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.
I've photographed at Mike's on the Avenue a couple of times for different publications. This time it was for his amberjack skewers, which looked and smelled fantastic. Unfortunately I didn't get to eat these. Oh well, judging by what I've seen so far, I'll probably be back.
August has been a month of afternoons spent going to restaurants all over the place to photograph food of all sorts. One project alone has had me out to over 70 restaurants. It's been great to see (and in many cases eat at) so many of the amazing restaurants, cafes, diners, and bars that this city has to offer. I'll share some more work once things start getting published. Until then, I'll just be over here planning my diet for September! Update: The New Orleans restaurant guide is done and out!
Yes, delicious crepes suzette sitting in front of me, I'm talking to you. How can you expect me to photograph you when I'm getting scents of citrus and berries and I've been left alone in Arnaud's before opening. I haven't eaten anything yet today and the first thing I have to photograph is a dessert. I'm sorry, crepes suzette, I think in a few short minutes you'll be breakfast.
Being located on the edge of the Quarter, I've probably walked past the Palace Cafe two hundred times without ever going in. I've taken pictures of the iconic sign on the outside, but never had the urge to venture inside. Thankfully one of the magazines gave me an excuse to go inside. I had to shoot a Cobb salad (and a pretty good one at that - thick cut bacon is fantastic), and as usual I made small talk with some of the people inside while waiting on the kitchen. The interior is larger and more elaborate than I would've assumed from the outside. The upstairs walls are covered with murals and photos of musicians. If I heard correctly, the building used to be connected to music publisher P.P Werlein. I'll let wikipedia tell you about old P.P.
Half the fun of local business assignments is getting to meet and chat with the various owners, managers, waiters, or even curious customers. This shot was from Pho Tau Bay in Gretna. Honestly, the most memorable part of the shoot wasn't getting to eat the good food afterward, nor was it the patient waitress showing me what to do with Vietnamese style coffee for the millionth time. I have a distinct memory of the owner/manager resembling a damn good Vietnamese-American Elvis impersonator. Maybe it was the sideburns or just his cool mannerisms, but now I really want to go back and see if he'll give me an "uh huh."
I love photographing food, but let's face it, New Orleans isn't known for having the healthiest of menus. Often the subject is fried or cheesy, neither of which leave me with many options for incorporating color into the photographs. I pray to be assigned a fruit plate one of these days. Until then, I'll be happy with Herbsaint's salad. It's green, vibrant, pretty looking. I'll eat fried meat whenever it's available, but I prefer to look at this.
I skipped through a sudden rainstorm to get to Bayona, one of those places that's sort of hidden away on one of the lesser traveled streets of the Quarter. Soup is great to photograph when you're soaking wet. It's even better to eat when you're soaking wet.
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