This Weekend Cookbook Review I’m reviewing Polpo – A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts).

Its a beautiful book to look at, I love the way that it is bound with no spine so you can see the binding and it is printed on lovely soft cream paper.  Written by Russell Norman and photographed by Jenny Zarins,  not only is the book full of recipes and beautiful food photography but it all has wonderful photos of Venice as well as a restaurant and bar guide.

The food photography has a lovely soft lighting to it and is very close up on the food, leaving little room for heavy prop styling, the result is simple and beautiful. The food doesn’t look styled, it looks very natural as it would be served and there is no mention of a food stylist.

A lovely book to inspire a very natural look food photography.

Polpo - A Ventian Cookbook


Christmas Treats

It’s nearly Christmas… that not only means photographing lots of turkeys it also means mince pies! YUM!

This week I’ve shot the prep of mince pies, which I was rather excited about as I got to use my beautiful vintage fairycake tray that I bought in summertime and a vintage fair and well as shooting shop bought Finest mince pies. I love these shots, styled by the talented Vicky Sheard.

Making Mince Pies by Stacy Grant

Mince Pies by Stacy Grant


At this time of year there are two things I seem to shoot over and over…. one of them is turkeys the other is soup! Even so, I never get bored of shooting soup because it always makes such a cosy looking shot.

For this shot I decided to test out a new soft box… I love the way it directs the soft light so that I can use it to just focus on the food.

Soup Photography by Stacy Grant

Food photography set up - Stacy Grant

Food Photography lighting by Stacy Grant

Food From Plenty

This weekend I’m reviewing ‘Food From Plenty’ by Diana Henry. The over head shot of caramalised apples on the cover of this book is what drew me to it. The colourful shot next to the black spine and bronze text really make you believe that what you are going to find inside this book is a real treat. And it kind of was. I didn’t love all the photography –  some felt very cold and too clean which made it looked dated, yet some of it was so beautiful, soft and warm, very real, like the Moroccan lentil soup shot on page 219.

I’m not convinced that the photography in the book works, there is such a mixture of styles, so much so that I was convinced that at least three photographers had worked on this book, but no, just one, Jonathan Lovekin.

Don’t get me wrong there is a lot of photography in this book that I really like – there is a beautiful graphic, overhead shot of cheeries being pitted which is lovely and messy, high contrast and great shot. I Just feel that the photography in the book is so varied in styles that it doesn’t work as a collection of images. However there are some really inspirational shots in the book that I will definitely use for reference. I also might actually cook something from this book, the stuffed squash looked fabulous!

Weekend Cookbook Review by Stacy Grant