As we enter into the holiday season, I wanted to talk a little bit about….what else….food. In recent years, I have found myself drawn to photographing food, people that make it and the surroundings they fill. From picking fresh veg at the farmers market, prepping, plating, serving, and eating. There is a method and purpose to it all. Cooking can be basic or complicated. It is an art and a gesture of giving love. How many of us have a fond memory of a mother, grandmother, spouse, or friend making homemade sauce or baking a birthday cake and how it tasted but more importantly how it made you feel. A simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich can take on more meaning when it’s made with love.
From simple street food to home cooking to high end gourmet meals, the feeling is still the same. It’s the art of creating a dish that is intended to be consumed, to nourish the body and, when done right, the soul. I love the visual flavor of a dish well plated. The color of a grapefruit, the curve of a pepper, the way cheese can crumbles to mimic a tiny mountain range or black olives glistening in a vintage dish. It’s the art of creating with food and the pride when these tasty morsels are set down in front of you. Cooking is edible affection.
My appreciation for the art of cooking is nothing new. But it’s expanded greatly since I met my husband. He loves food. He loves shopping for it, reading recipes, planning meals, finding strange ingredients from other parts of the world to experiment with. He loves cooking. It is his way of expressing himself, his way of giving to others. It’s his moment of zen, his yoga, if you will. When guests come over for dinner, he pulls out spice mixtures and urges them to smell and taste these strange powders. When we travel, we search for out of the way markets and spice shops. I watch as his eyes light up like a child at Christmas at the prospect of a new flavor. He loves to cook and cooking is love.