Food Photography for Real
May 15th, 2013 by donuts4dinner

You’re probably tired of hearing about my love of Chef David Santos’s food, so instead I’ll just brag about myself and how one of my photos from his restaurant opened the “Where to Take Mom for Mother’s Day“ article in the NY Daily News:

Louro NYC

I’ve absolutely loved cutting my teeth as a photographer on the mean streets of the NYC fine dining scene. There’s something really rewarding about being stuck to a seat in a restaurant with “mood lighting” where I’m trying to be inconspicuous with my camera so the chef won’t ban me and still somehow coming out with a shot that doesn’t embarrass my good name. I think half the reason I like food photography so much is that restaurants make it such a challenge.

But. Being invited to privately photograph Chef Santos’s food is dreamy. I get to stand up, move around the table, crouch, or hold the camera above my head. I get to arrange napkins and flatware. I get to request a glass of wine from the bar to add to the background. I get to ask the owner to turn up the lights over the table if I’m having to set my ISO above 100. I get to put the plate on the chair or the bar or the floor if it’ll make for a better shot. I get to tell the kitchen when I’m ready for the next dish. And then I get to eat everything, too.

Here are some of my favourite photos from the shoot:

Louro NYC

The exterior, shot with the brand new 10-20mm f/3.5 wide-angle lens my now-ex-boyfriend bought me just before he moved away last month. (Thanks, Kam.)

Louro NYC

The Louro interior: a little bit country, and a little bit books-all-over-the-walls.

Louro NYC
watermelon radish, baby lettuces, housemade buttermilk vinaigrette

Louro NYC
octopus bolognese, hand cut tagliatelle, goose pancetta, parmesan

Louro NYC
pork belly, uni, togarashi cabbage, shiso puree

Louro NYC
skate chop, watercress purée, watercress, meyer lemon vinaigrette, rhubarb

Louro NYC
walleye, guajillio sauce, avocado purée, hominy, onion ring

Louro NYC
lamb shoulder rack, pea-mint purée, english purée, rye berries, carrots, pea shoots, lamb jus

Louro NYC
white asparagus ice cream, strawberry compote, shortbread crumble

(cross-posted to my personal blog)

Naut Too Shabby
Aug 3rd, 2011 by plumpdumpling

Thanks to the badass Brooklynauts for featuring my photo of their craaaaazy-delicious pretzel-breaded hot dog on their site this week!

Great Hot Dog Cookoff 2011

Check out their site for reviews of more beer than you ever knew existed, crushing ice cream defeats (and victories!), and plenty of meatball/testicle jokes! (Okay, like one joke. But still.)

Feb 16th, 2011 by plumpdumpling

It’s like today’s Woot shirt was made especially for me!

Thanks to my best friend, Tracey, for pointing it out. Now go buy it so we can match!

Not Being Anorexic Has Really Paid Off for Me
Sep 7th, 2010 by plumpdumpling

I don’t mean to not mention it for a week and act like I’m unexcited, but HEY, the most famous NYC food blog ever profiled me last Tuesday:

PROFILE: Downtown Lunch’er “Katie”

Please ignore the quotation marks around my name (that really is my name!) and the fact that the answer about my occupation became nonsensical when I tried some fancy hyperlinking that got edited out. My love of proofreading really makes me an unbearable person, right?

Thanks, Midtown Lunch! I love you best.

Proud to Be Part of the Food Paparazzi
Jun 15th, 2010 by plumpdumpling

A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a journalist who was working on a piece for NPR about food bloggers–or “food paparazzi”–and whether their photos and reviews were helpful or hurtful to restaurants, if their shots are “sleek and beautiful” or “harmful and amateur”. And then she asked if she could use some of my pictures from Colicchio & Sons.

I wrote back and said, “I have to laugh, knowing that you’re asking because those photos in particular are the exact opposite of sleek and beautiful.” She replied, “We do want to show a range of photos, of all qualities, so I’m glad that my request seems transparent.”

I bragged to everyone that NPR was going to make fun of my photos, because like they say, all press is good press. And in actuality, I was excited about the piece, because I have no idea why food bloggers are getting such a bad rap lately. Suddenly, I see articles everywhere about diners setting up tripods and lights, standing on their chairs to get better angles, and letting their food get cold while they take the perfect shot. Obviously my boyfriend and I eat out a lot–literally more than anyone else I know–and I’ve never EVER seen someone use a tripod, extra lights, or their chairs as stepstools.

Anyway, despite showcasing two of my photos, the the NPR article totally disappointed me. I guess the author wanted to take an unbiased stance, but I know I couldn’t have helped but rip into her when the VP of Operations and New Projects at Craft Restaurants said “she doesn’t want amateur food writers influencing people’s dining decisions”.

The same woman also said, “When you feel like they’re having that influence without really knowing what they’re talking about, it’s very frustrating.” Sorry, not really knowing what we’re talking about? Because to enjoy or not enjoy food, you must have endured hours of classical training? Well, I’ve endured years of classical eating, bitch.

I’m sort of just kidding about that, but the thing is: my photos show what the food REALLY looks like under the ACTUAL restaurant lighting. In fact, if I’ve Photoshopped my pictures, then the food looks BETTER than it did in the restaurant.

When it comes to reviewing, I don’t order things I don’t expect to like, and I have a very open mind. If your dish doesn’t delight me, there’s something wrong with it. I’m aware of my biases against seafood, tomatoes, mushrooms, and desserts that don’t fill me up to the point of puking, and I make sure my readers are aware of that bias, too, so they can tailor my reviews to their needs accordingly.

And the idea that restaurants could possibly hate being written about blows my mind. How many times have I gone somewhere (Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant, The Mark, most recently) just because I wanted to argue with someone else’s (the New York Times) negative review of it?

Restaurants should be taking advantage of food bloggers, not poo-pooing us.

Free KFC Double Downs for All! (Or for, like, two or three.)
May 5th, 2010 by plumpdumpling

The totally-not-sanctioned-by-KFC @kfcdoubledown tweeted the other day to tell me that I won the KFC Double Down photo contest on Foodspotting!

kfcdoubledown tweet

I didn’t even know I was entered for the contest, so it was an extra-awesome surprise. And now I have $25 in KFC gift cards coming my way, so if any of you have been too scared to try the Double Down, now’s your chance–on me!

Thanks to Travis Bye, the man behind @kfcdoubledown, and Foodspotting!

Too many exclamation points in one post? Sorry.

Getting Even More Intimate with the Double Down
Apr 22nd, 2010 by plumpdumpling

The KFC Double Down is on Twitter, and it is following me. I like it better than all of my other Twitter friends, too, because it says things like, “This is my 100th tweet. Not bad for a sandwich. A delicious, filling sandwich.”

It tweeted to Anthony Bordain: @NoReservations: I come in peace. And Original Recipe. And Grilled. All delicious!

Andrew Zimmern tweeted to it: @kfcdoubledown Fermented walrus anus? Yes! KFC Doubledown? No f-ing way!

And the other day, it tweeted to me in response to my review of it!

I think my new dream job is to tweet as foodstuff.

I’m a Foodbuzz Top 9!
Jan 15th, 2010 by plumpdumpling

I’m one of Foodbuzz’s Top 9 today! Thanks to my wd-50 review from yesterday and the apparently half-decent photo I took of the chocolate hazelnut tart. I’m totally surprised, flattered, and ecstatic.

Check out the photo and the strangely thrilling comment I got on it from one of my favourite faux-vintage clothing sites. I guess it just goes to show that everyone likes looking at food.

Thank Goodness for the Cupcake Resurgence of 2009
Jan 8th, 2010 by plumpdumpling

Thanks to All Things Cupcake for the link to my Burger King Cupcake Shake review! Looking at my own photo sort of makes me want to go to Burger King right now.

Of course, then I’m reminded of the Burger King Double Bacon Rodeo State Fair Cheeseburger and lose all interest in food again.

But All of Those Uncool Websites Still Better Watch Themselves
Oct 1st, 2009 by plumpdumpling

Hooray! It’s the first (known) case of Internet theft involving one of my blogs! One of my photos is currently on the front page of the website for the magazine mental_floss to illustrate an article about brain freeze.

(It was at the top of the page yesterday and this morning but has since been moved down. Hmph.)

At first, I was like, “Photo courtesy of donuts4dinner?! It’s not courtesy of if you steal it!” But after considering it for a millisecond, I’ve decided that I’m actually pleased as punch to see my hand featured on such an interesting website.

You’re lucky I like you, mental_floss.

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