Food Photography at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast

Filed under: Carolina Bed and Breakfast, Innkeeping, Wine and Food

Getting the cookies in the right pose! (photo courtesy of Abby Murray)

Getting the cookies in the right pose! (photo courtesy of Abby Murray)

Things have been hopping here at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast.  Not only has the season started for all things Asheville but I have also been working hard on my cookbook.  Those of you who follow this blog may remember that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to finish my second cookbook.  At the time I was just hoping for a small cookbook with  recipes for some of the sweets and savory small bites we serve here at our Blue Ridge Mountain inn.  I had planned to self-publish it similar to my first cookbook, Recipes from a Big Family.

Small dreams sometimes lead to big things.  In January I talked with a friend who is an editor and food stylist here in Asheville.  I met her when I was a contributor to Farmer & Chef South, a compilation of recipes from restaurants and B&Bs in Western North Carolina.  She was very excited by my project and, before I knew it, I had an editor, a book designer, a printer and a marketing manager. And it is no longer just “Cupcakes and Canapes” (as previously titled);  now “Our Family Table” contains 120 recipes and tips collected from around the world as we moved from Paris to Hong Kong to London and to Singapore with lots of travels in between.

Working on a cookbook can be a tough slog.  Recipes have to be checked and doubled checked. Amounts need to be calculated (It’s not good enough to say a handful of this and a pinch of that!). Directions need to be tested, read and re-read.  But it’s not all desk work.  This past week we brought together my whole family and did a photo shoot hoping to come up with a cover photo as well as some other good food shots.

Getting in close over the BBQ Lamb

Getting in close over the BBQ Lamb

In preparation, I cooked for three days.  Cookies needed to be made but we also needed extra batches of dough so we could take pictures of them being prepared. A full set of evening canapes plus a back up was prepared.   Two of my family’s favorite dinners were cooked: Greek Lemon Chicken and a Butterflied BBQ Leg of Lamb. We all  really hoped that no one would do anything in the name of photography which would render them inedible as tales of hairspray and fake ice cream made of mashed potatoes were tossed about. But I admit that I did overcook the quiche so that the pieces would hold together perfectly when sliced (shhhhh!)

A super-heated metal skewer is used to make "grill marks" on tomatoes and peppers

A super-heated metal skewer is used to make “grill marks” on tomatoes and peppers

Then on Wednesday morning Emily boarded a flight at 4:30AM from Chicago to Asheville and Abby got up and drove from Charlotte so that “Our Family Table” would have the whole family present!  For me it was a wonderful excuse to have them all together for two random days in June.

Erin Adams was our food photographer.  She did a lot of the food photography for our website so I knew what to expect.  She does great work so I have to make the disclaimer that the photos I am using in this blog were NOT taken by her!

My Iphone shot of Erin's set-up for my Tomato Brie Quiche. If this is good, I bet hers is amazing!

My Iphone shot of Erin’s set-up for my Tomato Brie Quiche. If this is good, I bet hers is amazing!

Look for my cookbook to be out in late September.  I will definitely keep you posted!