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Marketing a website is a lot of work – and a ton of fun! There’s so much that goes into that scrumptious looking photo that you’re drooling over.

First of all, you have to plan ahead. Timing-wise, that means that your photos of that really neat spiced cocktail or decadent sticky toffee pudding are shot in the summer, not fall. When everyone is out enjoying patios and cool summer treats you’re thinking about braised lamb, sweet potato pave and bread pudding. Your mind has to be months ahead of where you’re actually at. This is because it takes time to plan out a photoshoot, buy props (which of course are out of season so a huge degree of creativity is required here!), shop and prep the ingredients needed for those oh so-amazing-dishes. And of course cook the food during the photo shoot in order to capture the freshness and quality of the ingredients in those dishes that are so lovingly prepared.

However, there are some tricks of food photography which involve using components that either aren’t actual food (shaving cream instead of whipped cream, glue instead of milk for instance) or ingredients made to look like other foods (ie/mashed potatoes that look like a scoop of ice cream). We basically do whatever it takes to pull off the look and feel of the dish being prepared, so the end result photographs well, leaves you hungry, drooling and pining for more.

Finally, there’s the editing stage, proofing and selecting which of those hundreds of photos you will actually be using. Trust me this is very difficult! Of course the easy way out is to just buy stock photos and plaster those all over your website – no effort, no thought, none of which is your own food; just a small dent in your bank account at the end of a very short day. That’s not how I operate! I choose the route less travelled, which showcases exactly what it is that I have to offer, season by season, and has accountability and genuine appeal. That way when you happen to come across my website, you’ll have a very good idea of what dishes you can expect on your menu for your next special event, and that they are dishes that can be recreated exactly as you see them. I promise you the real thing does not include glue or shaving cream! I love the process of collaborating with my graphic designer, photographer and food stylist. Together we manage to create magic – with blood, sweat and tears – all in the name of food. I hope everyone enjoys the new round of photos we produced. I promise your next event will not include glue or shaving cream– just the real thing, created by me 🙂

  1. Plan— preplan as much as possible, and give yourself enough time for shopping as not all stores carry the same seasonal ingredients. The worst thing to do is become stressed out because you’re short on time!
  2. Thaw the bird— thawing time depends on the size of the turkey, however allowing for 2-3 days in the fridge before the day of cooking will allow it to thoroughly thaw beforehand.
  3. Don’t stuff the bird! In cooking school, you are taught to never stuff the cavity of poultry EVER because the risk of food borne illness (salmonella).
  4. However as a chef, the other important reason I don’t stuff the bird is because the turkey becomes grossly overcooked by the time the stuffing is considered food safe. You can prepare the stuffing in a separate baking dish, and not worry about anyone getting sick or complaining about dry turkey!

    Do as much prep work in advance, so the day of you can focus your energy on all the things you are grateful for!

The Best Ever Stuffing Recipe

Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
10 cups sourdough bread, cubed and allowed to dry out overnight 1/3 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
3 tbsp olive oil
4 Italian sausage (hot, mild or sweet), casings removed
2 yellow onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, diced
1 bulb fennel, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups turkey or chicken stock

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F; butter a 3 qt baking dish.
Heat oil in a large skillet, add sausage and cook 7-10 min. or until browned; breaking up into small pieces as it cooks. Transfer to a separate bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the cubed butter, onion, celery and fennel with sage, salt and pepper and saute 10 min. or until golden brown. Add wine and simmer 5 min. until reduced. Place bread, nuts and sausage and onion mixture into a large bowl.

Whisk 2 cups of stock with eggs and add to bread mixture, and stir until moistened; add more stock 1/4 cup at a time until combined and bread is hydrated. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and dot with remaining 1/4 cup of butter.

Butter one side of aluminum foil and cover the stuffing with foil, butter side down. Bake 30 min then increase oven temperature to 450F and bake uncovered 25 min. until top of stuffing is golden brown and crisp.

*Stuffing can be made the day before! Cover and chill until ready to bake!