Cooking, Food Photography & Styling Workshop
I had the great fortune of being able to attend three incredible workshops in the past few months. Yes, I’m definitely a perpetual student who enjoys traveling and meeting new people. It’s exciting when I gain valuable information that inspires me or improves my workflow. Most of this valuable information comes in the form of cooking, and what’s not to love about that?
The first workshop I attended was in Medoc, France. Mimi and Oddur Thorisson opened their home, and shared their love of French cooking and photography. I had high hopes that it would be a fun workshop, but had no idea that it would be and incredible experience. I still dream of going back and enjoying all that Medoc has to offer. In the meantime, I have my memories, and you can read my previous post and view my photos of this lovely couple here.
After leaving Medoc, my husband and I headed to the charming city of Avignon where I attended a cooking workshop at Le Marmiton Cooking School, located at La Mirande Hotel. The hotel was originally a 14th century cardinal’s mansion, and sits opposite the former pope’s palace, the Palais des Papes. Our workshop menu was created by Christianne Etienne and taught by Chef Bruno D’Angelis.
Our small group worked in a medieval kitchen with an enormous wood block table that filled the room. Our dishes were prepared on a 19th century wood fire-stove. It was fascinating to prepare the fire, and learn how to manipulate a skillet over the varying heat. We were taught to adjust the heat by shifting our skillet on the cook top, and at times we would remove small covers allowing a burst of heat to rise. Adjusting the temperature wasn’t about turning a dial, but about being keenly aware of what was occurring in your pot, and the intensity of the wood fire below. I kept finding myself staring at the gorgeous stove knowing that I was preparing a meal in the kitchen that fed cardinals when this was originally a cardinal’s palace.
When our meal was almost prepared, the sommelier led a tour of the centuries old wine cellar where he made his wine selections. We ended our workshop with the meal we had prepared. I truly enjoyed tasting such unexpected flavor combinations. A perfect example was the ending of our meal with a dessert prepared with Jerusalem artichoke emulsion, chocolate crumbles and coffee-ice cream.
My most recent workshop was in Long Beach California hosted by Adam Pearson and Matt Armedariz. It was so much more than a food styling and photography workshop. We experienced two days learning the process that creates their beautifully rustic visual storytelling. We were hands on with styling, shooting and discussing editing software. Their enthusiasm was infectious, and they were so inspirational. Their kitchen space and prop rooms were well stocked with items from their many travels. Additional bonuses included a fun-filled swag bag, and breakfast and lunches that were as beautiful as they were delicious. One evening we enjoyed a pizza party at Adam and Matts nearby home with the chicest outdoor entertaining space. I left the workshop richer in knowledge and grateful to have a chance to learn from two of the kindest and talented people in the food styling and photography field.