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.
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.