Autumn Soups

squash and maple soup

It is beginning to feel like autumn here in Rochester.  The upside is the leaves on the vines covering my back fence make a great backdrop for this squash and maple soup.

A Well Deserved Beeting

A Beeting : Cocktail

As a food photographer, not a barkeep I rarely make a drink recipe, but this is an exception worth sharing.

Challenged to create a potent cocktail that blends American roots with the elegance of Ancien Régime France, I have come up with something many deserve:  A Beeting

– One part chilled vodka

– One part chilled tonic

– A healthy splash of Small Word Food’s Ginger Beet Kvass

– Garnish with a slice of chioggia beet

– Serve in coupe glass

Moroccan Carrot Bisque

Moroccan Carrot Bisque
Moroccan Carrot Bisque

It is almost warm enough to shoot food outside here on the still frozen North Coast of America (almost).   I took a chance and shot this Moroccan Carrot Bisque  outside on the red slate this morning (just before it started raining).

How I Get Food to the Studio

Cannellini Beans and Greens
Cannellini Beans and Greens

I got a question on my Facebook page that seemed worth answering here on the blog as well.

BTW, if you haven’t found me on Facebook, you can –

Daniel Asks: “so…every time I see one of these food photos, and you mention that it is “in the studio,” I wonder how you get the food to the studio. Do clients deliver a fresh dish to you for the day? Is it hot? Do you go to the restaurant and bring it back with you? Do you cook it yourself?”

Clarke Says: “Good question… It really depends on what I am photographing (although it is pretty rare that I photograph anything I cook.) Often I do shoot on location at a restaurant, bar or farm, but when I am shooting in studio I have a lot more control over the lighting. Also, usually I am not as crushed for time either. Again, it depends what I am photographing, but all told, I prefer to work on location. Especially if it is freezing cold in Rochester and I can go somewhere warm.

My studio has a full kitchen so sometimes a client will actually cook right here. Sometimes food arrives at the studio via Fed Ex in an ice-packed box. I get fresh cuts of meat from NYC that way. Packaged goods that can be shipped from out-of-town clients work well that way, too. I also have one client that is so close that I just walk over to pick things up. Sometimes I work with a client at the studio to do the styling and they bring the food, as well as plates, glassware or other items. It becomes a collaborative process that way. My favorite is to go to the farm and pick things out. The closer, the fresher, the better.

In this particular case, this soup was made yesterday afternoon by Lindsay Steinberg at the Green Zebra Catering Company as part of their weekly soup club. I picked up a quart last night and shot it this morning. The soup should be served warm, but I shot it cold so that I didn’t have to deal with steam rising off the soup. The forsythia came from my front yard this morning.”



Tulips + Matzoh Balls

Matzoh Ball Soup

Truth be told, I had my fill of the Rochester winter by the first week of January. This week I’m shooting Easter chocolates, spring soups and generally thinking about wrapping up the winter. Tulips somehow found their way into yesterday’s Matzoh Ball soup shoot.