Brooklyn Thanksgiving!

I really LOVE roasting a big fat turkey. So for a few years now I have invited friends to my apartment to join me for a thanksgiving feast.  The first time I did this I was still in college in Rochester, the turkey was 15 pounds and the gravy ended up all over the front of my jeans and on my kitchen floor.  Since then the turkey has gotten larger, the guests have gotten more numerous, and this year I gave up on making gravy altogether.
While roasting a turkey can be a challenge in and of itself, once it's ready to go and in the oven, all that's left to do is babysit. So this year I decided to indulge my love of baking as well.  I found a recipe for a vanilla-spiced caramel and pear tart in Bon Appetit magazine that looked just challenging enough to tackle.  The recipe can be found here 
The tart turned out great, but if I had it to do over again, I would make sure that the tart was out of the oven well before the turkey had to enter, because trying to juggle the shelves and temperate for both at the same time, was not that easy. 
Here are some photos from the process:

These are the pears carmelizing on the stove with the cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise.

These are the pears, fully carmelized, cooling in the skillet by the window. 

Here are the pears and filling in the springform pan, all ready to go in the oven

Here's the finished tart, all puffed up and begging to be eaten

And as a bonus, here are the brussel sprouts that Lauren brilliantly diced



I have gotten mixed reviews on my choice to shoot only food.  Many people have told me that it's great that I have one direction and focus to my photography.  Others have pointed out that with such a specific subject matter, I may be missing out on other potential clients when that time comes.  
I have given this a lot of thought over the years, and while I truly love shooting food, I think that it is important to show that I have skills for lighting other subjects as well.  The solution that I came up with was to shoot plating.  This way I could light things in ways that are not necessarily appropriate when working with food, but dishes still tie in with my work and can be placed in my portfolio with food work.  My prop stylist, Derek, was just as jazzed about this idea as I was, and here is what we came up with when we got together:


Boooon Appetit!

This past week I made a trip to Pennsylvania with Lauren.  She was set to do some food styling, and I tagged along to lend a helping hand.  While there, we decided to make a side trip to visit my folks, and cook them a fabulous dinner in the process.  In our usual fashion,  we chose a meal that neither of us had prepared before and that was known for being difficult. Boeuf Bourguignon! But not just any Beouf Bourguignon, Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon. 
While we did the shopping together and both consulted the recipe, I have to admit that Lauren did the majority of the cooking.  I happily took control of the dessert (a delicious carrot cake) and let Lauren take the wheel with the dinner.  Though I did help peel some potatoes and managed to do so without cutting myself :) Needless to say, the entire meal was amazing, and everyone enjoyed it.  We also watched "Julie and Julia" while cooking and we were both left with a new respect for Julia Child and her recipes. 

Here are a couple of photos we shot during the cooking process. Sadly, all of the beautiful daylight was gone by the time the meal was finished.