Thursday, November 21, 2013

Photographing, Eating and Drinking Late into the Night

This is my third night up until midnight after standing on my feet for seven hours each night photographing five and six course dinners during the week-long San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival. I'm not complaining; the fringe benefits have been so worth my lack of sleep. 

I had a bit of a break today when I was turned away from photographing the artist luncheon at Fleming's due to a corporate snafu and strict policies regarding photography at the restaurant. Oh well, it gave me time to come back home for a few hours before going over to the Marriott for the Celebrity Chef Dinner tonight.

My hope was to share some stories and photos from last night at the Addison with Grand Chef William Bradley. At first I was told I could only go back in the kitchen for about 20 minutes and photograph a few of the dishes they would plate for me. When I was "escorted" back, Chef Bradley recognized me from our brief visit a few months ago when I photographed his Butternut Squash Velouté for the Festival's magazine. He gave me an extremely warm welcome and muttered something about knowing me and it was all good, and invited me to stay in the kitchen and photograph all night. Although there wasn't room to set up my tripod and lighting, it was an incredible experience and honor to observe such an amazing culinary team in action. Each time Chef Bradley gave an instruction, he ended with "yes" in French - Oui.  The entire team then responded, in unison - Oui!

I will share much more about my evening at Addison, and my evening tonight with my favorite French chef, Chef Bernard of the Marine Room, but I need to get this post up before midnight to keep my NaBloPoMo post-a-day commitment.

Here's Chef Bradley's Butternut Squash Velouté, which was served last night at the Haute French Cuisine & Vintage Burgundy Tasting. It will also be on Addison's Thanksgiving menu. The recipe was published with my photo in Amuse Bouche, on page 69.

Here's the L'Ambrosie Tart with Vanilla Créme Glaçage served for dessert last night. The pastry chef graciously offered one to me at the end of the evening and there wasn't a chance I was saying no to chocolate. The lighting was pretty tough on the food photography, but I hinted that I would love to come back and photograph his exquisite food again.

And a couple more - I haven't had time to go through all the photos. Chef Bradley consulting with his sous chef, Shaun Gethin.

You can see Shaun much better here...

Okay, I just hit "publish" to get this post up before midnight, and then came back to say goodnight. Lots more to come, I promise. 

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