As a portland maine food photographer and chef, i was tasked with cooking, food styling and photographing images that portrayed life in a cabin. Unfortunately with no access to the cabin, we wanted to give a warm cabin like feel, in studio.
when i think of a cabin, i think wood, mismatched cutlery, stemware and glassware. Perhaps drinking wine out of a coffee cup. Cooking on cast iron pots and presenting in whatever china available. From a nice Villeroy and Boch bowl to a chipped plate ate on from generations of family members and visitors!
for the props, i used some items i had in my plate storage, but scurried to the local goodwill to find pieces that were appropriate. I have modern tables and chairs in the studio, so i found a great beating up set too! I sanded it down to remove the glossy wax coat and left the chairs all dinged up, just as you would expect to find in a cabin.
from request to deliverables i had one week to put this shoot together! From prepping the food to the set build! Im a one man team.... All i could hope was that these recipes were good, at least looked good. But, they were fantastic! Loved the corn kernals in the cornbread. It gave a great pop of corn flavor and a unfamiliar texture that i loved. Im a big texture fan in food. when eat a burger, i want that soft burger bun, slightly toasted with a little crunch, a charred pattie with a soft medium rare to medium temperature. Nice crispy lettuce and smooth fresh cut (room temperature)tomatoes. Which is ironic, as a child i hated texture. I hated the snap of onions in potato salad, a nut in a brownie. Now i dont enjoy it as much without it.
The goat curry.. amazing! A perfectly cooked leg of goat, i used. Browned slightly and simmering with fresh chili and curry paste. To die for... finished with a nice savory mango chutney. I actually brought this to my friends at modernist pantry to try, we made up a quick batch of naan bread and sat and ate it in silence. Often a sign, it’s perfect... or not lol!
sea beans ( aka sea asparagus) is often blanched and reheated. However this recipe just requires a quick soak in cold water. Maintaining there snap and taste of the sea. Mixed with the cooked and chilled mussels (i used bangs island mussles), cause i love them and dressed with the vinaigrette. The vinaigrette has a lovely aroma and taste from the mustard and tarragon, but in my opinion. A little goes along way!
To finish off, the every berry cobbler. His recipes are perfect, as he gives you the freedom to these recipes as a base, but provides suggestions to enhance as you see fit, to what you like and your tastes.. also whats simply, available... as when you have arrived and unpacked in your cabin, there is no grocery store or farm stand around the corner. Only have blueberries, use them. Have a variety then mix them together. Its a very simple dish that is both refreshing and a great end to the meal. I actually liked it even better the next day, when the biscuits could absord the broken out jus from the fresh berries.
The secret to great food photography, is great food! Simple... and these recipes hit the mark! Get your copy of downeast magazine, cook the recipes for next dinner party or family supper. You wont be disappointed!