Feb 04, 2013

Photographing Food

Photographing Food

To read Sylvia Rector's column in full, click here:http://www.freep.com/article/20130203/COL20/302030088/Metro-Detroit-restaurateurs-are-pleased-to-have-you-photograph-your-meal?odyssey=nav%7Chead

Food Magazines are full of Great Ideas!

Food costs usually eat up about 50% of the total budget when planing your special event, FOOD is very important! Since so much of your budget is taken up with the cost of the menu, one way to ensure you are spending your $$$ wisely is to start to educate yourself by reviewing the latest issues of food magazines.

Food magazines are plentiful and full of great photos and great ideas - take a moment to "eat" with your eyes as you flip through the pages of the current culinary journals and tear out pages that excite you - be it a new way to present green beans, the color of  vegetables on the plate, a fabulous cookie presentation - whatever it is, make a food file before you go to discuss menu options with your caterer.

Our society has become quite savvy about food and even more so about food presentation! With reality cooking shows and cooking classes on the rise, we are increasingly  eating with our eyes! If a plate looks great, chances are we will enjoy the meal, and if  a plate doesn't look appetizing, the experience is usually not as positive!

Fork, Knife, Camera...ACTION!

I always encourage clients to actually meet the chef - so many times, an event space will hand you a menu packet... PLEASE realize these menu selections are SUGGESTIONS that are common and can be easily priced out by the catering department...they may NOT contain your dream meal!

Take the menu packet, review it and see if any of the suggestions reflect your tastes, if not, ask to meet with the chef and with photos in hand, see if he can execute what you are thinking. I also recommend that you ask the chef what are HIS favorite food items to create - chances are that these are the items that he does best - take note!

Meeting with the chef allows for a "connection" to happen and when the chef returns to his kitchen he has YOU in mind, not just paper work that has come through the catering office. A meeting with the chef allows for the him to learn about you, your likes and dislikes and your personalities, too...all good reasons for you to meet the chef in charge of what could be the most important meal on this most important day!

Lastly, always do a tasting of the meal you intend to serve at your special event....I am all about NO SURPRISES and since about 50% of your budget is going into this part of the event, best NOT to have a surprise the day of. The tasting is one of my very favorite meetings - it is probably the time my clients really enjoy the chef's hard work as the day of the event, there can be many distractions - so embrace this tasting as one of the fun outings of planning your event!

Take photos of the presentations - DO NOT BE INTIMATED! A camera in hand will allow you to return home and review the menu choices one more time with photos in hand. Often times, the chef will present you a variety of options and it can be confusing - so take photos of the various salad options, the entree plates and go home and REVIEW to make sure the final menu is exactly what you want!

Even if the venue charges you for a tasting, it is money well spent so you are not surprised or embarrassed by a presentation that is less than appealing OR that doesn't taste as good as you expected...trust me, it will be money well spent to ensure the quality and presentation meets with your approval!

Bon appetite!

Posted Under: The Dining Experience