Announcing A 3 Day Food Styling & Photography Workshop February 2nd - 6th 2016

December 28, 2015


FoodStyling & Photo Workshop Feb 2-6th 2016
I am thrilled to announce a brand new 3 day workshop for February 2016 with two of my favorite people, food stylist Tami Hardeman and chef John Ondo!

During the 3 day workshop, 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...

Cooking sessions with Chef Ondo will punctuate the mornings and afternoons where he will share his love of Mediterranean cuisine cooking with locally sourced ingredients.

All this right by the ocean.

The workshop will start by a casual meet & greet at the beach home, followed by dinner prepared by Chef Ondo. Three days of photography and cooking follow. Attendees will have a morning free to wander about and visit Charleston, get some personal work done or just chill.

The workshop includes:
3 days of photography, composition, food styling and cooking sessions
4 nights accommodations on the beach at Aerie House (more info here)
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners
Refreshments and snacks
Fee is $1875 (does not include travel fares to and from workshop) 

Registration open January 2nd. More details HERE.
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Pear and Frangipane Tart

December 18, 2015


Pear Frangipane Tart
I have to admit that I haven't done any Christmas baking this yet. And it probably won't happen until Christmas. Wait, that's not true. There will be my mom's Swedish cinnamon buns on Christmas Day and snickerdoodles over the weekend. Usually I am the poster child for Santa's bakery, if there ever was one. I'll be cooking Christmas dinner (well late lunch for us) and will be making a sticky toffee pudding cake (F&W Dec 15 issue). Probably because I like saying sticky toffee pudding with the voice of Kermit The Frog or Gollum.
 
Tart Prep
I did bake a few things despite my lack of holiday baking. Mostly cakes and pies that were devoured as fast as they were coming out of the oven. Almost. During our last workshop a couple of weeks ago, it seemed that I could not turn galettes fast enough for dessert for the attendees! I've had a hard time resisting fall and winter fruits at the market. Apples, seckel and forelle pears, kumquats, cranberries. They all ended in my basket at some point.

Tart Prep
It's no secret that I do love making (and eating) tarts. I grew up watching my grandmother making loads of them on a regular basis and even more around Christmas time. Her tart fillings were simple and straightforward, always letting the fruit take center stage. Sometimes, there was a supporting actor such as a custard base, lemon curd or frangipane. If I had to choose which one I favor the most, I honestly could not. I love the pillowy softness of a vanilla custard, the acidulous tickle of a lemon curd and the tantalizing taste of an almond filling.
 
Pear Frangipane Tart
Pears and frangipane go hand in hand like good company and a good meal. They never outplay each other. A classic combination that everyone in my family enjoys. A bit of vanilla bean added to the frangipane never hurts either.
 
Pears
I hope the holidays treat you well and are a source of comforting meals with friends and family.

It's never easy to find balance this time of year but a slice of pear frangipane tart and a glass of wine might just do that!
 
Pear Frangipane Tart


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Curry Carrot Soup With Toasted Quinoa Topping

December 4, 2015


Carrots-2
Being away from Charleston the last three years, I had almost forgotten how much longer the temperatures stay above normal this time of year. I should know better though given that we are in a sub tropical climate... Nevertheless, I was getting antsy to get a bit of a hint that December was upon us. And just like that, a good rain and the temperatures dropped. The air became crisper, the sun shining with a different luminosity, the sky finally wearing that winter blue I love and missed. All prompted me to head to the kitchen to make a few batches of soups.

My latest love is for a velvety curry carrot soup I made the other day. Vadouvan, turmeric, sumac were my spices of choices, giving depth to the soup. The humble carrot took another dimension and we all went back for seconds. I wanted a crunchy bit in there somewhere so I topped it off with a blend of toasted quinoa, parsley, toasted almond and lemon zest. 


Curry Carrot Soup
With my studio adjacent to the house, it's really easy to put a pot of soup on, get to work, and come back in around noon to have lunch with my mother-in-law when the husband is teaching. I've come rather fond of our lunch breaks together. Sometimes, we sit quietly at the table and listen to the news. Sometimes, I prompt her to tell for the gazillion time how she met my father-in-law, the story of how they were wed in New Orleans during the war. I love listening to her. We talk about my family, when my parents will come visit next or what we are going to cook for Christmas. Sometimes, we are both deep in our thoughts and appreciate the silence.
 
Carrots
Lunch is often time a cup of soup and a tartine or a big salad and a croque monsieur. Mama Ruth had never had those before but now I feel like I have creating a monster! When I head to the kitchen and says "lunch in 20 minutes!", she often replies from wherever she is "are we having those nice cheese and ham sandwiches you made the other day? You know, those French sandwiches with all that good melty cheese?" Well yes, I guess we are...!
 
Curry Carrot Soup
Bailey the older of the two pups usually stays in the house by her side and keeps her company (read sleeps soundly while Turner Classic Movies is on). Tiggy, the younger pup comes with me to the studio and finds a warm spot in the sunlight streaming in. She loves to be there with me, keeping watch over the food on set, getting petted by clients or just watching the squirrels passing by. We have all started to find our comfort zone, our rhythm. It's nice. It's really nice.

Sure we have our moments. We don't always all agree on politics or family stuff but heck, which family doesn't?! Nothing that a good pipping hot cup of soup and a croque monsieur can't fix!
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