Weekend Cookbook Review – Rick Stein’s India

I’m currently working on a food project at work where the client requested that we use plates and dishes like those used in Rick Stein’s India cookbook, so I thought that’s a great reason to review this book as part of my weekend cookbook review.

The first thing you notice when you open this book is the high contrast of the images and all the wonderful colours that you would expect to see in India – beautiful teal blues, bright oranges and reds. There’s a good balance of food images, people and culinary life in India. I love the shots of people selling food, cooking food, fishing and farming as well as the shots of markets, food stalls and farms.

The food photography is shot outside on location by James Murphy, food styling by Aya Nishimura and prop styling by Penny Markham. The photography is very real and honest, the dishes are made to look like they have been cooked in the plate, pan or tray they are presented on. The plated dish is then presented on various beautiful aged wooden surfaces, along side chopping boards and knives with the ingredients being prepped. There is no over propping with cups or glasses, everything in the shot is there to tell the story that this dish has just been made, with herbs and spices scattered about in just the right way that it never looks over styled.

Really lovely, inspiration styling.

Rick Stein's India




Non Food Friday – Birmingham

Last Saturday my boyfriend and I decided to visit Birmingham, we’d never been there before and thought it would make a nice change to our usual weekend hangouts. We enjoyed the underground market The Oasis, full of vinyl, heavy metal t-shirts and alternative jewellery where I purchase a cute pair of knee high socks with swallows and hearts on. We also ventured into the vintage and retro area called The Custard Factory, where I fell in love with all the old crates, suitcases and random goodies and enjoyed the street art along the way. We also popped into the museum and art gallery for a little culture, where I found the cutest little lunchbox in the gift shop, by Happy Jackson… really lovely range of stuff, their website is super cute too, check it out www.happyjackson.co.uk. So for this weeks ‘Non Food Friday’ I wanted to share my new lunchbox and the street art of Birmingham.

Happy jackson Lunch Box


Street Art Birmingham


street art


Raspberry & Blackberry Cheesecake

A couple of beautiful shots from last week of a Raspberry & Blackberry Cheesecake… I’m loving the contrast of the dark berries against the lightness of the cheesecake, shot with just one light to achieve natural lighting. Plates from John Lewis, vintage cake forks and cake slice both found in charity shops and the lovely wooden surface found in our stylists garden!


Raspberry and blackberry cheesecake

Raspberry and blackberry cheesecake slice

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Strawberry Tart

I wanted to add to the work portfolio by showcasing the skills and abilities of our in house chef as well as producing some lovely photography. So I set out to do three set of images; 1. Portrait of a chef (remember shot of the month last week – well that was one of my portraits so far) 2. Chef skills – the vast range of talents in the kitchen out chef possesses 3. Dynamic food/chef shots.

Its and on going project for me when I get time to fit it in, these shots come under the Chef skills category.





The Fabulous Baker Brothers

This ‘Weekend Cookbook Review’ is looking at the food photography in The Fabulous Baker Brother cookbook.

A colleague of mine recommended that I watch the TV program of the that goes with this book as he said the said the way it is filmed is really lovely and thought I would really like it, however as I don’t own a telly I got the book instead and he wasn’t wrong the photography is really beautiful.

The books has a lot of shots of bread being made, behind the scenes with the brothers Tom and Henry Herbert (Tom is the baker and runs the family bakery and Henry runs the butchers next door) as well as food photography.

The food shots are very dark and rustic, which I am really into at the moment and really works well with homemade bread photography. I was surprised at how simple the styling was, in most cases just the bread on black slate with a scattering of flour, not even sliced or torn into, but it worked well… so simple, the bread is the main focus and the textures of the bread really stand out.

My favourite shot in the book is on page 218 for the recipe Toms Full English, the shot is set on a wooden kitchen table, coffee mug and a breakfast plate with only the sauce swirls and bacon rind left of the plate… it’s brilliant, you know what’s been on the plate and it makes you feel like you’ve just eaten that breakfast…  I love it. Great photography by talented photographer Chris Terry.

The Fabulous Baker Brothers



Taylor Wessing

It’s ‘Non Food Friday’ and it’s also that time of year again… The Taylor Wessing National Portrait Competition 2013.  After last years success with my portrait of a burlesque dancer making it into the top 200, I couldn’t wait to enter again this year. This year my entry is of Chef… results come out on Tuesday… fingers crossed.



I love my job, especially on days when I am told that ‘today we need you to shoot cookies’.  I had four different types of cookies to shoot, so I had to come up with four different setting for each, yet keeping the same look and feel for each of them so that you recognise that they are all part of the same range. I loved researching for this job, I also really enjoyed styling each shot to tell a different story. The fun part comes with breaking bits off and letting the crumbs fall naturally. These are a few of my favourites from the shoot.

Triple nut cookies


Triple Chocolate cookies

White chocolate and cranberry cookie