Brunei Darussalam

Food Photography: Chefs are Artists Too!

In the 8 years that I’ve been shooting professionally, I have had numerous opportunities to work with hoteliers, restaurateurs, and their executive/sous chefs of various nationalities. Each one of these assignments offered a different level of satisfaction and experience. I guess part of the attraction of commercial food photography is getting acquainted with the kitchen crew that diners aren’t privy to normally. I see a significant increase in demand for food photography this year compared to just a year ago. I can’t say for sure what the surge is attributed to other than there’s also a jump in number of eateries opening in the Brunei capital.

“Respect is a two-way street, if you want to get it, you’ve got to give it.”

― R. G. Risch

With food photography comes food styling comes art and I for one prefers simplicity when it comes to styling. Don’t mistake a plain looking dish to lack styling when in fact it may have been styled for simplicity and elegance. And who better to style the dishes than their creator – the chefs who ultimately creates the art for their patrons to enjoy. I titled this post “Chefs are artists too” because I respect their profession and the artistry that comes with that profession. It’s evident from the photos below the dedication and effort the chefs put into their creation. This post features chefs from All Seasons Restaurant, D’ Pinang Cafe, Radisson Hotel and The Empire Hotel & Country Club.

Click on images below to see reactions and comments on Facebook

Chef preps lobsters topped with melted mozzarella cheese.
Chef Wong showcases the art of deep frying, puts the finishing touches before it gets photographed.

See also: All Seasons Restaurant’s Black Peppered Crab (Facebook)

Chef Wong torches a Buttermilk Cheese Crab for shoot at All Seasons Restaurant.
Buttermilk Cheese Crab – one of a number of ways I photographed this dish.

It was a pleasure working with Chef Muhammad and the team from the Fisheries Dept (headed by Hamidah) to produce their first proper Seafood Cookbook. I first saw Chef Muhammad in April 2009 when he assisted TV personality Bobby Chinn at DST (BSB) and Early Childhood (KB) cooking demos. The cookbook will consist of 40 dishes and will be a bilingual publication (English and Malay).

Chef Muhammad putting the finishing touches on a dish called Ikan Kukus Bersambal.

This work of art was created specially for the recipe book cover although there are other pictures they could use too.

See also: Photographing Mr Baker’s Cafeteria at Gadong Central

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Executive Chef Cameron pictured here prepping ‘Selection of Scones, Maccarons & Jams’ and ‘Malay Kuih” for next shoot.
Executive Chef Cameron preps a plate of Greek Salad with extra dressing.

See also: So loving Radisson Hotel’s Caesar Salad with Poached Egg

TASEK BRASSERIE: Greek Salad (left) and my favourite Caesar Salad with Poached Egg.
DEALS: Gratinated Cod Fish with Almond Crumb served with Pakchoy and Prawn Emulsion
DEALS: Angus Beef Rib-eye with Spinach and Sweet Potato Puree

See also: Behind the Scenes – Photographing Fish & Co Brunei Menu
Photographing “SHEET” – The Empire Hotel and Country Club’s First Edition Recipe Booklet

It was a privilege to work with Executive Sous Chef Henry Tan and his team. His experience and attention to detail are attributes that sync well with my eye for detail in food photography. We collectively rejected shot after shot until we got the composition and details right on minimizing need for post-processing.

2 thoughts on “Food Photography: Chefs are Artists Too!

  1. All look absolutely delicious! The chefs & you are true artists. You make the food look so beautiful and yet desirable as edible dishes rather than just pretty art to hang on walls.


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