Thursday, August 31, 2006
Sometimes it is really a balancing act, deciding what pictures to take and what the chefs will do. One chef throws eggs, another lemons, another plays with fire, guess we are lucky no one yet throws knives. When we only had raspberries to do something with, I just didn't know what kind of raspberry the group would do. Luckily, they only balanced them on their noses. At the Fairmont you can keep your nose in the air only if you have a piece of fruit on it. Pastry Chef Pierre St. Pierre (who is leaving us in September) Buddy Pouneh Bahri, Buddy Chef Michael Apps and his Chef Aron Weber, the new Fairmont Pastry Chef, all keeping it real........
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Our original intention was to photograph all the buddy chefs with the apron and chef's hat. But sometimes conformity must be thrown out the window or even looked through another way. Restaurant Eve an elegant contemporary restaurant nestled in an Old Town Alexandria townhouse provided several fun challenges. The kitchen was too full of activity for us to interrupt their dinner preparations and the servers were having their nightly meeting in the main dining area. So we chose a secluded area in the second dining room. Then when Buddy Chef Natalie Mills entered with grace and style we knew we were doing the right thing. Her formal dress was perfectly suited to meet Chef Cathal Armstrong. The two of them enjoyed a refined yet casual conversation about their dessert plans for the Life is Sweet event.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Buddy Chef Will Donner loves to fly among all his other interests that include baseball and sports...and an incredible memory for all types of information and statistics. So after a quick lesson in slicing fruits, Marcel's Chef Paul Stearman, who is quite an outdoorsman and can juggle quite a few things himself, let the lemons fly during the photoshoot.
You may have to wait to get a reservation in Bazin's on Church in Vienna, especially even more so now, that Chef Patrick Bazin has taken cooking TV show fan and Buddy Chef Cameron Graham and shared his secrets of making strawberry shortcakes. Cameron learned everything and just like her TV cooking mentor Emile! before serving their creation to her family, Patrick and her shouted.....BAM!
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Ritz Carlton DC Chef Jerome Giradot learned the hard way, recovering from a deep cut on his finger from slicing his dinner at home, he made certain that his Buddy Chef, Ryan Gutkowski, learned proper knife etiquette. A fast learner, Ryan became proficient at slicing and dicing strawberries, kiwis, pineapples and passion fruit. Then, they meticulously placed the fruit on a tort that Ryan brought home for his family's dessert.
After completing the task, we were treated to a wide assortment of Ritz's cookies, all the usual flavors, that are favorites to Ritz clients. The Saturday morning pastry crew joined Jerome and Ryan in a group picture.
Monday, August 21, 2006
After the initial introductions, Four Season's chef Romain Renard got down to business. Donning a Four Seasons baseball cap, Buddy Chef Tim deNesura was part of the team and was put to work. Tim was initiated in the art of sifting flour, (east--west motion only, north and south you get flour on your feet), painting chocolate (just like painting a wall, side to side motion and let the machine do it.) And then a team photo.
Since the Four Seasons is hosting the Life is Sweet event Chef Romain and Buddy Chef Tim have a lot of work to do. Tim who is working on attaining his Eagle Scout designation knows that they have to be prepared.
Girls just want to have fun, especially in the kitchen. 1789 Restaurant Pastry Chef Zoe Behrens and her Buddy Chef Meaghan Mundy laughed and enjoyed hamming it up. (Although ham really isn't the right word for a pastry event.) Look at their eyes, look at their smiles, add to the recipe, Zoe's award this year and you can be sure these two will create an astonishing delicious dessert experience for the Life is Sweet event.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
For the second photo session for the Life is Sweet event, we went to 2941 Restaurant in Fall Church, VA. Executive chef Jonathan Krinn and Buddy Chef Erin Thompson were exquisite. Although I had "the shot" in the fourth frame, we did quite a bit more. The two of them are quite natural in front of the camera, each has their own captivating smile.
After the the photo shoot, I went into the kitchen to make a few portraits. There was restaurant personnel all over the place. It was buzzing, people cleaning, chefs preparing food, everybody doing something. Then I realized, that people really do care. People like Jonathan take time out of their insanely busy schedule to share their time to help a mission, to share their good fortunes with others who need just a little help.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Not to be confused with Superdawg on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago, this dog can fly. Patches, a long hair miniature Dachshund belongs to my friend Sean. At 4 months old in June, he was introduced to a body of water at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC. This dog jumped right in, and right over. Leaping from rocks to water and back, fearless.
I am not one to kvell over much, but this dog is so much fun. He hikes, he swims, he plays well with other dogs, he travels or he can just sit with you all day. Everyone stops to admire him. And the best part of it all...I get to play with him and none of the other responsibilities.
At six months.....Only a face everyone can love.
It is just a matter of making people feel comfortable while photographing them. After a few snaps they realize you are just trying to make them look great. After photographing Lisa at many functions over the years for Best Buddies, she is accustomed to my ever-present camera. Now it will be her big event, Lisa and Dan's wedding. This image was made at their engagement party. Her family and friends saw me in action and now know the fun we will have photographing their big day.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Saturday, August 05, 2006
As I was compiling images for my web portfolio, I found this image from the 2006 Special Olympics National Games in Ames, Iowa. It epitomizes the spirit and desire of the athletes. Up against forces bigger than oneself, one still faces them and tries. It is the act of facing your challenges that one conquers them. Never give up, always try, and you will surprise yourself.
Again I was fortunate this year to be chosen to officiate basketball for the National Games. Words can not describe the emotion, enthusiasm and excitement to be part of this event. During the week long event, I saw incredibly talented basketball players and most importantly great sportsmanship. Athletes, coaches and fans showed positive spirit and encouragement to all the participants. The volunteers from Iowa were extraordinary . Their warmth and friendliness was so much appreciated. There were home baked peanut butter chocolate covered rice crispy treats and brownies that were always there waiting for us. This one was of the many acts of kindness. They went out of their way to make the visit memorable.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Today is the first of 20 photographic shoots for the Life is Sweet Pastry Chef Showcase for Best Buddies Virginia. White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier and his buddy Brenna Cannon posed for me at the kitchens of L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaitherburg, MD. Food all around us, it is hard not to grab something tasty as we walked around the kitchens. With his thick accent and jovial personality, Roland is a joy to photograph. He and Brenna performed brilliantly to my continuous encouragement to look happy and just one more. This is the beginning of something good.