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FOOD presentation

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Cute Presentation for a Rustic Flatbread

rustic flatbread

rustic flatbread

Whether you serve a homemade or a bakery bread, how you serve it could make a statement at a party or a picnic. I love the idea of wrapping pieces. There is no special skills necessary to assemble your own pile. And the best thing is that these are made with supplies you should always have at home.

You will find the Flatbread with Olive Oil and Sea Salt recipe on The Kitchn. If you never bake your own bread, flatbread is the perfect introduction to this fabulous world. And you will find a whole chapter on flatbreads in the Bread in 5 minutes a day cookbook series by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. I owned both cookbooks.

SOURCING:
+ Flatbread with Olive Oil and Sea Salt recipe
+ photo by Rebekah Peppler for the Kitchn

USA [affiliate links]
+ Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day $14.77 USD
+ Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day $18.28 USD

Canada [affiliate links]
+ Artisan Bread in 5 Minute a Day $22.56 CAD
+ Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day $22.56 CAD

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Fruit and Vegetable Carvings for Foodies

carved and sculpted watermelon by mia bureau of ephemere

This is post by my friend Nathalie, who is a true foodie and the blogger behind Foodies Emporium. Check out her post about the cutest Bento boxes in Montreal. You can follow her on Twitter as Indigonat.

carved and sculpted watermelon by mia bureau of ephemere

I visited “Saveurs & Tentations” trade-show recently in Montreal and I was mesmerized by Mia Bureau’s food carving creations. She really brings table decoration to a brand new level. Mia’s business, Éphémère is specialized in food carving installations for events, but she also gives workshops at her studio and at other venues.

I was so enthralled by what I saw that I started gathering information about this traditional Asian skill. Did you know that fruit and vegetable carving originated in Thailand during the floating lantern festival about 700 years ago? During that festival which happens every year during the full moon of December they thank the soul of water by decorating floating lanterns. The fruits and vegetable carved lanterns were so popular that it started a trend in the country.

fruit carving and sculpting at CTV programming launch

We now find stunning fruits and vegetable carvings at high end hotels throughout Asia. You can even hire a fruit carver, like Mia, to create unique table ornaments for special events or weddings, even in North America, but be prepared to splurge because carving takes a lot of time. For example, to carve a watermelon, it can take up to 80 hours of work. You can see Mia in action by watching a few videos (the CTV interview is in English and the other ones are in French). Mia’s skills are recognized around the world as she won some international awards.

If you are into craft and would like to learn fruit carving, some cooking schools and some carving artists are giving classes. You can also learn by watching videos on You Tube or by buying books specialized in Fruit and vegetables carvings starting with these two books:

+ Food carving books for beginners: The Decorative Art of Japanese Food Carving: Elegant Garnishes for All Occasions $16.47 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
Complete Step by Step Vegetable and Fruit Carving $39.95 USD

SOURCING:
+ Food carving lessons UK
+ Éphémère, Mia Bureau’s school and food carving business
+ first photo: @indigonat
+ CTV programming launch photo: Éphémère

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Three Easy Dinner Recipes from Donna Hay

lemony fish cakes :: recipe by donna hay

lemony fish cakes :: recipe by donna hay

With the Holiday so close, we are all looking for easy and delicious recipes to cook for dinner. I found three recipes on the February 2011 issue of Style at Home.

Lemony fish cakes by Donna Hay can be make with flaked salmon or trout. Serve them fish cakes with mayonnaise or a lightly sweet tartare sauce. Prepare a peppery green salad, serve a soup first and you are all set for a meal that all the family will enjoy.

everyday recipes for dinner on style at home february 2011

The garlic and chili chicken couscous is the type of meal I often serve at home. I like the taste  and the convenience of grilled chicken breasts and couscous. This reminds me that her lemon grilled chicken with almond couscous was the first Donna Hay’s recipe I ever made). The only fresh ingredients that won’t be in your pantry are the chicken breasts, 2 zucchinis and fresh parsley.

I plan to make the caper and crisp pancetta served with baby spinach. It is almost a mix between a pasta dish and salad.

SOURCING:
+ Recipes: Style at Home – February 2011 issue
+ Lemony fish cakes photo: William Meppem
+ Other photos: Con Poulos

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Frosted Rosemary Sprigs for your Holiday Table

frosted rosemary sprig

frosted rosemary sprig

I love this idea from Josée Di Stasio, a very popular cookbook author, television host and chef in Quebec. She explained in the French edition of Chatelaine how to make your own frosted rosemary sprigs. You can use the frosted rosemary in your centerpiece or to decorate a serving plate.

Add a few drops of water to an egg white. Lightly whip it. Cover the rosemary sprig with the egg white mixture using your hands or a brush. Turn each sprig on a plate filled with sugar until it is fully covered. Let it dry on a cookie pan. To prolong their shelf life, put them on the fridge before usage.

More Recipes from Josée Di Stasio

a la di stasio cookbook

You can find 5 recipes of savory holiday treats on the English Web site of Chatelaine. Lastly, if you are looking for a cookbook filled with recipes that you will do over and over, grab a copy of her A la Di Stasio cookbook. This is from that cookbook that I adapted my 2-Minute Smoked Salmon Mousse Recipe.

SOURCING:
+ A la Di Stasio cookbook $18.77 CAD at Amazon.ca [affiliate link]
+ photo:  Louise Savoie for Chatelaine, Édition spéciale Décembre 2010

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Lékué Decopen is a Must for Dish Plating

Decopen by lekue

Decopen by lekue

If you like to decorate your plate like a Chef, you need good tools. Sure, you can use plain plastic bottles but they are not as stylish and fun as DECOPEN. It is as easy as to write or draw with a pen. DECOPEN lets you put the finishing touch on food from appetizers to the dessert. Simply fill your favorite sweet and savory sauces and work your magic. There is a model that comes with 4 nozzles to give you more options on how to decorate food or plate your dishes.

It will make an awesome Christmas gift or hostess gift. For anyone interested, a green 4-nozzle DECOPEN is on my wish list. Watch the video to see how easy it is to use.

SOURCING:
+ Lékué Decopen $24.50 CAD at Linen Chest
+ Lékué Decopen $27 at Arthur Quentin
+ Lékué Decopen 16 EUR
+ Lékué Decopen with 4 nozzles 19 EUR

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Fall Recipes and Remarkable Dark Tableware on Sweet Paul Magazine

fall winter soup on sweet paul magazine

fall winter soup on sweet paul magazine

The fall issue of Sweet Paul Magazine inspired to cook with their tasty mushroom recipes and seasonal soups. Thanksgiving is about comfort food and family-style dinner.  The fall 2010 issue reflects that concept in a styling but easy to do way.

Appetizers and Soups

chevre and honey open faced sandwich

The Chevre and Honey open-faced sandwich would make a great appetizer.

kale and bean soup on sweet paul mag

As you can see, the food stylists elevated simple recipes with nice food presentation. And for the most part, the plating is something that we can easily do at home with some skills and beautiful tableware. Have a look a the digital magazine, it may help you plan your Thanksgiving menu.

shepherd's pie in a black dishware :: sweet paul magazine

One last thing, the role is reversed. I usually tell you where to find the coolest things. This time, I hope you can tell me. I felt in love with the black dishes and bowls that are used through the magazine. But I found no clues on the magazine about who makes it. If you know the answer, I want to know.

By the way, the Holiday issue of Sweet Paul Magazine is scheduled to be out by November 15th.

SOURCING:
+ Sweet Paul Magazine Fall 2010

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Orange-Banana Smoothie Pops in Canelé Molds

baking tin popsicles

baking tin popsicles

These orange-banana smoothie pops will be great for a summer brunch. You can improvise with your favorite fruit combinations. These fruit pops deliver a twist on a popular drink.

No need for popsicle molds to make stylish ice pops, simply grab a set of individual baking molds. The cannele mold pop create the best effects. I suggest that you get a silicone canelé mold because it will be easier to remove your popsicles when they are ready to eat. By the way, the right spelling for canelé is one n, not two.

SOURCING:
+ World Cuisine Non-Stick Silicone Canele Mold $20 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
+ Orange-Banana Smoothie Pop recipe
+ photo by Tina Rupp – as seen on Country Living
+ via The Kitchn

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Beautiful Caviar and Vodka

flavored vodka shooters and caviar on an ice bar

flavored vodka shooters and caviar on an ice bar

It is not everyday that I see stunning caviar pictures like those photographed by Kate Harrison for the wedding of a Russian bride. Flavored vodka shooters were served on an ice bar with an assortment of caviar. Lilly and John’s wedding had fun activities.

flavored and regular vodka bottles and caviar on an ice bar

You can read on Snippet & Ink that:

The ceremony took place on the balcony overlooking San Francisco, after which guests were able to explore the penthouse, playing pool in the billiard room, nibbling on hors d’oeuvres in the living room, and dancing in the dining room.

That sounds wonderful. The decor billiard room is something else; it’s Persian inspired. You can admire more photos on Snippet & Ink.

SOURCING:
+ photos: Kate Harrison

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Food Presentation by Matt Armendariz

fennel salad and asparagus tarts

fennel salad and asparagus tarts

When you cook at home, you do not have a team of sous-chefs to help you plate an elaborate dish. Therefore, I am always on a hunt for these small details that add a Wow factor. The latest work of Matt Armendariz goes in that direction.

See how cutting a square tart at angles makes all the difference. It could be used on a pizza or a fruit tart. Or you can cut your fennel with a tiny bit of stems and elegantly lay down a fennel and red grapefruit salad on a plate.

vegetables with dip and cucumber appetizers

Take advantage of freshly harvested vegetables to serve light appetizers. Scoop the seeds and drain your cucumber slices for at least 30 minutes if they replace the traditional crostini. When you scoop the seeds, be careful to leave a thin layer at the bottom of the cucumber slices.

+ photos: Matt Armendariz

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

Three Food Presentations in Wood Platters

wood party platters by jme and pork shoulder recipe by Chef Peter Hoffman of Savoy

wood party platters by jme and pork shoulder recipe by Chef Peter Hoffman of Savoy

It is probably the sense of comfort that emerges from the wooden tray platters that captures our senses. But whatever is the reason, I know that I have a hard time to resist to pictures like those. Take the party platter of the JME collection. Or how appetizing is the roast pork shoulder served with a garlicky cilantro sauce and grilled summer vegetables?  You can find this recipe by chef Peter Hoffman of NY restaurant Savoy on Saveur.com. It was first published on page 113 of Saveur, June-July 2010 issue.

cheese and pate platter served on a wooden board :: as seen on simply photo

Jen of Simply Photo captured one of the most delightful cheese and pate platters. She photographed it when she ate at Cafe, the restaurant of the Terrain at Styer’s of Glen Mills, PA. You can buy online their artisan bark boards, in a small or a large format.

SOURCING:
+ Party platter and bowl set by JME £20
+ Pork Shoulder with Summer Vegetables recipe – photo by Todd Coleman for Saveur
+ Large Ash Bark Cutting Board $32 at Terrain – photo by Simply Photo

FOOD + DRINK FOOD presentation

My New Camera: a Nikon D5000

nikon d5000

nikon d5000

We finally did it! I was long due for a new camera. I dreamt of a flash since my house does not receive a lot of natural light. Plus, I often take food pictures when I am cooking dinner. I never developed the reflex to make actual shooting session, probably because I did not have the proper equipment. I do not aim to become a professional photographer. I simply want to create pictures that look great for my blog.

With the trip to Japan, it seems like the right time to upgrade. My husband got his new lenses and I got my flash. I want something that is fairly easy to use and not too heavy. This is why we opt for the Nikon D5000 with a SB-600 flash. When we got home, we found out that the camera has a Food scene setting.

First step

I took this picture to test the food setting while I cooked dinner last night. I am glad that I see a definitive improvement. The colors are more vivid that what I used to get with my old camera.

tropical fennel salad

But there is a lot more that I need to learn to produce stunning food pictures.

Next step

Styling and photography is the ultimate frontier. I know that I am not alone who would like to improve their skills. To get you started, explore the tips and techniques provided on

For one thing, I will see how I can set up a small photo studio in my home. And do not forget, practice makes better.

SOURCING:
+ Digital SLRs at Amazon.com