Friday, October 26, 2012

Food Stylist: Katie Christ

Katie Christ

Does any one else in your family have a passion for food like you?  
 My older brother started cooking in professional kitchens at age 17.  He's traveled a lot and is a terrific global cook.  Between the two of us, we've hit a lot of countries, cultures and cuisines.  It's fun sharing what we learn with each other.

Where are you originally from? Was traveling a culture shock to you? What was your favorite place you visited?  
I grew up in So California and we did a lot of family trips to Baja  I was fortunate to be exposed to another culture and language early in life. When I traveled to Europe for the first time as a teenager and it was like a bright new world had been opened to me.  I think I've just always been a very curious person.  I've been to so many incredible places since and had so many phenomenal experiences  --including living in Paris and Mali, West Africa. A couple of recent experiences that really stand out are Naoshima island in Japan, the Allora and Ajunta caves in India, cruising the Mekong river in Laos and camping in the Sahara desert near Timbuktu for the music festival.

While at Citizen Cake what was the most challenging pastry?  
[Lauging] The hardest thing for me still, to this day, is to not boil over a pot of cream on the stove.  Seriously.  I had such amazing mentors in that kitchen and they truly made everything attainable for me. I loved my time there.  I learned so much.

Working on the show Top Chef would you say that was more challenging than working in a real kitchen or about the same?  
Working in a professional kitchen is pretty grueling and working on the show that first season, for me, was even more so.  I was the Culinary Producer on the first season and we were laying the foundation for the show from the ground up.  The culinary team consisted of just two of us.  We did everything from setting up what was essentially a restaurant kitchen to helping develop and produce challenges, set styling, food styling and washing dishes.  It was an insane amount of work -- around the clock, for six weeks.  I slept for nearly 3 days straight after we wrapped.

Who was your first big break through client?  
I'd been assisting food stylists in SF, LA & NY for about a year and a half.  I'd started getting my own styling gigs when I got hired onto a big packaging job for a national grocery store chain that lasted several months.  That was my 'lucky break' that enabled me to transition to doing solely my own thing.

What kind of work do you enjoy styling most? Editorial, advertising, film?  
One of the things I love most about my work is the variety.  In any given month, I can shoot the whole gamut:  editorial, catalog, cookbook, packaging, print ads, video, TV.  Cookbooks and magazines are the most creative we get to be and I love it when clients put together the creative team and let us free to do our thing. It's so gratifying for me to create as a team. I do also really enjoy the technical challenges that ad jobs can present.

On your blog, Gorgeous Grub what do you find yourself writing most about?
Sadly, I don't seem to find the time to write and share my experiences nearly as much as I'd like.  There just aren't enough hours in the day.  I really do love food, travel and photography -- though let me be clear that I make no claims to possessing any photography skills!  I write about food-related adventures or discoveries wherever my travels take me, whether it's around the corner from my house or in another city or country.

Any clients you dream of working with?  
 My fantasy client would send me off to work with cooks/chefs/bakers/pastry chefs all around the globe, styling their creations.  I haven't identified yet who that client is, but maybe they'll read your blog and find me!

Favorite place to eat in San Francisco?    
That's a tough one.  I have a lot of favorites.  There have been so many new, exciting places opening the past couple of years, I sometimes forget about some longstanding treasures.  One of the benefits of having my own blog is that I can keep a running list of the places I really like.   I love checking out the latest restaurant opening and am always on the lookout for inspiration.   I'm really looking forward to the opening of Chocolate Lab, Michael Recchiuti's newest creation.  The list goes on…... I feel so lucky to live in a town with so much creativity and passion that it's virtually impossible to name just one (or 10)!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Boston Globe: Cover Story Photos...

I got a call from one of the photo editors at The Boston Globe who was doing a story on the fickle food shopper. Discussing where people go for what product.

They knew what they wanted in the shot, but as far a final execution that was up for creative interpreting. It was going to be shot on simple white background because they were putting text around the image pointing to the different food items.

I had some ideas for the front cover and inside spread shot (see really bad sketches below) But as long as my food stylist and I knew what those sketches meant, that's all that mattered :)

They needed the photos in two days for text placement and to go to print. We succeeded and you can see below that it worked out well.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Food Stylist: Amy Marcus

1. What made you decide to go to culinary school?
I moved to Italy about a year after graduating from college. I lived with my relatives in Lucca, and then I moved to Florence. I had a boyfriend in Florence and his mother was the most amazing cook! I cooked with her all the time, furiously writing notes, and trying to translate what she was saying from Italian to English. When I returned home to NYC, I decided that I wanted to continue cooking, so I went to culinary school. 

2. Do you have foodies in your family?
Yes Yes and Yes!! Both sides of my family love to eat! I am Jewish and Italian, so it was ingrained in my at a very young age. I grew up on Pasta and homemade sauce, the best!

3. How was your experience working at the foodnetwork?
It was great! I did my internship there from culinary school and then stayed on freelancing for 4 years. I learned so much and just loved it! In fact, I recently started freelancing there again developing recipes. It's been wonderful!

4. Who was your first breakthrough client?
I'd have to say for recipe testing and developing, Martha Stewart Magazine. This was the first place that I actually learned the skills of testing and developing recipes. It was very important to my career. For Food Styling I'd say working for the television show the View and then The Right At Home Website for SC Johnson. They were a wonderful client because I developed the recipes and then styled the food at the photo shoot. I really can't say if I prefer film or stills. They are so different, and I really enjoy doing both. It's so great to have the variety. 

5. How has social media helped your business?
I've definitely met people in my business online whom I never would have come in contact with. I've made so many new contacts. And my name gets passed around more because of it. 

6. Who are your inspirations?
I'd have to say my biggest inspiration was and is my mentor AJ Battifarano. She was the person I started assisting after culinary school. She taught me everything that I know! She is still a wonderful friend and mentor

7. Have you ever traveled for work?
Yes I have, but really only to local places such as Philadelphia and Chicago

8. Dream Client?
I'd love to work for an Italian or French company and have to shoot in either of those places. Just for the local produce alone!!! Not to mention the pasta!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pickled Carrots

**Depending on how many jars you have and what size will dictate how many carrots you can fit in the jars.

I made 3 16 oz jars

I bought a pound of carrots, they were huge so I only fit about 4-5 carrots peeled and cut down.

Also I wanted a little kick so I picked up 8 jalapeno peppers and cut them up between the jars.

3 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons of pickling spice

3 cups vinegar and 3 cups of water (between the 3 jars)

I boiled the 3 cups of vinegar and water and let simmer. While that was sitting I cut/peeled the carrots and jalapenos and divided between the jars. Then poured in the pickling spice and a clove of garlic for each jar.

Once divided I poured evenly in the jars the vinegar and water mixture. If they needed to be topped off I added water.

Tightened the lids and put in fridge for up to 3 weeks before opening.


Monday, October 1, 2012

One Million Dollar Ride

 MS 150 City To Shore Ride

I always dedicate this past Friday's post to my LONG weekend of bike riding for a great cause, MS.

The weather was great and the energy of all the volunteers and staff is always inspiring. This year my boyfriend Joe was able to come and grab some shots of me riding ;)

Jersey's Team is SOOO close to raising One Million Dollars. The team has been riding for 13 years. I've only been apart of it for the past 3. It's been great ever since I've joined. Raising awareness for this disease is the number one goal for everyone.

Jersey's Team:

General Info:

You can still donate: