Friday, June 24, 2011

Liquid Bread

For this Friday post I wanted to share with you the VERY tasty beer recipe my boyfriend and I came up with.
It took me back to my vacation in Vermont this past summer :)
You can order beer ingredients online along with the tools to make it at home, or find a local beer supply distributer.
3 lb. Pale Dry Malt Extract
6.5 lb. Pale Ale Malt
3 lb. Mild Ale Malt
.5 lb. 15L Crystal Malt
2 oz. Warrior Hops
2 oz. Citra Hops
5 oz. Cascade Hops
Northwest Ale Yeast

Steep all grains for 40 minutes at 155 degrees F.  Drain and rinse.  Add Dry Malt Extract and bring to a boil.  75 minutes of boiling.  Add .25 oz of Warrior, .25 oz Citra, and .5 oz Cascade at 75, 45, 25, 15, 10, 5, and 2 minutes of the boil.  Cool to 80 degrees and add yeast.  Dry hop the rest of the hops.  Primary fermenter for 7 days; secondary fermenter for 12 days. 
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Friday, June 17, 2011

Food Friday #11

John F. Carafoli


1. Being in the food styling business for numerous years now have you noticed any change in the way you do your job?

Over the years the business has become more restrictive do to several factors: A. There are many more layers of corporate people involved and people are always trying to please the person above them. The best result comes when the client themselves are actually at the photo shoot. Things move faster with direct input. B. The economy is tight now and budgets are watched very carefully. Everyone is cutting costs and budgets..

2. What kind of art did you major in while attending art school? Were your intentions to pursue that as a career?
I graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and majored in Fine Art and Design. I moved to Chicago and my first job was with the University of Chicago Press as Art director. I worked in Chicago for several years as a designer/art director working for magazines, advertising agencies and publishers. My last job was in publishing as creative director managing ten designers. I left that job and Chicago, moved back to the East Coast and pursued a career in food. 

3. Was it hard to get your work published? How long did that take?
I started writing for the Boston Globe, working with photographers who shot my articles. They got to know me and started hiring me as a food stylist.
4. Who was your first breakthrough client?

Boston got to small so I moved to NYC. There I continued my writing for magazines and wrote my book Food Photography and Styling the first book on the subject. There was nothing out there so it was fairly easy to get it published. It took about a year of writing and pulling it together.
5. One of your titles is a food consultant, can you explain what you actually do? Does it tie into working on set and styling food?

Under the umbrella of food stylist/writer, I am also a consultant working with restaurants and companies developing menus and recipes. I am a “conceptual” person.
6. Teaching food styling and cooking classes did you find that there were more aspiring food stylists or chefs?
I also have taught food styling course, recipe writing and development and theme cooking classes.
7. Looking at where you are in your career do you think you have more editorial work or advertising work? About equal?
My styling work consists of advertising, editorial, and packaging. I enjoy styling my own recipes for clients because if I don’t like something in a recipe like color I can change it. Lately I have been doing lots of “liquids” drinks.
8. Who was the most notable photographer you have worked with?
I have worked with so many great photographers it is difficult to name one good one. It usually has to do with simpatico (on the same wave length) more than anything else. It is a difficult business and we are problem solvers so there has to be this connection. 

9. Where do you look for your inspirations?

My inspiration comes from being open to new ideas, working with creative individuals, bouncing concepts and ideas off of them and of course traveling. Creative people cannot work in a vacuum.
 10. For your shoots do the art directors/photographers look to you for recipes or is it a joint collaboration?

I do bring my art directing background into the photo shoot if it is appropriate for me to do it with out threaten anyone.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Food Friday #10

Debbie Wahl

1. Reading your biography it looks like you had a passion and vision for a food career at a early age, was food a big part of your family growing up?

My mom was an excellent cook!  What amazed me was that although she worked full-time, we always sat down together for a full home cooked dinner that included vegetables, salad and a main course. I was her little “sous chef” and always had my assigned chores to help get dinner started.  When I was about 12, I read a book about someone working in the test kitchens at General Mills and I realized then that was something I would love. I attended Ohio University and got a B.S. degree in Commercial Food with an emphasis in food for business. I also received  a minor in Communications which required coursework in art, advertising and marketing—I draw upon what I learned from those courses in almost every job. 

2. Where are you originally from? Where do you currently reside?

I’m originally from Ohio but reside in Maryland. I was recruited by Marriott Corporation to come to the DC area and never left. I mainly work in Pennsylvania, D.C., and Florida. But I love to travel for work—I think I am headed to Texas for a job next week!

3. How did your other services you provide come into play when being a food stylist?

Having a Bachelor of Science in Foods required me to take chemistry and a lot of food science courses.  This proved to be tremendously helpful in knowing how foods are going to react.  Working in restaurants and test kitchens at both Marriott and Stouffers gave me valuable experience in the food service area—knowing how to scale up or down recipes, knowing restaurant equipment, etc.   I mainly do food styling now, but occasionally I am asked to provide recipe development and media support for chefs—it is always fun to do that—I appreciate their skill and they appreciate the fact that I can make their food look good for the camera.

4. Has being a member of different organizations helped your career in making new friends or job opportunities or both?

With over 25 years in the business, I have made a lot of contacts—many of whom have become good friends. Being exposed to actual production—through visits to various production plants has given me great background knowledge. In food styling, it’s knowing where to find that absolute best items for the shots –great produce suppliers, farms,  bakeries,  butchers and fish suppliers,etc.

I’ve used NRA (National Restaurant Association , Linkedin, and IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) for contacts. Early on, a group called Home Economists in Business (HEIB)was terrific in linking food stylists and other women in the Food Business. I met fellow food stylist, Lisa Golden Schroeder, at the HEIB Minneapolis Food on Film seminars. She and other contacts I made there have been most valuable.  In fact Lisa and I now co-teach an online food styling class through  It’s fun to compare notes with peers and see what they are going through. I’ve gotten job opportunities through Google. Now 85% of work is word of mouth and with my established relationships. Clients such as McCormick, Campbell's, Perdue, and Friendly’s are some that I have had for many years.

5. Did you start out on t.v. and film styling or was it photography?

I first went to T.V. commercials for Stouffers as their company representative—it was there I saw wonderful well-known food stylists in action. My very first food styling job on my own came when I was actually still working for Stouffers—had to style a hot fudge brownie sundae with real ice cream.  I still cringe when I think about it!  Along with print and film styling, I styled for a couple of feature films ---I loved the grand scale of all the movie production, including the massive amount of food needed.

6. Who was your first break through client?

Marriott (which owned Roy Rogers, and Big Boys) was my first big client when I start free lancing.  At the time, Roy Rogers owned about 250 restaurants so I did a ton of print work for them in New York and traveled for them to L.A. for tv shoots.

7. What type of food do you enjoy styling?

I like styling everything. I like the variety. Styling produce is great because the natural beauty and organic shapes. I like to keep things loose and playful as far as my styling. The trend now is a little loose. A casual real approach is what most clients want now—nothing overly styled.

8. I know putting food under hot lights is hard to keep fresh but styling on a grille with a open fire, is that harder? Do you use real fire?

I’ve styled with real flames. I had to keep replacing the food because it would burn up. Now many photographers shoot images of grills with flames and then shoot the food on the grill separately and merge the two shots together.

9. Where do you look for your inspirations?

I look online--Donna Hay, Martha Stewart,  Real Simple, and all the magazines. I look at other stylists work. Donna Hay’s work was groundbreaking in the 90’s. She was the pioneer in the selective focus, “blown out”  look.

10. Do you think social media such as Linkedin helped your career? Is a lot of your work now word of mouth?

Social media is important. It’s helps get your name out there and gives you a chance to show your experience.  A website is essential—but the website just sits there unnoticed unless you have a way to draw people to your site.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Food Friday #9

Karen Quatsoe

1. How did you get into styling?

I got into prop styling in a round about way. In colleges(SVA in NY) I did an internship and worked in a photo studio. The photographer had me running around gathering props for him for still life projects...he shot for AVON quite a bit. I was an advertising/graphic design major but realized by my last year that  I couldn't really see myself doing that as I didn't enjoy drawing story boards or choosing the point size and style of type. After graduation I started a costume jewelry business w/ a childhood friend selling to stores around the country including Blooming, Bendel's, Nordstrom's. After about 8 years our cottage industry needed to move to another level and my friend and I both decided we wanted to pursue other things so I thought about styling. Someone I knew from my neighborhood in Brooklyn was a stylist and I started assisting her.

2. Did you start out styling rooms or food?

The woman I worked for did both  prop styling for food shoots and room shoots. After a few years when I was off on my own I ended up  working for  both HOUSE BEAUTIFUL SPECIAL INTEREST PUBLICATIONS and WOMAN"S DAY SPECIALS styling  for titles such as Home improvement, Kitchen and Bath , Decorating and Remodeling , Home Building. So for several years I traveled around the country as a field editor/stylist working exclusively in homes styling rooms.

3. What do you enjoy styling more? Why?

I currently do more food shoots locally...mostly NYC... A variety of projects including magazines, cookbooks, advertising, and packaging. I started doing more food shoots in the mid 1990's. I would say I enjoy both equally but shooting homes involved traveling and I was really sick of living "out of a suitcase" from May thru Oct.

4. Where do you find your ingredients for your food shoots?

I find props in stores, flea markets and prop houses. The prop houses are the most valuable tool for a prop stylist as the house so many props in one place that may be difficult to find at retail in a timely manner. When you are working on magazines or catalogues you are shooting out of season. Say a Christmas shoot in July so the prop houses are vital.

5. Do you see yourself getting hired directly by photographers or art directors?

I would say both.

6. Who is one of your biggest clients?

A partial client list is on my site. In addition to those listed I have worked for Goya and for Rodale on the BIGGEST LOSER:FLAVORS OF THE WORLD COOKBOOK.

7. Where do you primarily work? Any travel involved?

 I primarily work in NYC. I live in Bucks County. Pa. and would love to work closer to home.

8. Do you see social media as a helpful tool for your business or is a lot of your work word of mouth?

Mostly word of mouth but sending e-mailers with a link to my website. Art directors, photographers and  food companies has definitely been worthwhile.

9. Do you have a favorite food you enjoy styling? Pretty food? Easy food?

My favorite projects whether they be still life. rooms or food usually involve combining old and new props, strong color and texture. I worked on a personal project on a farm in NY state with a team that included 2 food stylist and a photographer.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Counter Culture Coffee...

Copyright 2011 IPhone

I took this a few weeks ago while up in New York and wanted to share it. 
This was at Bluebird Coffee Shop in the east village. 

It's small, flavorful, and friendly.