School is out………….Let the fun begin!
I just spent the past 2 months in the Food Styling Program at the famous George Brown College Culinary Institute in Toronto. I signed up for the course after taking Culinary Arts 1 as well as other Food in the Media courses so that I could learn to create beautiful, mouth watering shots.
All of the photos on my blog have been of food that I have cooked or baked, styled and photographed myself. Since I had no formal training in food styling, I decided to try out the program at George Brown College. I like the idea of offering clients a full service of styling and shooting if their budget does not allow for a team.
In the course we learned how create fake ice cream out of shortening and icing sugar, as real ice cream would melt under the hot lights while shooting. This was fun but more difficult than it sounds. The mixture needs to be just the right consistency to look real.
It was a great experience working with a teacher who has been styling for years, as well as another food photographer. We styled ice cream, pancakes, burgers, fruit salads, cupcakes, full course meals, as well as hot and cold drinks.
One downside to taking a food styling course in a cooking school was the problem finding a place to shoot the food, once it was styled. The lighting in the kitchen was strong overhead lighting that reflected off of the stainless steel cooking surfaces and there was only one small window in the area where we cooked. I took these quick shots of my creations to share with you and to remind me of the techniques.
I plan to spend the next few months playing with the concepts that we learned and creating some really fun shots. There is nothing more relaxing than spending time creating food shots that are as delicious to look at as they are to eat.
I have also started working on some pairings of local foods with Ontario wines so please pop back and have a look.
This recipe intrigued me because of the wonderful combination of lemon and dill with the chicken soup.
Lemony Chicken and Orzo Soup
Makes 4 servings
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium leek, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise ¼ inch thick
1 celery stalk, sliced crosswise ½ thick
12 oz. skinless, boneless, chicken thighs
6 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Freshly ground pepper
½ cup orzo
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
Lemon halves (for serving)
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and celery and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, 5-8 minutes. Add chicken and broth, season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through 15-20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool, then shred chicken into bite size pieces.
Meanwhile return broth to a boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente 8-10 minutes.
Remove pot from heat. Stir in chicken and dill. Serve with lemon halves for squeezing over
Recipe from Bon Appetit April 2013 edition