I've photographed a lot of food. A lot. There aren't many things that come my way anymore that make me do double takes, but this was definitely one of them. I was asked to shoot at Rene Bistrot over Superbowl weekend, which didn't work for me or the restaurant. By the Tuesday after the big game, we were both free enough to arrange the shoot. I knew I had to photograph anchovies, but I figured they'd be cut and removed of any fishy appearance. Not quite. I found myself at a restaurant photographing (and then eating) whole fish and baby octopi somewhere around 10am. I'll eat anything, and though I might not recommend it as a regular breakfast dish, the Portuguese anchovies and baby octopus were pretty darn tasty.
One of the cool things about doing editorial work is that I get to bounce around and see new places early on. I went to Booty's in the Marigny within a couple weeks of their opening to photograph the mofongo (a yucca fritter). It was what you'd want out of a new place - clean, nice inside, friendly owners. I have some friends that live right across the street, so it might turn into another bar stop when we're in the area. I can always use another spot with good food. Oh, and I definitely had to look up the definition of mofongo.
Such a humble name for such a fantastic dish at Borgne, New Orleans. Chef Brian Landry seemed almost apologetic when he brought it out, saying "it's not the prettiest" and "you've got your work cut out for you." I think that the apparent simplicity of it is what makes it great. Fish, cooked inside a bag to keep all the flavors and moisture in, covered with all sorts of goodies and opened just before serving, steaming and delicious. I'd photograph (and eat) stuff like this every day if I could.
New Orleans Magazine's Best In Dining event was recently held at Muriel's in the French Quarter. I was able to get a shot of the sweets display before a little girl walked up and started touching all of them. How do I stay thin with the constant availability of great buffet food? I just pretend that every event has one of these little food handlers and things become less appetizing. :/
I had no idea what to expect as I waited for the folks at Kim Son to bring out the salt baked crab I had to photograph. Something small and dainty with delicately arranged and styled crabs maybe. When they set this before me I had did a double take and allowed a "wow" to slip from my lips. This was a massive dish of halved crabs and claws. If I had been armed I probably would've shot it just to make sure it didn't come at me while I was photographing. I managed to survive and get the pictures I needed and the restaurant was even nice enough to package everything up in a big carryout bag for me to take home. I should've had them teach me how to eat it first. It tasted great, but I'm unpracticed with Vietnamese cuisine and spent more time engineering ways to get through the shells than actually eating.
Published photo here
When I was a kid I would eat those frozen corn dogs that come in packages of six. The goal while cooking it was always to try to stop the microwave right before the hotdog expanded and totally broke the breading apart, leaving you with a hot dog on a stick instead of a corn dog. Half the fun of eating these things was mixing together a giant pool of ketchup and mustard to completely soak the corn dog in. Seriously, I probably could've just eaten the mixture with a spoon. Company Burger offers a vastly improved corn dog, or "corn hog" experience. I just wouldn't have felt right soaking this one in unnecessary amounts of stuff from the red and yellow bottles on the table.
Published photo here
I was asked to photograph La Boca's provoleta, which is a wonderfully unhealthful cheese dish. There are antioxidants in the wine, right? I'm just going to keep telling myself that the wine makes it ok. Wine makes everything ok.
Published article can be found here