Food & Culture

WEDDING CAKES  ~ The following images are from a recent MOD 4  end-of-term Baking & Pastry class project presentation event. March 2012 – thanks to: New England Culinary School.

I recently discovered that Peter Gray auditioned for The Food Network in Manhattan, where he witnessed classmate Hannah accept a marriage proposal at the top of the Empire State Building in late March 2012. Congrats to all.

Thank you to the students and faculty at New England Culinary Institute.

FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY  ~  What a nice way to kick off a new month; a planned food photo-shoot! (something I had been wanting to do for a while now, and perhaps what I have been practicing for during the past couple of months).  I have to admit to being both excited and nervous … I was looking forward to the challenge, but afraid I would fail. But, thanks to the folks at NECI on Main, especially the restaurant’s general manager, we managed a handful of images.

This must be some sort of salad, and one of the first frames straight out of the can. A clear advantage of knowing the light of a particular location is knowing what to expect and thus how to set-up the shot. Here I used my favorite window nook for soft natural light, but what makes this image special to me is the positioning of the tangerine wedge, or orange, or whatever it is, in order to make it glisten … and that what suggested by culinary student Jake, who assisted me with set-up and general help.

Sometimes, not everything turns out fabulous. This Monte Cristo sandwich, looks okay, but I think I can do a better job second time around. Not a horrible first draft, but I wish the fries in the foreground were a bit more in focus, and the positioning of the sandwich halves was different. (Note to self: don’t rush it, but don’t take all day either … listen to your gut instinct.)  By the way, the table-cloth is actually a shirt.

Here we used some props to add a little visual interest. Not too bad, I suppose … a little amateurish … there’s a few things I would change, but at least now I have a baseline to call average.

I’m actually happy with this one. The salmon looks appealing, and the props I borrowed from the theater (thanks Lost Nation!) adds some visual interest, which is what I wanted. (It’s amazing how important food styling is … another thing to develop an eye for!)

I think this might be a crab-cake, or maybe it’s cod .. I’m not sure, but I know it comes from the sea, and I’m not afraid to say it looks delicious. But, because somehow I didn’t get a chance to eat any of the food, which was a bummer, I can’t actually say if it does in fact taste delicious. (Note to self: next time make sure to add a meal provision in my contract!) I don’t remember where the corks came from, but I’m glad we had them.  I had no idea how to compose this shot, (I was left alone to my own devices), but, I put it all together and presto!  I think I’m actually happy with this shot. And the book, by the way, is collected poems of Edgar Allen Poe.

For comparison, the following is one of my first attempts at food photography a few months ago, using a dish from the tapas menu at served in the bar/lounge at NECI on MainAnd before that, almost exactly a year ago, I first tried my hand at food photography for the now defunct Langdon Street Cafe in Montpelier; here’s a few examples:

macaroon with chocolate


I almost titled this page something more provocative

Interesting to note how language has been influenced by food – a topic I’d like to explore; perhaps ‘food for thought’ and subject for a future post.

Baked goods from the Warren Store - Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes

118 Main features seasonal student-created dessert specials

Taste & Flavor student project

A student project from Chef Sarah's 'Taste & Flavor' class.


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