Despite the crazy snow we had the shoot must go on! Reynard; a great restaurant in Brooklyn below the Wythe Hotel, and steps from The Brooklyn Brewery. I got to work with the new chef Christina Lecki who worked under April Bloomfield in the past. The kitchen has an amazing wood-fired hearth perfect for photo backdrops. Chef Lecki is really experimenting with simple, meaningful dishes packed with honest flavors. Keeping it simple I feel is always best and not going crazy with 100 ingredients for a dish. We were there capturing all her new dishes which are seasonal. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so there was quite the array of food. My personal favorite was the Socca dish. Runner up was the bone broth soup poured table side. Delicious! Especially with the snow falling outside. The plates were made by Jono Pandolfi which had some weight and earthiness to them, tying in great with the food palate. If you haven’t been here in the past make sure to stop by soon!
I try not to geek out when it comes to celebrity chefs, especially now when everyone is on some type of food show BUT to meet and work with chef Michael Symon was awesome. I was hired for a magazine to capture the new Italian restaurant by Michael Symon called Angeline at the Borgata Casino. The Borgata is probably one of the most well known and visited casinos in Atlantic City with great stores and restaurants within. This new restaurant the locals have been waiting and raving about to open! Whenever Michael would come by the restaurant to talk with front and back of house staff, fans of his would line the windows looking in trying to grab a picture of him.
When I visited they had already been open and had quite the momentum of customers. We stuck around that day for when they did open for dinner to grab photos and literally there was a line down the hall waiting to get in! I’ve never seen that before. I don’t blame them, the Italian fare I photographed and tried was top notch. The lasagna was perfect with its layers of meat and sauce, the artichoke heart appetizer was so tasty, the mozzarella was the freshest, the list can go on. Working with Michael was great, he was down to earth and a good honest cook. We captured some lifestyle shots of him slicing meat, and some environmental portraits of him in one of the dining rooms.
The staff of Borgata that helped with the shoot were very welcoming and clearly took hospitality seriously. I highly recommend checking out the Borgata casino if you’ve never been. Even if you don’t gamble go for the stores and stay for the food.
This idea between myself and fiance Joe has been tossed around for awhile; In what capacity can we work together? We are both commercial photographers specializing in different fields people automatically would assume, "You guys should combine forces and work together!" That is not something we wanted to do. I run my business and have my clients and so does Joe. Ignoring the fact though that we are together and in the same business wasn't going to work forever. We have been able to meet on this idea of working on a blog together! We both have passions for food, drink, and travel and both of us touch on this personally and professionally so it seemed to be a good platform to get started!
After a long couple days of brainstorming we were able to come up with the very creative and catchy blog The Pictured Kitchen
This has been live for about a week and we have a supporting Instagram handle @thepicturedkitchen which we are excited to populate with our personal journeys, recipes, drink tips and tricks! If you have anything you would like to contribute or comment on we would love to hear from you.
This was exciting news to find out I won The Culinary Trust Award for Food Photography That Makes a Difference for 2017! IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) is the food industry community you need to be apart of. First started by Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, and Anne Willan in the mid 70’s. This organization has evolved into bigger and better offerings with today including people in the food industry beyond chefs. The photography aspect of IACP is very important to me because it’s my specialty; food and beverage. The opportunities to network and get my work noticed like entering their contest is very valuable for me. My personal series I did on chicken processing was so unique I had to enter it in this years contest. It was exciting news when I heard I was a nominee for my category!
You can see the full series from this shoot on my past blog post here: http://www.perrettiphotography.com/perrettiphotography/2016/10/6/personal-series-from-the-farm-chicken-slaughter
See all nominees for categories here: http://www.iacp.com/awards/food-photography-awards/2017-food-photography-styling-finalists/
Pears are a great alternate to apples and can be available in the summer and winter. They are great for table presentations and just as easy to cook with. Poaching is cooking in a gently-heated liquid. It’s not just boiling water like poaching eggs. With this method of cooking the liquid can be stock, wine, or another sugar mixture. You can use different types of fruit like pears. Personally I thought it would be pretty to top the bundt cake with poached pears and drizzle with the poaching liquid over top! The French word for this is “Frissonne”, meaning that the liquid should be just hot enough to make the surface shiver.
3 cups water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
3-4 bosc pears (peeled)
1 star anise
Combine the water, sugar, cinnamon, and star anise in saucepan over low heat. Cook stirring for 2 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Add the pears and cook covered for 15 minutes or until soft. Use a slotted spoon to remove.
Take the liquid in the pot and transfer to a pan and boil high uncovered for 15 minutes until reduced to half.
Drizzle syrup over pears (or bundt cake) and serve
Just wanted to share a quick recap from a recent shoot for New Jersey Monthly! They asked me to shoot this charming restaurant near Asbury Park, New Jersey called Cave, A Paleo Eatery. I’m always interested in different diet plans people choose to live by and Paleo is certainly one many people know! It was great chatting with Chef Doug Stehle; chef and owner of the restaurant who eats a Paleo diet and runs his restaurant as one. The staff was super friendly and excited to see me there taking photos. The restaurant itself used to be owned by a antique dealer and when it was sold to Doug the previous owner still had some items there for sale. It gave the restaurant a unique feel. Also Doug is a surfer and being near the ocean there was appropriately placed surf boards he owned decorating the restaurant! All the items on his menu were dairy and gluten free. I tasted a couple things from the menu and I have to say their desserts were nothing like I had before. Their brownie was so rich and packed with chocolate it was the best thing I’ve ever had. There was also bacon on top! It probably took me 2 or 3 sittings to actually finish it. Also the chocolate chip cookies were stuffed with chocolate chips and the cookie itself was soft just like a homemade cookie. If you make a trip this way I would certainly stop in for lunch or dinner.
In my experience I think homemade pasta does not get the attention it deserves. I feel people are intimated by the thought of making it yourself. It’s really a simple recipe with only a couple ingredients needed!
Making a well with the flour and adding the eggs was a hard thing to accomplish; I know I didn’t get it on the first try. I’ve found if your scared of making a egg mess all over your kitchen put it together in a bowl! In the end you will get the same product. Also you want extra flour on standby to flour your surface when kneading the dough.
There’s a great recipe at Food Network with directions and the amount needed for each ingredient: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/fresh-pasta-recipe.html
Summer and Fall are probably my two favorite times of the year. I really enjoy the summer for the weather and the beach! Fall because the leaves change beautiful colors, there’s pumpkin carving, and I think one of my top seasons for fruits and vegetables! Things I look out for in the Fall are apples, brussels sprouts, and figs! These are so versatile and beautiful I love experimenting with them. This year I plan on doing more savory dishes with apples and figs such as incorporating some cheese. For brussels sprouts I always bake them with cubed slab bacon which is great! However I want to change things up and try some slaw or cold salads with maybe a vinaigrette. Another reason I love this time of year is making soup. It’s cold enough where I can get away with eating soup all day.
Here are some links to get your season started:
I wanted to have a separate post going into more detail the vendors I met and food I tried at the Fancy Food Show this year in New York City. I think the first vendor that had the largest impact on me and was a crowd favorite was Sir Kensington. As I was walking toward to convention center I was greeted by a large billboard with Mark Ramadan and Scott Norton who brought the brand to life. There is a whole back story that I invite you to read on their website: http://sirkensingtons.com/story In the end they did walk away with a Sofi award for outstanding condiment, specifically their special sauce. Overall I did enjoy the product, dijon was my favorite as well as the packaging. It was cute.
Another favorite of mine during the show was Slate Roof Creamery. Two gentlemen, Mark and Rik were running the booth and director of operations. The products were different types of butter which were very tasty! Original concepts of theirs were sweet butters but now they’ve introduced more savory flavors which were very very good.
Some of the brands and foods I came across during the show were unique, such as Just Hemp Foods from Canada. Packaging and design drew me in first followed by a pleasant sales person. They certainly played up the Hemp name referencing the drug, either way it was a tasty and healthy product. They were sampling their hulled hemp seeds, and toasted salted hemp seeds. I personally enjoyed the hulled hemp seeds. They had a creamy texture and were not crunchy. The product could easily be eaten as is or added to a smoothie or shake for lunch. They also sell hemp seed oil and protein powder.
During the show I tried to avoid friend, fatty foods but the brand The Perfect Bite which sold frozen food, defrosted as appetizers, snacks, sides, amongst other things was surprisingly good. At the time they were sampling their mini quiches which were so good they tasted freshly made. I wish they had more out to sample but if I was convinced with the one then they were truly quality. They lived up to their name as the perfect bite.
Turning the corner I was welcomed by sunny Florida Natalie’s Juice. The booth was so welcoming I had to stop and try their juices. It certainly put a smile on your face trying their variety of juices such as orange, grapefruit, and lemonade. I gave them two thumbs up and brownie points for being so pleasant!
Once again I was blown away by a frozen food. It was a New York local company which I wasn’t familiar with. Artichoke Pizza, which started and still is currently a real pizza store front with locations in Manhattan and other spots. I have a lot of pizza places on my list to go to in New York so I don’t know how this missed the list. They were sampling their frozen pizza line and it was just like you walked into their store and ordered a fresh slice. It was packed with flavor and fresh ingredients. Once again very very impressed with the frozen food quality.
I will end this post with a very cultural, genuine experience I had with Made In Morocco. A rep from the company saw me walking the floor and insisted I come check out their booth. It could of came across as salesy but I was having such a good time I was Ok checking it out. Once I got closer I could hear this beautiful Moroccan music and a festively decorated booth full of sweets, food, and Moroccan tea being served. I felt like I was in another country being handed all sorts of food to try and given a glass of their tea in a proper Moroccan glass. It was quite the experience and their food and style of cooking is so unique with the smell and spices they use.
I recently was hired by NJ Monthly to photograph the new Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The drive was ok, but well worth it when I pulled up to the front of this stoic, beautifully crafted building right on the water. It looked like the exterior was the shell of a old factory and walking in it certainly had the reclaimed look. The interior had floor to ceiling windows, exposed brick and artifacts filling the room. There were rows of communal tables with the backdrop of hand painted murals representing the good old days! This location seated so many people it was not a surprise to walk up a few flights of steps to this huge bar roof deck that had tiered seating. The walls were covered in this beautiful floral and greenery arrangement for aesthetics and energy.
If the building itself wasn’t impressive enough Chef James Avery had such a passion and experience for German fare it was a match made in heaven. I quite possibly tried and photographed everything on their menu. There were some specifics for me to cover like the bavarian pretzels, beers, potato pancakes, but also their oysters “Braten”. These oysters were served hot on a bed of salt baked with pretzel crumbs and herbs. The flavors were unreal! Another favorite of mine from the menu was the Blumenkohl; fried cauliflower.
What a crazy, jam packed, long, restful weekend I had! We started by seeing the new movie Mad Max which I highly recommend. Also ordering the pretzel bites with cheese (that took me way back). I continued the weekend by cooking with Joe making a huge tray of lasagna for a really fun personal project I’ve been working on. I can’t say anything yet because I’m still working through it and don’t want to spoil any of the fun! Among the BBQ’in, drinking frenzy I managed to make some of my favorite eggplant.
It’s good because it’s so darn easy. For me eggplant is healthy candy. I could eat it all day anyway. If there’s one way though I would cook it for the rest of my life it would be pan seared with breadcrumbs. Just slice the eggplant about 1/2in thick or thinner and let rest on some paper towels for 20min. While the eggplant is resting scramble 1-2 eggs in a bowl and pour italian breadcrumbs in another bowl. Heat a all clad skillet with vegetable oil until it’s hot! Take a fork a dip the slice of eggplant in the egg than into the breadcrumbs till both sides are covered. TIP: You can add an extra step and do flour between the bread crumbs to add extra flavor and crunch. Repeat the step until you fit enough eggplant flat in the pan and cook each side until browned. Remove the slices from the pan and drain on a brown bag. Once they have cooled and the extra oil has seeped out enjoy a crunchy slice of goodness :)
The holidays are coming up and I thought I should share this easy, tasty recipe that will help you use leftover pumpkin puree from your soup and pie recipes you've made for the family.
-1 cup pumpkin puree
-3 cups rolled oats
-3 tbs brown sugar (dark or light)
-1 tbs cinnamon
-1 tbs pumpkin pie spice
-1 egg white
-1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
-1 tsp vanilla
-Any additional nuts or dried berries can be added, I had almonds on hand so I used them.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
-Mix 3 cups rolled oats and 1 cup almonds with 3 tbs brown sugar, 1 tbs cinnamon, and 1 tbs pumpkin pie spice and set aside.
-Separately mix one egg white with 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1/3 cup honey, and 1 tsp of vanilla.
-Combine dry ingredients and pumpkin mixture; mix till coated.
-Spread on baking pan and bake for 45-50 minutes mixing between every 15min. Let rest for 20min then serve.