I work on a number of cookbooks a year and the shoots are lots of work but also so fun. Usually longer than a normal editorial or commercial shoot, you really get a chance to explore a visual world and develop a story through the 50+ images. In the same studio with the same team all week, there's definitely a camaraderie, you're all in it together trying to make this manuscript and collection of recipes come to life. I love trying all of the delicious recipes after the shot is finished, I always learn new cooking tips and techniques from the chefs or food stylists, and to start from nothing and at the end of the several days of shooting have a whole collection of images, to have made a whole book come together visually, it's so rewarding. And then it takes a year or two until the book is finally released.
Sometimes the shoot feels like so long ago once you're actually holding the book in your hands! Getting copies of these guys this year is like being reacquainted with old friends. The anticipation is long in the cookbook world. And one really special, fun book that I got to style last summer that came out this year is not a cookbook at all- but a gemstone beauty book! There are more that I styled that came out this year, and there are more that I styled this year that have yet to come out, but these are my favorite books released in 2016 that I had the pleasure of working on. Very proud of them! They're good last minute holiday gifts too if you're still stuck and looking for ideas!
Aaaaand the favorites are:
Around the Fire by Greg Denton and Gaby Quiñónez Denton
Photography by Evan Sung
Argentine grill inspired Portland food is, I think, the slogan of their PDX restaurant OX, and is what the book is all about. It's very hard to choose a favorite recipe when they are all so amazing but I crave the lamb chop, couldn't stop eating the olive oil cake, and was blown away by the salt baked tomatoes. (Bonus emotional points: Working on this book helped me decide to move to Portland.)
Cúrate by Katie Button
Photography by Evan Sung
Legitimate Spanish recipes as made by Button and her husband Felix at Curate, their always packed restaurant in North Carolina. So much amazing eating on this shoot too! Surprisingly it was one of the side dishes that really stole my heart, the crispy white beans with rosemary. The rossejat also changed my life. Killer.
Elemental Energy by Kristin Petrovich
Photography by Alice Gao
This beauty book was so much fun to work on! Själ skincare founder Kristin wrote the modern girl manual for incorporating gemstones into your life and beauty routine. I didn't get to eat a lot of delicious, chef-y food on this shoot, as you can imagine, but I did get to take home some själ products to try and definitely not complaining about that perk.