Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Food Porn

A couple of weeks ago I went to this food photography workshop at Checkers in the Hilton in downtown LA. It was called a Phototasting. This is definitely a phrase I haven't heard before. The three speakers were the bloggers of Rants and Craves, SinoSoul, and WeezerMonkey. In the intro they were saying that in other food photography sessions all the food was inedible. For our session, they had coordinated with the chefs at the Checkers restaurant, Todd Allison (right) and Dave Baker (left), to bring out a sampler of their Valentine's Day menu.

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I don't know what you guys are thinking but I'm thinking these are some good looking chefs.

So.. the chefs created each of these dishes two at a time (two different platings of the same dish) and the attendees would shoot away at these beautiful... and fully edible dishes in which we got to taste after shooting!

Checkers' Valentine's Day Menu

Pork Belly 3

Pretty crowded. It usually takes me a full 5 minutes to try and get one decent shot all by my self. It was pretty difficult to maneuver around so many people. It was a humbling experience. I say this because I found it EXTREMELY hard to get good shots. I thought I had a good handle on my camera but as it turns out.. I pretty much don't have a clue to as what I'm doing.

You see, my normal set up is in a fully controlled environment with flood lights or in broad daylight right next to my window. These were not the ideal conditions. There were a couple of different light sources that created some odd coloring in my photos even with all of the adjustments I normally make. I got a few good shots in.. but in programmed mode. This is next to the Auto function.

Pork Belly

Shortcake

Tuna

Food porn indeed...

The workshop was fun and the food was delicious. I met some really cool people and hope to cross paths with them in the future.

One thing that was really cool (for the lack of a better word) was that I knew Dave Baker, the sous Chef. I had worked with him about a year ago at a restaurant that the company I work with now (Chef Innovations) had helped to open called Prime Cut Cafe. The restaurant consultant that I work with, Kelly, had told me that Dave would be there after I had mentioned where the photography workshop was going to be held.

Lo and behold I turn around after one of the dishes came out and there he was standing in the back. I think I looked different than the last time we saw each other because when I walked up to him and stared for a few seconds he stared back with a bit of a "what are you looking at?" kind of look. Then he blinked and remembered my face. We caught up on what we've been doing and had a good long chat. He introduced me to the executive chef and also got a tour of the kitchen.

When it comes to restaurants and well known chefs, I don't know all that much. I still consider myself very much of a novice in a lot of ways. Here's the little I know about the Checkers restaurant. It was a restaurant that was made famous by the UBER famous chef, Thomas Keller. For those of you that don't know Thomas Keller... let's just say that he's the most famous American chef and with some stellar restaurants with high ratings. After he left the restaurant it sort of plummeted.. and now the restaurant has a new look with some great chefs behind it.

It was kind of crazy how big the kitchen was considering it was built in the 80's (I think). I really wish I had taken some photos of the kitchen! Oh well.

Pork Belly 2

It was so much fun and I definitely learned some new things.

7 comments:

  1. Yay! You are such a great photographer already. I'm so glad you came. :)

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  2. So exciting! A great experience!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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