Hawkes Bay On a platter

Well our blog has been very quite over the past few months as we have been working on a major cookbook project, Hawkes Bay On a platter, the results of which have gone on sale this week .

Hawkes bay on a platter and back poem.

Hawkes bay on a platter and back poem.

This was no ordinary project as it is a school fundraiser and showcases our very own Hawke's Bay . When I was asked to be involved I had a very clear vision of the photographic style and design layout that we needed to achieve to far excel the perception of a school cookbook , and my good friend and  graphic designer Steve Rawlinson  from many hats http://www.manyhats.co.nz helped me achieve this . My partner Heather spent endless weekends cooking many of the dishes and styling them with our extensive collection of eclectic props from vintage metal Hovis bread tins to bone handle carveries .

 

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Mini pancakes

Mini pancakes

Technically all the studio shots were taken on Phaseone p45  and some of the landscape with a LEE filter Big stopper with exposures of between 2 and 10 minutes , this really flattened out the sea at Waimarama Beach ( very dreamy) Nearly all the other shots were taken on our Canon 5d3 with 50 and 85 lenses . There is also good smattering of pictures shot on a Canon compact. All images were managed in mead pro and processed in Capture one exported to adobe 98 and then eventually were converted in photoshop to cmyk coated FOGRA39 just before producing the PDF for the presses.

 

Highs

Mark Warren ( Not related)

Mark Warren ( Not related)

As in any project there is there highs and lows this being no different. The biggest high was meeting Mark Warren from  Waipari Station , who not only produces some of Hawke's Bays best lamb but also is a 4 wheel drive expert, which is lucky because his man cave ,as he likes to call it is high on a hill over looking the Pacific and in wet times is tricky to access. Whilst there he cooked us his spectacular Hogget chops over a kanuka fire and smoked some in the Webber, the taste and location won me over.

 

 

 

Lows

The low point also involved 4wd, but this time shooting the Land Rover ads. We had taken a fully equipped Defender and after driving at fairly high speeds through small streams.Now armed with our confidence that we wouldn't get stuck, (this is a tank of a vehicle you just feel nothing is going to stop it) we settled on photographing the silver beauty in the middle of the Tukituki just upstream of Black bridge. With no waders or shorts the only choice was to strip to my pants and wade through some of the coldest water, this was early August and and definitely winter and not a pretty sight for any drivers going over the bridge. The situation only really got worse when so called good friend Steve Rawlinson,also modelling as semi competent fly fisherman whipped out his Iphone for quick pic of me.

One very sexy range rover

One very sexy range rover

Not a low

There is a love hate relationship with landscape photography and I myself love taking the time to relax,be thoughtful and create, but I don't have the best of luck with the weather. I have an uncanny skill of getting to locations at the right time with right light,direction  and tides (ie well planned)  only to to be thwarted by driving rain, that either was  not on the horizon or any rain radar, so shooting the  Xero ad for the book was a treat, still frosty cold with no driving rain or sea spray, a happy man.

Stunning Waimarama Beach morning.

Stunning Waimarama Beach morning.

Thank you

To F L Bone our main sponsor.

Yes , we really moved some very heavy ovens on top of a hill.

Yes , we really moved some very heavy ovens on top of a hill.

End Product

Being a professional photographer we quite often dont see end product

But most of the time its a great team effort.

Finished Ad courtesy tank marketing and simply squeezed

School fund-raising Hawkes Bay Recipe Book

Plentiful Autumnal Harvest

Plentiful Autumnal Harvest

Just working on a new exciting project , a fund-raising cookbook focusing on Hawkes Bay. Below is just an idea of how it will look , all the Photography is Fotoshoot (apart from the idea for the mixed advertising page). The book will be a mixture of recipes , advertising and business promotion pages , all shot in the same style . If you know of anybody that would be interested in sponsoring or advertising in this book please let me know.

Spanish eating

Marinated lemon and rosemary home cured olives.

Marinated lemon and rosemary home cured olives.

We love Spanish food but this article by Spanish food writer and food entrepreneur Jonathan Pincas really caught my eye, it's so true and  a very acute observation by jonathan, the only bit missing number 7 is the pure enjoyment and celebration of eating with friends and family  and not the guilt factor that's often encountered here in New Zealand.

1. Bread

A piece of bread is the third cutlery utensil after the knife and fork in Spain. If you want to stop a Spaniard from eating, just don’t put any bread down next to his plate. Spaniards will eat bread with anything and everything, including heavy carbohydrate dishes like pasta and rice, even with dessert on some occasions. Only in Spain did I discover the joys of bread and chocolate – not chocolate spread, but a piece of chocolate served in what is basically a sandwich. Chinese restaurants in Spain have baskets of bread available for customers. All ‘Menu del Dia’ include bread. Spaniards just don’t eat without bread.
2. Napkin

If bread is the most essential item on the table at a Spanish meal, it is closely followed by the humble napkin. ”A napkin,” you say, “what’s remarkable about that?”. And indeed, you’d be right. A napkin is obviously useful for wiping all that mess of your face as you tuck into your tasty meal. The thing is though, napkins are not part of the day-to-day eating habits of the English. OK, maybe you get a napkin at a nice restaurant. And maybe at Christmas your mum would buy some pretty red and gold napkins for the table. But for everyday meals, in my house and in every other English household I ever visited in 25 years of growing up and living in England, napkins are not provided. Why should a Spaniard need a napkin whereas English diners can do without? I ask my Spanish wife this same question all the time. It fascinates me. She and almost every other Spanish person I have ever met seem genetically incapable of eating without a napkin. They are constantly wiping their mouths in between every mouthful. If a napkin is so necessary in order to maintain hygiene whilst eating, we have to ask how the English are able to do without one on such a regular basis. Do they just resign themselves to having a dirty mouth throughout a meal. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that might be the case. One Spaniard I met, who had also noticed this little napkin-based cultural imbalance, maintains that the rims of glasses of English diners tend to get very dirty and smudged whereas Spanish glassware remains sparkling throughout a meal as every sip is taken with an immaculately clean mouth. This actually really bothered him.
3. Water / Agua del Tiempo / Mixing water

So whilst we’re on the subject of drinking whilst eating, let’s talk about water. The Spanish do not eat without water. In my experience, in England, there is some variation family to family on this. Some families do tend to drink water with lunch and dinner, but a large proportion, if not the majority, wash their food down with all manner of other rubbish – juice, orange squash, coke, beer etc. These drinks are aperitifs in Spain – they don’t appear at the dinner table (except, perhaps, on special occasions?). The most you will find beyond water is a bottle of wine, but almost certainly not beer. Water is always still, and mostly from the tap too, but it is always, always served – there is no variation across families here. The other little detail that has always fascinated me about how the Spanish take their water is the issue of temperature. When you order water at a bar in Spain, you’ll be asked “Fria” (cold) or “Del tiempo” (literally ‘of the weather’, actually meaning ‘ambient temperature’). Many Spaniards don’t like their water too cold, so don’t want it straight out of the fridge. At family meals, there is even a solution to this dilemma, a practice which I have only ever observed in Spain: mixing cold water from the fridge with ambient temperature water. So if you see two jugs of water at a table in Spain, one with dripping condensation down the side and the other without, you’ll now know why.
4. Sobremesa

As a foreigner, the most common error I think I have tended to make at Spanish meals is getting up more or less immediately after having finished eating. Let me tell you, this is just not done in Spain. The sobremesa (the period after eating where you stay at the table for an extended chat) is sacred. This has been quite hard to assimilate for me. I’m quite fidgety, so when I finish eating, I like to get up and have a walk around and just generally carry on with my day. My wife, being Spanish, needs at least 15 minutes after finishing to come to terms with the fact that the meal is over. During this period, if we are alone and eating out, I tend to play with my iPhone. The sobremesa in Spain, at weekends or festive periods, can drag on for so long that it is not unusual for lunch to actually transition into dinner without any perceptible activity in between.
5. 3pm is Lunchtime

I have often thought how chronologically regimented life is in Spain – more so than any other country I have visited does the entire population tend to do everything at exactly the same time. I believe that in England, lunchtime is anywhere from about 12 noon to perhaps 2.30 pm. Go out onto any English high street at 12 and you will see plenty of people, the same at 1pm and the same at 2pm. Go onto a typical Spanish high street, even at the weekend, at 3pm and you’ll see noone, probably not a single person. Why? Because they are all, literally all, eating. 3pm, you see, is lunchtime in Spain.
6. Telediario

And at 3pm, another national institution starts up – the telediario (news). Although the Spanish are famed as social eaters, which is largely very accurate, a typical Spanish lunch is incomplete without Lourdes or Mati blaring away in the background. Not that people tend to take much notice of what is being said – in general it’s just background noise. From time to time Dad will hush everyone if something of particular interest pops up, but really it’s not until everyone has finished eating and coffee is being served that everyone starts to pay attention - los deportes have started! Or rather, the Real Madrid/Barcelona half hour.
— Jonathan Pincas

Xmas holiday over

Well the Christmas period passed so quickly, as we all spent the time at home on our staycation we had a great time reading cooking books and eating tapas with great friends popping in for lunch. Its amazing how quickly some 2 and 3 year olds can demolish a pealla dish of paprika chilli potatoes, i didn't get a look in. (probably a good thing)