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Photographing Chefs for The Empire Hotel & Country Club’s Spaghettini Promo

I have previously photographed and worked with The Empire Hotel & Country Club’s Executive Sous Chef, Henry Tan, when I shot the hotel’s new room service menu (available as part of their interactive TV upgrades for in-room ordering convenience, among other new improvements).

Torsten (left) Executive Chef, The Empire Hotel & Country Club and Spaghettini Sous Chef Ajoy.

I recently returned to the resort hotel on another assignment to photograph their newly upgraded deluxe room and some head shots of Executive Chef and Sous Chef. After scouting Spaghettini a bit for location with decent available light, I chose the EF 100mm f/2.8 L Hybrid IS and posed the hotel’s celebrated personalities in their full page ad on page 13 of today’s Borneo Bulletin Weekend (12 May 2012)

click on image to see larger version.

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Last Sunday like any regular Sunday, we ate out. We knew it was Father’s Day but I wasn’t going to make a big deal out of it. So we had an out-of-town lunch at Hing Nam Foong and did regular things such as checking out a shoe store next door afterwards. To cut what is possible a long story short, came night time when Jamie was packing his bags for school the next day, he mumbled in a rather disappointed voice why we didn’t celebrate Father’s Day remembering that we did so for each of our birthdays including a meal on Mother’s Day. So we promised him that we would and he chose Thursday. Usually quiet and not very good at expressing himself, Jamie’s own quirky way in showing that he cares managed to touch me in ways I hadn’t at all expected from him. Which is the main reason I’m posting this—that some day, some how, he’ll discover this blog post.

The much anticipated Thursday came and the morning began with a comment that made my day. Jamie had a sports meet in the afternoon and I had a meeting with Brunei Tourism CEO to discuss a shoot after which we would meet for dinner at a restaurant of his choice, Fratini. Thank you, Jamie, for making my day blissful. [Note: All photos shot with the Powershot G11 and image effect made possible with Windows Live Writer with Polaroid Photo plug-in. Font used in caption: Freestyle Script]

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Tonight at Fratini Seria, my wife and I had a deliciously satisfying serving of a dish called Pollo Alla Cacciatore that’s created by their new Executive Chef, Domenico Piras. The word cacciatore means “hunter,” and alla cacciatora means “hunter style.”  The ingredients are essentially items which an Italian hunter might come across in the woods such as onions, tomatoes, mushrooms etc and of course—chicken. But before that, an entree of their mushroom bruschetta (the tomatoes bruschetta remains my favourite) …

Fratini Mushroom BruschettaFratini Mushroom Bruschetta

Fratini Mushroom BruschettaFratini Mushroom Bruschetta

As captioned, the full name of this dish is Pollo Alla Cacciatore E Riso Alla Parmigiano but I’m told that instead of calling it Hunter Style Chicken with Risotto (Italian dish of rice) simply “Chicken Risotto” would suffice. As this dish is very new, you won’t find it listed on their regular menu. What I remember distinctly about it is how great the cheese and butter Risotto tasted along with their home made concoction of balsamic vinegar and secret recipe.

Pollo Alla Cacciatore E Riso Alla ParmigianoPollo Alla Cacciatore E Riso Alla Parmigiano

Photographically speaking, these set of pictures were shot on the EOS 5D MkII, EF24-70mm at ISO 1600 with colour correction (no noise filter applied). No flash was used and images shot entirely on available light (restaurant’s downlight). The absence of noise is simply brilliant—delicious Italian cuisine matched by delicious high ISO performance!

Pollo Alla Cacciatore E Riso Alla ParmigianoPollo Alla Cacciatore E Riso Alla Parmigiano