If you like good food as much as I do, then you can imagine that there are some jobs that are just a dream. Eating the food would be one of them - and I'd never refuse a good meal - but styling and shooting the food has to come a very close second. Working with a chef who is passionate about what he does, creates beautiful food from beautifully fresh ingredients and then lets me do my job to create images that do his work justice is just about as good as it can possibly get.
I'm not really a fan of food that has been "messed about" with too much. I like to be able to tell what I'm eating and to taste the ingredients. I want to see the colours (food has to be one of the areas where colour is definitely a good thing, even for a colour-phobe like me) that make the food visually come to life and I like fresh ingredients full of flavour. All these are things I found when I worked with Allan Pickett of newly opened Piquet Restaurant here in London. Allan had asked me to style and shoot some of his dishes before the opening of the restaurant last week. My approach was to use a dark background in order to make the food really stand out and pop. All focus had to be on the ingredients and the dish Allan had beautifully plated. I think it works, no?
A few days after the opening, it just happened to be Monsieur's birthday. What a coincidence, right? So, of course there was no better way to celebrate than with a fabulous meal. Table booked, glad rags thrown on, we were on our way to Piquet for our celebratory meal and to sample some food in a somewhat more elegant setting than my own home. And feasting we did. Oysters and snails, venison and veal sweetbreads, a pear tatin with cinnamon ice-cream. Champagne, wine and coffees to accompany of course. We spent a whole three hours eating, drinking, talking and savouring the moment. As far as birthday meals à deux go, this was pretty perfect. Since it was a mild evening, we went for an after-dinner stroll before we made our way home. Great food, lovely atmosphere, wonderful company. One of those moments where you can't help but think "life is good".