“I found my thrill on Blackberry Hill, on Blackberry Hill…the moon stood still”, with apologies to Fats Domino for changing the lyrics, we thought it appropriate for this particular shoot. It was a thrill shooting all of those delicious and super healthy blackberries, raspberries and marrionberries in wonderful recipes that will soon be on the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission website.
Sometimes, making food look good enough to eat can be a struggle but this was just one of those shoots where everything seemed to come together from the first snap to the last delicious consumption of the product.
Thanks to Lucy Radys (Food Stylist) for her great prep, planning and on set experience. It was a pleasure working with Food First Marketing who have great taste and decision making which made things go really smoothly.
To end our new version of this famous old song, “…you’re part of me still…on Blackberry Hill”.
Having the Oregonian’s Foodday show up on the doorstep every week is one of the small pleasures in life. A bastion of creative recipes, food trends, and restaurant reviews, Foodday is now celebrating its 30th year. To commemorate this milestone, the publication’s editor Katherine Miller has culled the vast archives to create THE OREGONIAN COOKBOOK: The Best Recipes from Foodday.
Author Photo Credit: Thomas Boyd
Our very own food photographer Michael Shay was asked to create the cookbook’s cover shot, with styling done by Carol Cooper Ladd. A fabulously talented duo that has worked together for years, they have also shot and styled The Tillamook Cheese Cookbook and The Ponzi Vineyards Cookbook. Michael said, “It was an honor to be asked to do the cover image for such an icon in the local food community. It was also fun to be part of all that classic food imagery done by some of The Oregonian’s best photographers.”
With the release of Foodday’s cookbook this Monday, Powell’s City of Books is facilitating a discussion panel of the section’s contributors and editors, both past and present on Wednesday, October 3rd at 7:30 pm. They’ll be discussing Portland’s ascension to powerhouse in the culinary world, as well as taking audience questions. It will be a fabulous shindig, and not to be missed (don’t forget to say “Hi!” to Michael)!
Kinder’s BBQ is the classic American success story. Starting in a California meat market, Kinder Foods has grown into a three-generation family deli and catering business with award-winning rubs, marinades, and BBQ sauces made from their secret family recipe. If you are from the Bay Area, you already know their story; however, to most of us, Kinder Foods is a fresh introduction. So, after being introduced by Elwood Beukeleman and Laura Davis of MBT Marketing, we were excited to contribute to their BBQ-legacy by producing images to be used for Kinder’s web site and BBQ-product packaging.
It was quickly evident that Kinder’s was a different kind of client; they didn’t want the perfectly styled, instead, they opted for “perfectly messy” to present their brand as “casual, approachable and fun.” With this guidance Michael Shay (food photographer), Lucy Radys (food stylist) and Stephen Thaxton (Assistant Photographer) shot and styled the food to reflect the eating experience in a Kinder’s deli.
This fresh and yummy approach makes the ribs look so good you may never want to cook your own again. Visit Kinder’s BBQ at one of their 17 locations or check them out at kindersbbq.com/.
Our friends at House Spirits came to me about making a series of videos explaining how to make some of their signature cocktails. Of course I was happy to oblige. The first in the series is the Aquavit Grenadine Fizz. I Got to try one of these after the shoot and I can report that they are spectacular. Take a look.
It hard to believe it’s been almost 3 months since I posted. Between the holidays and a great studio party of almost 400 people the first part of this year has flown by. But as promised here’s another recipe from the Ponzi Vineyards Cookbook and honestly one of my favorite photographs in the book. Hope you like the visual and try the recipe (and wine) as well. They both, well…Sweet!
PEARS POACHED in VINO GELATO
There are so many delights of fall you can almost forget harvest and Indian Summer portend the continual grey drizzle of Willamette Valley winter. Pears join the seasonal parade of prime fruits and nuts. The finest pears come from the high elevation orchards of Hood River that tower above the Columbia River and spread along the north slopes of Mt. Hood. The farmers host both Blossom and Harvest Festivals to show the orchards at their finest with stunning vistas of Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood as the backdrop. There are vineyards near the river and windsurfers in the river. Eighteen varieties of pears are produced, and if you visit during harvest (there are even historical train tours), you can taste them all.
For poached pears, however, we don’t get too exotic. Kelly Shattuck, pastry chef at The Dundee Bistro, agrees with sticking to the familiar Bosc for their elegant shape and fine texture. Pears evoke harvest, and this recipe has become a perennial Ponzi harvest season dessert.
4 pears, just ripe, firm, nicely formed
1 1/2 C Vino Gelato (or other white dessert wine)
1 C water
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 vanilla bean
1/2 C very mild, soft goat cheese
1/2 C chopped hazelnuts
White sugar to taste
1. To prepare the pears, cut a little slice off the bottom so each will sit straight. Leave the stems on. Peel and core from the bottom using a small melon baller.
2. Combine the cheese with the nuts and fill the centers of the pears with the mixture.
3. Bring the Vino Gelato and water to a boil in a heavy, flat-bottomed saucepan. When boiling, add the lemon juice. Reduce the heat. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the liquid. Add the pears upright in pan, and simmer just until tender, approximately 8–10 minutes.
4. Carefully remove the pears with a slotted spoon. Set aside to cool or put directly into individual serving dishes (here’s a chance to use those old flat champagne glasses). Refrigerate until ready to serve.
5. Reduce the liquid in the saucepan to make a sauce. Taste and add sugar if more sweetness if desired. Strain. Garnish the pears with sauce just before serving.
A cinnamon stick can be added with the vanilla—or omit the vanilla—depending on your taste. You can omit the cheese filling and serve with ice cream also topped with the pear sauce. This is an excellent choice as a dessert for a large dinner party; it’s light, pretty, and can be made ahead of time…and is perfect with Vino Gelato.