Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

My birthday feast

I turned 35 last week.  Not sure how it happened as I don’t look or feel that age. But my parents are sticking by their story that I was born in 1975.  Thus it was my duty to celebrate with a great party thanks to Ryan and Joe.  On my actual birthday, my goal was to eat 35 different foods and document them.  I didn’t even manage to get half way there but I had a blast trying.  Joe, my birthday patron was a willing accomplice and shared most of the deliciousness shown here.

Leading up to my birthday I was in Peru for a month (and a little bit of Bolivia).  I have approximately 3500 shots to weed through.  Will post a few here soon.  Meanwhile enjoy these photos and the rest of July.

Mother Earth News: The photos

I had a blast shooting this story for Mother Earth News. I think it will run in their August/September issue, and is about eating in season, Summer edition. I am so happy how bright, fresh, and summery the pictures came out. I want to add a few to my website as it could use a little freshening up. Let me know if you have a favorite because it is near impossible for me to pick a favorite because they are all my food children. It is such a satisfying experience to do all the cooking, prop styling, and photography myself. A little exhausting of course but I could do this every week.

Mother Earth News

I am shooting for Mother Earth News this week. A Summer themed menu including Bloody Marys, Orzo Salad, and Grilled Vegetables. These assignments are so much fun to do as I do all the prop styling, most of the cooking, and of course the photographing myself.  Couldn’t have come at a more perfect time as I have some free time this week before heading to New York next week.  Thanks Tabitha.  I will post some pics in the next few days too……

A Shower with Sprinkles

How awesomely ridiculous is this?!  I love food themed accessories and this shower cap from Urban Outfitters is pretty sweet.  And full disclosure I do wear a shower cap from time to time.  They also have a raspberry cap available and a panda.  Genius.

Artist and Meal of the Week: California Edition

ahh California……land of great food and some good art too.  First things first, Joe and I had an amazing brunch yesterday at Brix in Napa.  We were on our way back from a beautiful weekend celebrating Greg and Ursula’s wedding in Calistoga.  Yes, we could have gone to the wedding brunch at 9:30am but after dancing to Mustang Sally until the wee hours we were finally ready to brunch at 1:30.  I think Greg and Ursula were halfway to Hawaii by then.  It was pouring rain and I was way too tired to take pictures anyway, so I have included this photo from the Brix website of what it will look like on a sunny Spring day next time I visit.

Brix serves a brunch buffet on Sunday that is out of this world.  So good that we proclaimed it to be the best brunch ever.  Often a buffet goes for quantity over quality but this brunch is all about having a small (or large) taste of a large variety of local freshness.  It should be said that the restaurant has both a vegetable garden and orchard and is passionate about farm to table cooking.  The salads were some of my favorites, especially the sesame carrot and the creamy beets but even the mesclun mix was dreamy.  They also served a great cheese selection from West Coast cheese makers such as Cowgirl Creamery, which I slathered of their homemade extra crusty bread with just a touch of fig jam.  I also enjoyed the mini chocolate cupcakes.  several times.

Artwise I have been thinking about Ed Ruscha lately.  You may recognize his printmaking which I have been attracted to forever.  I adore his deadpan style, and he really was one of the first artists working this way.  I have also been thinking about his influence on the New Topographic artists and I am looking forward to the SFMoma show this Summer.  I have been working, er thinking about this new project of taking pictures of fast food restaurants along the highway.  I think it is subconsconsiously influenced by Ruscha and of course by the fact that I recently bought a car.  But I am grappling with how to make my photos appear as though they are more than a fast food restaurant but some kind of urban oasis that grows from the ground in all its creepy manufacturedness.  Until then I can lust after Ruscha’s Standard Station image and his aerial images of parking lots.  And did you know that he did an installation work called the Chocolate Room?  A visual and olfactive (looked that one up online!) experience that was so nice, they did it twice.  Originally at the 1970 Venice Biennale and a few years ago at the MOCA in LA, it was a room installation of many many sheets of paper silk screened with chocolate.


I photographed for this cool website, Bloomspot. Cool because their target market seems to be mostly women around my age. Each day they email you a coupon deal for a local business. Mostly spas, salons, restaurants, and active activities. My first assignment was Mara’s Salon in Hayes Valley, which was great because this is my new neighborhood. A pretty straight forward assignment but I am proud of the outcome because I had a serious mixed (bad) lighting situation on my hands.  I made perfume out of weeds, or whatever the saying is…..Here is a link.

In other news, I want to be more consistent with my blog contributions.  I know all of my readers are clamoring for my wisdom.  Hi Mom!  But I think I will start adding an artist of the week and a meal of the week.  Combining my two favorite things, food and art.  Mostly as a way for me to think concretely about other artists and relive any delicious experiences, although I think I will spare the blogosphere from photographs of everything I eat.  Stay tuned…..

My dumpling

I photographed over the weekend at 18 Reasons, a very cool non-profit here in San Francisco that seeks to engage the community through food and art (also happens to be my two favorite things).  They have a space on Guerrero Street where they host wine tastings, art shows, farmer’s dinners, classes etc…..This particular event was a Cookbook Potluck.  Everyone made a recipe from Andrea Nguyen‘s cookbook Asian Dumplings, and the author herself was there toting her Singaporean Spiced Pineapple Tarts.  So good.  I wish I had a few right now……alas a few girl scout cookies will have to suffice.  Life is hard.

Thai Cookbook now in stores!

The Thai Cookbook I photographed last year is at long last out in stores.  It is part of a really cool series of how to  books from Knack Books, and includes 100 recipes shot by yours truly.  In fact, there are so many photos (350 to be exact) that they highlight this on the back of the book.  It was a laborious and delicious process and I am so excited to see it all come together in a gorgeous final product.  Get it while it’s hot!  Available on Amazon, and your local bookseller.  I recommend the thai fresh rolls with dip (p. 98), drunken noodles (p. 164), or the easy fish curry (p. 176).  Or for those more inclined toward instant gratification, pour over all the gorgeous photographs while enjoying Thai food from your local delivery place.

Writing with Syrup

Thanks to the advice of some folks on the linkedin food photography group, I was able to try writing a message in syrup.  Here is one of my attempts that worked pretty well based on my very scientific (ha!) trial and error.  I mostly used Jennifer’s tip of boiling Karo syrup.  I then chilled it, cooked the pancakes, cooled the pancakes, layer of matte spray, then microwaved my syrup mixture very briefly, and voila…..I had some trouble under and overcooking the syrup but eventually got the mixture right.  Delicious, no?


The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, otherwise known as the SFMOMA is a terrific museum and SF resource.  They always put up interesting shows and have a great photography collection.  They were actually one of the first museums to begin acquiring photography and to consider it a “fine” art.  I am proud to say I am on the museum’s website.  Ok, not my work but my picture.  My friend Rachel and I enjoyed going to the 75th anniversary show opening party about a month ago.  The line was around the block to get in but a waffle truck and pre-drinking helped to make it all the more fun.  Once we got in we were greeted with free drinks, live bands, and a photo booth.

I happen to have stumbled upon our photo on their website when looking for this John Collier Jr photo which I fell in love with after my recent visit to the photography show, The View From Here. I highly recommend the show which is a well curated history of California and photography.  And it is open until June 27th, so no excuses.  There are so many gems in the show but this one stood out.  It reminded me of  the product photography job I was working on last week.  Photography is all about light.  Beautiful diffused window light seeping into the cracks of an old barn, yes.

But also damn reflections everywhere.  Here are some unintentional self portraits of the artist at work.