Commission: Muse Restaurant food photography at Hungerford Epic Lunch.
I have many years experience shooting great restaurant food, and have developed a lightweight lighting kit and a work flow that is efficient but also produces studio quality results.
Some years ago I shot Nathan Outlaw’s masterclasses in the UK, exclusive evening events centred around a degustation tasting menu and guest chef, with a cooking technique presentation. Guests chefs included Pierre Koffmann, Ashley Palmer Watts, Angela Hartnet, Sat Baines, et al – I was under pressure to quickly shoot each dish as they were delivered from the kitchen through out the evening – and to then also edit and rework the shots on the fly – and then post the final shots to social media.
When the marketing manager at Hungerford called me up to ask me to shoot the Epic 50th anniversary dinner at the two-hatted Muse Restaurant in the Hunter Valley, with food prepared by Troy Rhodes-Brown, it was this previous experience that I leaned into.
I set up my lighting in the tasting room of the winery, not far from the kitchen, and shot each dish as it was delivered, with backgrounds prepared in the studio the previous week.
I have always used Elinchrom lights as they are robust and consistent – these were set up and my Nikon camera tethered to a laptop. I was organised and ready, so when the food arrived the images were produced in minutes, if not seconds.
It was great to be shooting food of this calibre – Troy’s food was visually exquisite – the presentation was a perfect balance between relaxed and loose and precise and considered. The colour pallet was strong and the texturally diverse elements were a joy to light and shoot.
- Petuna Ocean Trout, Lamborn snap greens and tendrils, Jersey yoghurt, avruga
- Edgate Farm quail, Morpeth cauliflower, miso, salt baked nashi, macadamia, sage.
- Slow cooked lamb breast, black garlic glaze, salt baked beetroot, plum, garlic chive.
There is something great about shooting with chefs who are at the top of their game – the process is like clockwork, and the results are always satisfying.