When all of the fritters are done, add some olive oil to the pan. Cook the salmon filets about 3-4 minutes per side or until it flakes easily with a fork.
  5. Flake the salmon into large chunks. Top the corn fritters with the salmon. Dress with watercress sprigs and lemon wedges.

Recipe adapted from Donna Hay Magazine