A WEEK IN BEAUTIFUL COLOUR
|Fabrics and textures of all hues - my favourite is the purply/eggplanty hued one on the bottom left|
This has been the month of travel - recipe testing first, then back to Sydney to photograph the new book. This is the first time I've been present for the photography and the first time so many shots have been taken of the finished recipef itself. My books are very much a part of me, so I wanted to be the one to do the cooking and be involved in the creative process of photography. Even though I knew it would be a mountain of work, I wanted to be there - and was a little nervous to begin with. I had asked my dear friend Jeanie to come and help me (I know when Jeanie is there we can together, cope with anything) and - there she was, above and beyond. I also asked Angie (a graduate of my Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program) and again, above and beyond. I must also note that Jean's boyfriend Al gamely and bravely drove us around all day in Sydney before the shoot, as we shopped the rather mammoth list. Let me say right now, I couldn't have done it without them, and when you see the shots (next May :) ), I hope you will feel and see the friendship and love reflected. This includes my truly amazing editorial team at Murdoch Books - who assembled the very talented photographer and stylist, and always have a game plan of excellence. Yes, i was very nervous to begin with, but as soon as I met Cath Muscat (photographer) and Kate Nixon (stylist), I knew all would be fine - both such talented, professional and generous women. We all worked extremely hard to get through the shots - Jean, Angie and myself baking - Angie making us amazing lunches each day to keep us going and running out for emergency errands - Kate never stopped tweaking until the shot was just right and didn't blink when I said a couple of times - "I really don't like it" and Cath with her eagle eye keeping on until the shot was more beautiful than I could have imagined. Even though I'm not a fan of blue, Kate showed me how beautiful it can look but also thrilled me with that glorious purply/eggplanty coloured fabric and tone above, and I am so in love with the cup and saucer below.
|I'm in love with this cup and saucer|
|That cup and saucer again, but how gorgeous is the greenish floral plate underneath|
|Starting the day with a POA (plan of action) which requires a cup of tea|
Our days started with a planning session and finished when the light was fading. Sydney chose to put on some stormy rain, but even in the dim and fading light at the end of the day, Cath pushed the envelope to get some glorious shots. And the recipes behaved - it was great to see both Jean and Angie just go to the recipe, and they turned out brilliantly. So fingers crossed, they should for you also.
|Stylist Kate setting up for a shot - blue !!!!|
|Thank Goodness for Jean (on the right) and Angie (centre)|
|My gorgeous, amazing friend Jeanie|
Even though it was full on from dawn to dusk, really how lucky am I? As Kate was setting up a shoot on the second day I commented that food (the way I like and do food) is exactly the same as my days as a fashion designer. I'm doing the same thing, but with a different (and more meaningful) medium. They are both about beauty. Before it was the beauty of a fabric, a line of cut or stitching and now I work with the textures, flavours and food that nature more directly provides. But both have the deeper layers of beauty - the friendships, the tears, the colours, textures and I tell you, I consider myself blessed. I loved, loved the opportunity to work with Kate and Cath in such a professional manner, the shots are so beautiful and I hope that when you see them, you will love them too.
I know there's no recipe here this month - 7 weeks away back and forth from East to West, just home with a desk that demands to be taken care of and the Autumn garden planted over the past 2 days. What am I eating you may well ask? While staying with Jean last week her daughter Violet and I made a killer apple pie (with this gorgeous rolling pin I bought for Violet). Right now I've roasted up the abundance of eggplant in the garden (fragranced with fresh basil) ready to layer with a lamb mince sort of bolognaese. I'm going to top it with a bechamel - it's going to be a big Parmigiana/Moussaka/Lasagne kind of thing which I'm serving with a large rocket (from the garden) salad. I plan on enough for left overs tomorrow. As the oven was on, I've roasted up some pumpkin from the garden also, cooked a pot of quinoa for the beginnings of a salad lunch tomorrow. Hopefully by then I will have settled back into Perth time with enough brain to think what to eat. Next blog is going to be on Children and Snacks - I wanted to extend the seminar I did in Sydney with Rosalba Courtney and Holly Davis. I couldn't answer all questions, and snacking (and foods for snacking) seemed to be a hot topic. Stay Tuned.