Sizzle & Smoke

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Sizzle & Smoke: What an apt title for Chef Steven Petusevsky’s new cookbook for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Steve has a lively (sizzling! smoking!) personality, which always makes for a great flow of creative energy at a shoot. Shooting his recipes, along with food stylist Lisa Cherkasky, reminded me of why I love summer. This Grilled Athenian Burger, made with lean ground beef, features Greek Yogurt Spread, and is served on a whole grain bun. The subtitle of the book imparts the real angle: it’s The Ultimate Guide to Grilling for Diabetes, Prediabetes, and Heart Health. Grilling food can be a naturally lower-fat, healthy way to cook. In this book, Steve offers 125 delicious recipes for meats, seafood and poultry, as well as nutritious sauces and sides. A real expert on healthful cusine and natural foods, he’s also really fun to work with, and truly, a class act! Grilled fresh corn-on-the-cob is such a summer

Award-Winning ADA Cookbooks

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Congratulations to Robyn Webb and Barbara Seelig-Brown, two very smart and talented authors (and more)! Both recently won awards for cookbooks we collaborated on for the American Diabetes Association. I am so proud of them both, and really enjoy photographing recipes for their cookbooks, along with food stylist Lisa Cherkasky. Robyn Webb’s The Smart Shopper Diabetes Cookbook just won a Silver Benjamin Franklin Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association. In addition to being author of many books, Robyn is also a nutritionist, culinary educator and Food Editor for American Diabetes Association’s magazine, Diabetes Forecast. In The Smart Shopper, Robyn shares her savvy secrets to making healthful eating more convenient—and more delicious. Recipes include a chapter on “Quick & Easy Desserts,” like the frosty chocolate treat, below. The Smart Shopper also was cited as one of The Washington Post’s Best Cookbooks of 2013. I’m also pleased to have worked with her on another award-winner, The

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2013 Retrospective

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Looking back on 2103 projects, I am very grateful when I review this year of terrific variety, as reflected in this collage. Thanks to all of the wonderful clients and partners I am lucky enough to work with—here’s to a happy, healthy and creative 2014!

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Welcome, Winter!

Monday, 09 December 2013

Brrrr! The first day of winter is not until Dec. 21, but, it might as well be today. To get a birds-eye view of the first real snowfall of this winter, yesterday I ventured out of the studio into the sleet to take some shots of the historic Holy Rood Cemetery in Georgetown. Feeling that chill outside convinced me that it’s a perfect day to be inside—preferably with something hot and comforting to eat. This is my idea of the perfect snow-day combo: “Grilled Cheese and Roasted Tomato Soup” from the menu at Founding Famers restaurants, which is also included in the new Founding Farmers Cookbook (by Nevin Martell, with my photos and styling by Lisa Cherkasky). As the song says, “the weather outside is frightful,” but I can appreciate the beauty in it (especially now that I am inside, warm and dry). Mmmm…grilled cheese…  

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Happy Thanksgivukkah!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Thanksgivukkah: What’s not to love about eight festive days of turkey (sandwiches!) and pies? The last time these holidays converged was 1888. But, it doesn’t feel that out-of-sync. On both holidays we enjoy gathering with family and friends for a thoughtful, warm occasion marked with feasting on favorite traditional foods. And, event the purposes of both holidays are related: “The concept of Hanukkah is a concept of thanksgiving. Hanukkah marks the first victory over religious persecution,” explains Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg of Baltimore’s Beth Tfiloh Congregation (who married me and Marty there). In a story about Thanksgivukkah in The Baltimore Sun, he observes, “On Thanksgiving, we’re celebrating living in a country that has allowed us to have that freedom.” USA Weekend Magazine always gives readers holiday recipes. This year, they also consulted several pie-baking experts and published their tips for making the best holiday pies (featuring my photos and food styling by Lisa Cherkasky). If you

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Founding Farmers Cookbook

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

This project really did sing! Happily, most of my work does go well, but shooting the brand new Founding Farmers Cookbook was the kind of project that made me feel as if I could keep shooting for the rest of my life. I came to love everything about Founding Farmers—the food, the restaurants, their mission, and all the people I worked with. With three related locations in and near Washington DC, they are a collective of farmers and restaurateurs who offer “…a place where true, sustainably farmed, grown and harvested American foods are brought to [their] guests.” The fitting, full book title is: The Founding Farmers Cookbook: 100 Recipes for True Food & Drink from the Restaurant Owned by American Family Farmers. We shot 109 photos, and they all came together easily and beautifully. Prepared recipes were styled by Lisa Cherkasky and shot in my studio, including Benedict Arnold (their unique take on Eggs Benedict),

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Rosh Hashanah 2013

Wednesday, 04 September 2013

L’shanah tovah! The New Jewish Table is my go-to book for Jewish Holidays. I really enjoyed working with Chef Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray of Equinox Restaurant, who co-wrote the book with DC food writer David Hagedorn. And, I love the food, which, like Ellen and Todd’s marriage, co-mingles traditions from their respective Jewish and gentile backgrounds. For Rosh Hashanah dinner dessert, we’re making the Apple Strudel (above), which feels like the perfect end to this holiday’s meal. In fact, it is the last course in the Rosh Hashanah menu in this book, which also has special holiday dinner menus for Yom Kippur, Hanukkah and Passover. From another part of the book, we are making Baked Veal Roast, which Todd describes as “an upscale version of pot roast.” We love this recipe, such depth of flavor and so fragrant with fennel, cumin and coriander. We hope everyone enjoys the holidays!

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The Great Vegan Bean Book

Monday, 03 June 2013

Who knew beans could taste so good? I do, now! I learned how good they can taste last summer, working with food writer Kathy Hester on her new release, The Great Vegan Bean Book. As I mentioned in a previous post, for this book, we shot 110+ recipes that featured 15 different types of beans. [Win a copy of The Great Vegan Bean Book: To celebrate the book’s debut, Kathy shares a recipe below and generously offers one of you a chance to win one copy of her new book! To enter, please see details after the recipe, at the end of this post…] I also discovered how incredibly versatile beans can be, and I was very impressed with Kathy’s imaginative recipes. It seems more conventional to incorporate beans into savory dishes such as soups or dips, such as “Bean Queso,” but, this book also includes such unexpected sweet dishes as “Vanilla Rosewater Parfaits,” “Enchanted Vanilla Pancakes” (above) and “Black Bean Fudgesicles” (below). Other recipes

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Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Pepper

Monday, 29 April 2013

Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Pepper is a collection of simple, basic, healthful recipes and cooking tips using those three versatile ingredients, written by chef/author Jenn Crovato. The look and feel of the book go with the philosophy of the author. It is for all of your senses. The straightforward, elegant design was created by my longtime friend and collaborator, Kate McConnell, an art director and fine artist. This was one of those projects where everyone was perfect for the task. The success of the whole package comes down to the design—attention to detail, the color palette and the type. The design makes my photos look so good. Look how simple and elegant the recipe page is. Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Pepper is simple, easy and beautiful, through and through.  

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Passover: Past, Present and Future

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Passover is all about family, food and friends. For me, it’s a tradition filled with fond memories—and hope for a future of more good times. Assembling this montage, I reflected on our Passovers past, present and future. Some photos were taken at our home: • Dov making matzoh balls (which he won’t be home to do this year) • Elan, our nephew collecting pinecones (He’s been cleaning out the pinecones in our yard for four years during his Passover visit.) • Marty roasting chickens, the egg and the shank bone for the Seder plate on the big green egg Some of the photos are from our trip to Jerusalem in 2011: • A pomegranate growing at Bet She’an • Spices at the Mehane Yehuda market • Rosemary growing in Jerusalem • Fresh fruit plate on a bench outside of our apartment • Matzah Brei Omlet at a restaurant in Caesarea (This is something we make