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Tag Archives: food photography

Loving Food. Loving Life.

I love food. Everybody knows it. Fortunately, my whole family also lovers of food. We love to eat. We love to make up a milestone or occasions so we can celebrate it with food. We don’t always celebrate these milestones, fake or real, by eating out, we also do the whole going-to-the-fresh market and cook the whole big feast at home, and have some friends around. This time, it was a real celebration. A month ago, our family celebrated a family milestone. Our son just received his sacrament of confirmation, and it’s kind of a biggy. It was a beautiful mass we had with the Archbishop, which left all of us, my family and my son’s sponsor (a.k.a my bff), spiritually refreshed and unexplainably ecstatic. So yeah, we celebrate!

We went to one of our favorite restaurants here in Canberra, Pialligo Estate. We have been there before, back in March, for my birthday, and we just love it. I brought my camera this time too, because I just kind of miss it. It’s been awhile since the last time I took photos for the fun of it. In previous years, especially when I was doing my Project 365, I was almost never without my camera in my hands, and I remember how much joy I had from taking photographs just for me. Do not get me wrong. I love my clients, and I am grateful for the trust and work they give me. I just miss the selfishness that sometimes required when I take photos just for me, when I answer to no one, and I take photos the way I like it. I was in a mission to find that pure joy again, while celebrating family milestone with good food.

In short, celebration + delicious food + photography = win win win.

Here are some family shots during our lunch. We, the adults, opted for a 6 course degustation menu. So we were there awhile, filled with anticipation, and later food, then happiness.

 

 

All this talk about good food…it seems wrong if I don’t share with you what we ate. Non foodies out there, you can just move along and go straight to the non-food photos at the end. My fellow foodies however, enjoy the photos and the description of the whole menu below.

6 course degustation menu - Pialligo Estate, Canberra

This is our 6 course degustation menu. I asked my husband to take a photo of the menu so I can see again in details what I had that day. I am no food critic, so I won’t make any comment about each food. I can only say it was a party in my mouth between 1 – 5PM that day. And I had to skip dinner because there was just no space left.

Top left – Fraser Island Spanner Crab, Watermelon, Raddish & Smoked Cream

Top right – Heritage Sweet Potatoes, Local Walnut, Buttermilk, Salted Lemon & Ossau Iraty

Bottom right quadrant, top left – Line-Caught Snapper, Young Fennel, Diamond Shell Clams, Almond & Blood Orange

Bottom left – Full-Blood Wagyu from David Blackmore, Spring Onions, Jerusalem & Globe Artichoke

Bottom right quadrant, center bottom – Selection of Australian & International Cheese

Bottom right quadrant, top right – Varlhona Jivara Chocolate, Macadamia Nut, Wattleseed & Coffee

You think this is all we ate that day, right. Wrong. The wonderful people of Pialligo Estate, they love to feed people good food. The didn’t think the six plate of food is plenty for one person to take. They served us a pre-starter, pre-dessert, and post dessert. The photos below show these three additional food, plus my daughter’s dessert. She didn’t want the ‘default’ dessert set for kiddies, she asked the waiter for the chef to make her something fruity. Or a plate with some fruit and ice cream combo. She was plenty happy with what was served.

 

Extras - Pialligo Estate, Canberra

 

These ‘extras’ were not in the menu, so I am just going to explain them to the best of my ability. Top left, pre-starter, smoked salmon with lovely fresh herbs, and a dollop of some sort of cream cheese inside pork crackling thingy. The first ‘mmm’ came out thanks to these babies. Top right was my daughter’s dessert. Vanilla ice cream, strawberries, poached pear, some nutty crumbs and super duper yummy honey comb made fresh. Bottom right was pre dessert, I think. I couldn’t think now. I couldn’t remember what ice cream that was, but it was served with lovely blackberries, candied sweet potatoes (I could just make this thing up now), and gingerbread pieces. Last but definitely not least, the bottom left photo, it’s an array of goodness in sweets. A cup of salted caramel toffee (of fudge?), beautiful soft little donuts, marshmallows, and mint macarons.

My son did not have the six course degustation menu, he picked his three course menu that day. We have learned the hard way last  March, that he could eat as much as an adult. We made a mistake of ordering him a kiddy steak last time, and it was not enough so we had to order him two portion. It was a lesson well learned. He was really happy with his lunch that day, he made a suggestion to come back every month. Yeah. Right. We could, if we just fast the 30 days in between our monthly visit. Sure, child, why not.

The sun was almost setting when we finally emerged back to the outside world. We took a couple of photos around the lovely estate.

 

Post Lunch - Pialligo Estate, CanberraPost Lunch - Pialligo Estate, Canberra

 

Feeling so blessed. And hungry too now…

 

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Day 241 #Project365

241-365 fancy breakfast.jpg

The natural light at A Bite to Eat cafe this morning, as I was sitting facing the window, was so delicious it made this dish looked even yummier. The sun that came from the front window was soft and so perfectly diffused it touched everything in the room beautifully. Eclectically called Tweed, this dish of smoked mackerel, potato cake, leek spinach and poached egg, was not only photogenic, it was super delish. I 100% believed my foodie friend who happily demolished the whole thing with a satisfy grin on her face.

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Day 217 #Project365

217-365 choc cupcake.jpg

My kids picked a cupcake for me to bake from the brand spanking new cupcake book that I just bought today. Their choice was hardly surprising as they pointed eagerly at the chocolate one. It’s  a ‘milk chocolate hazelnut whip’ cupcake. Since I have never had  milk chocolate in my pantry (ever) I made this one using dark chocolate instead. The cake was flourless, yummy and super easy.

I totally underestimated the reflecting power of the shiny chocolate ganache on the cake, I found myself disliking most of the images I took of these babies. The light bounced on the cake topping’s surface in many points, which to me personally, did not make the appearance of the cake better, let alone made it look mouth-watering. I know food photography is tricky, and the lighting in my kitchen just didn’t help at all. So, just take my word for this one, the chocolate hazelnut cupcake is yummier than it looks! 🙂

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Day 114 #Project365

114-365 pasta

Those who have Jamie Oliver’s cook books know that the photos in his books are fantastic. Photos that can make your mouth water or make you feel like you simply have to cook it. So tonight, after the pasta dish (using Jamie’s recipe) was ready, I called my kids to dinner table to eat while I took my tripod and had a play with my camera, tried to finish the photo shooting before the food got cold.

The objective today was to make my dish looked “believable”, and of course, edible. You know, to make sure that the brocoli looked as green as it should, the meat looked like a “naturally coloured” meat and so on. I want to avoid having a photo that’s over saturated in colour that you get from applying a bit too much filters/effect (usually by using iPhone apps) that made the food looked inedible let alone appetizing. I used only the lighting from my kitchen, trusted the Auto White Balance in my camera, and put my tripod to use (my hands couldn’t be steady at shutter speed 1/6). I adjusted the White Balance post production to reduce the yellowish effect my kitchen light caused.

In another news, the pasta was delicious and the cold beer was doing a fabulous job washing it all down. Cheers.

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