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Recipe Development and Food Photography

Professional cook school having photos taken for chef course Scotland

Last week, as part of the course, our students had to devise a recipe and have it photographed. In fact this exercise had started long before last week. They are given a few themes that they can devise a recipe for. Once they have chosen their theme they then think of three ideas. We choose one of these ideas and they develop it. They come to the kitchen and test their recipe. We look at it and discuss it and tell them where they need to improve it both for flavour, texture etc. and for how it will look in the photograph. After they have tweaked it some more they bring it back to the kitchen for another student to test. This is quite hard for them as the recipe is out of their hands and they are seeing how someone else copes with their instructions! The final time it is made is on the day of the photography shoot. Eddie Phillips of Lighthouse Photography who is a very experienced food photographer and teacher comes in and talks each student through what they need to do to get the best possible image before taking the pictures. Food photography is not for everyone and you do need to be patient. All the food that was prepared on the day was edible but to make them look better in a photograph the food needs to be a little undercooked! We had a real mix of dishes from fish soups to pigeon salads, a trio of raspberry puddings, an Alice in Wonderland inspired pudding and a bright and vibrant pick and mix selection to name only a few! The reason we do this exercise as part of the six month cookery diploma course is because nowadays most businesses have websites or facebook pages and photographs will help to sell their product. So as would be chefs, cooks or entrepreneurs they need to be able to produce good looking images of their food and it helps to know some of the food styling tricks of the trade!

Here are a couple more shots of the session.

Trio of Raspberry puddings  Cleaning the plate