A Two Day Food Styling & Photography April 25th-26th 2015!

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Sunday, March 22, 2015


WkshopBHMLogo2
A lot of you have sent emails or sent comments about my workshop schedule this year. I am working on a couple of ideas but there are a few family events planned out this year as well as a few family things that need most of my free time and attention.

But, I am excited to announce that I am teaming up with my bestie, food stylist Tami Hardeman to bring you 2 day food styling and photography workshop in Birmingham, Alabama where I reside. I love this town and its art community. So many great restaurants, talented photographers, exhibitions and so on. We will be spending two days creating, playing, working, sharing.

We both work in this field as our everyday life but the need to come together and teach and create independently from clients fuels us with lots of energy and passion that we want to pass on to you.

The class is targeted to all levels and we will be there to take your photography and styling to the next level. Gently and efficiently, we will give you the tools to let you express your creativity with your styling and photography.

We will guide you on several photo assignments where we'll share all our tips and techniques. Whether you have a blog, write for a local or national magazine, work with brands and need to supply food photography, want to establish a career in the world of food styling and/or food photography, etc... this workshop is for you.

We'll share the tools and philosophy we use in our daily workflow: defining a mood and feel, working with mood boards and sketches, sourcing ingredients and styling, choosing the best props to showcase the food, composition through lighting, best camera angles and tools for the task at hand, editing and post processing.,etc...

Here are the details:
When: April 25th &26th
Where: Studio 410 in Birmingham, Alabama
Number of attendees: 8
Fee: Early bird of $850 until March 30th then $875 til day of the workshop
- Meet and Greet on Friday April 24th from 7pm til 9pm,
- 2 days full of instructions with Tami and Helene
- dinner Saturday night (location TBA)
- lunch, snacks and refreshments for both days (travel costs, transportation and lodging not included)

Please go HERE to register. See you soon!

Jerusalem Artichoke & Parsnip Soup With White Bean, Dill and Smoked Tartines.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Sunchoke Parsnip Soup2_Blog
Nothing makes me happier than being behind the camera, working with my food and prop stylist, nourishing that passion for food and photography that brought us together. Heck, we do it all week long. With the same gusto, fun, dash of sass and sprinkle of emotion and splash of pride. We know we have a task at hand and we know how to bring our collective minds together. We have one shot to make you want to make the recipe you see all shiny pretty in front of you.

I work with amazing talented people. I will never stop saying that. We bring our experience, our truths, our personalities and we let each other talk through our craft. Sure, some days we hit the proverbial wall. But we pull each other up and we talk it out, work through it and keep the intensity and quality going. I love the different teams I work with. They are the unsung heroes of a beautiful photograph. It takes a village to make a cookbook and I am proud to be living on a passionate, goofy, funny and dedicated block of that village. There I said it. I wanted to say it.

Smoked Trout Tartine Blog
That said, most of us have a little of weird streak in that we can't wait for the weekend to come so we can get together and cook, style and shoot some more. Even after a full week. Gluttons for punishment? No. Not really. We come together to play with the food we want at that moment, no schedule or call sheet in hand, just us. I get to play with my props in my own space at our own pace. There might be a couple of tasting breaks involved, maybe a couple of cocktails. Always a pup keeping a watchful eyes on us. It's relaxed, it's fun and it's good for the brain, eye and soul.

This past weekend, I got together with food stylist Nathan Carraba for a Sunday Play Day in the kitchen and my home studio. We worked on three different stories and this is part one of the series. It was a gorgeous day to turn on the grill (and we did) but also to make the best of this transitional weather has to offer. It's a bit too early here for Spring produce and winter ingredients are starting to look and taste less than seasonal. This is the South. Transition is happening. We're just anxiously waiting on the other side of the fence...!

We started with one of my favorite weekend lunch combos. Soup and tartines. A silky Jerusalem artichoke and parsnip soup paired with a white bean, radish and smoked trout tartine. Nathan cooked and styled, I propped and shoot. And then we sat down to a lovely lunch before moving on to part deux of our plan (which I will post later).

Recipes follow. Stay tuned for more fun!

Sunchoke Parsnip Soup_Blog


Pear Walnut Cake, A Family Tradition

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Tuesday, March 03, 2015


Pear Almond Cake
There are very few things that a cake won't cure. From gray days and heavy rain to sickness and nostalgia. This winter has been brutal for a lot of folks. Here we have been spared from the general malaise of being stuck in a never ending cycle of snow days, blizzards and freezing temperatures. We did have a very minor taste of it last week with a little very slushy watery snow blanketing our street one evening. First time Tiggy the new pup experienced the snow. She had a blast, slid down a small hill a couple of time and like me, enjoyed the quietness that comes right after it falls.
 
Pear Almond Cake
In anticipation of a snow day and potential loss of electricity (didn't happen), I went ahead and cooked a bunch of the vegetables and proteins I had in the fridge and freezers as well as the fruits laying about on the countertop. The results were a couple of stews and soups, a batch of pear financiers and this yogurt based pear cake.
 
Pear Almond Cake
This cake is my go-to, fullproof, can't-mess-it-up-even-if-you-tried cake. We learn to make this cake almost as soon as we can stand and stir in my family. All my aunts have equipped with and taught this recipes to their sons, my grandmother passed it on to my mom who passed it on to me and my brothers. It's a never ending cycle of goodness as we pass it on to the next generation of kids, siblings or friends.
 
Pear Almond Cake
And now I am passing on to you. It can be as understated as plain with a good cup of tea or studding with fruits, chocolate, nuts, flavored with vanilla, walnuts, lemon and anything in between. The result is a tender and crumbly cake that never ceases to comfort and make people smile.

A Mixed Vegetables & Greens Soup And Red Lentil Tomato & Saffron Soup

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Monday, February 16, 2015


Cabbage Soup With Salmon
Well, looks like the flu is making the rounds at work and I was not immune to its path. This strain has knocked me down for the greater part of last week. I am just starting to feel my head being clearer although I am still hacking away and the most simple activity leaves me completely wiped of energy. It totally zapped my appetite too leaving me with little desire or interest in food. A travesty!

Cabbage
I do know however that my body requires good, wholesome fuel in order to fight the virus. After the first couple of days spent on chicken broth, I took opportunity of a few moments when my energy was better to head out to the kitchen to fix a couple of big batches of nutritious soups. Even if I could only manage a spoonful here and there, I purposely cooked soups that would provide me with all the nutrients, proteins, natural carbs and fiber I needed.
 
Carrots
While I might have had to sit down at the kitchen counter to chop vegetables (legs and arms were getting tired fast), the promise of being able to lay back on the sofa, curled up with a pup and a hot bowl of soup was equal to none. Very slowly, one spoon after the other, I might manage this eating thing...
 
Cabbage Soup With Salmon
The first soup I made was kind of one of those you might create while cleaning out your fridge. I started picking up ingredients with flavor profiles that would work great together and added a few unexpected things to it. Spring cabbage, carrots, onion, potatoes were chopped, diced and simmered together. A whole head of mizuna went in last, adding a nice peppery touch. The whole thing got a whirl in the Blendtec until smooth. I served the soup warm, topped with some leftover cooked salmon and some pomegranate seeds. Nourishing and filling. While my husband took his with a glass of wine, I had to take an extra swing of cough syrup...but still, there was progress with the whole no appetite thing!
 
Mizuna
The second soup was from Diana Henry's new book "A Change of Appetite". I love that book and have been cooking my way through it over the past few months. I had been eyeing her "Lentil and roasted tomato soup with saffron" for a while and happened to have most of the ingredients on hand. So with a little adaptation in execution such as replacing fresh tomatoes with a canned fire roasted tomatoes and subbing the yogurt topping for a little creme fraiche, I was in for a rich soup packing a bunch of comforting flavors.
 
Red Lentil Tomato Soup

Honey & Vanilla Cake & On Nourishing The Soul.

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Monday, February 02, 2015


Cake_1b
Is it too late to wish you a happy new year?! I think not! So here, Happy New Year 2015! May it be filled with your wildest dreams and greatest accomplishments! I went back home to France for the holidays and enjoyed some quiet moments and some wilder ones with the family! It's always comforting to get home to the heart of things after a busy end of the season at the studio.

It's been a year... filled with some rewarding photoshoots on cookbooks coming out soon. Five cookbooks in particular that I worked on this past year, Southern Made Fresh by Tasia Malakasis, The Southern Gentleman's Kitchen by Matt Moore, Dream Puffs by blogger Barbara Bakes, The Good Pantry and The Great Cook with Cooking Light. I have loved working on them and hope you enjoy the work the whole team put in. I am currently shooting different projects, amongt which is Sara Moulton's new cookbook. All have been challenging, different and allowed me to spread my wings and strengthened my craft.
 
Cake_2b
Lots of changes at work and home. New interns, new coworkers, new freelance projects, new pace of living. It tested me and stretched me at times. It baffled and annoyed me too. I have learned to grow and moved forward from my reactions. I have learned patience and resilience in different ways. I have created both at home and work. I have shared and kept to myself. I have skipped this space more times than intended. It's too easy coming home after a long week of photo and just pour a glass of wine and enjoy the quietness of home.

But...every year I follow Susannah Conway's "Find Your Word" online course and this time without exceptions I jotted down ideas, words, feelings, intentions. Last year my word was "awaken". It found me. On a commemorative evening on the beach in Charleston. It nagged at me and made me unsettled and aware. I've awakened to truth. In friendships, partnerships and work. It was brutal and nourishing at times.


Cake_3b
Nourish. This one little word kept coming back in my brainstorming sessions with Susannah. While I felt depleted and conquered, my Taurus self would just kick that feeling to the curb with a screaming "I want to nourish the good stuff!".

I want to nourish my creativity with more collaboration with people who do give a damn about heart and art. I want to nourish my partnership with my mate with more roadtrips, creative outlets done together. I want to nourish my playtime by writing posts more often. I cook and shoot a lot on the weekends for me but never nourish the urge to share. It takes work to work on playtime...!

So here it is...My first installment of what the word spoke to me at that moment. A Honey and Vanilla Cake to nourish the souls and the bellies of the people around you. One slice at a time...


Cake_4b



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