For the recent Nights of Taste Sub-Zero Wolf BE teamed up with the Belgian Beer and Food magazine to put on a “meet the brewer” event with delicious beer from Brasserie Caulier and culinary treats prepared by guest chefs Emily and Anunina. Enjoy these pictures from the fun event.
Food is a finicky subject that can be very hard to capture from an appetizing angle. Even food guru Martha Stewart hasn’t yet mastered the art of taking appetizing Instagram photos of her food. Now that we carry around pretty darn powerful cameras in our pockets everywhere we go, it’s about time we take a lesson in food photography & start spreading #foodporn and #nom worthy food pictures to all of our fans and followers.
Don’t forget to tag @Bookalokal whether you’re snapping a shot of your kitchen #prep, #foodtravel photos, #delicious dishes and your new Bookalokal friends.
#1. Real Light is Your Best Friend!
Beware of flash! Flash can wash out any delicacy or dish – watch out for it’s harsh quality and use it very sparingly. If you want to get really crafty, use a flashlight covered with napkin to diffuse the light, aim it at your food subject and snap away!
#2. Composition, Composition, Composition
Don’t capture your food pic until you’ve first thought through how you would like to compose the frame. Maybe you can flatter your subject by skewing it off-center and leaving some blank space to one side of the frame, maybe a centered shot taken from above is your best bet, it depends on the dish.
#3. Spill The Beans
Don’t be afraid to get messy when snapping #food shots. Believe it or not, a picture of a bowl of half spilled chickpeas is a lot more interesting than one of a neat, full bowl of boring old chickpeas. If you’re in the prep phase, try sprinkling some cumin or another vibrant spice on a dark countertop to create some excitement and contrast.
#4. Get Creative!
Nathan Myhrvold, master photographer responsible for the twelve-pound volume of stunning food photos titled “The Photography of Modernist Cuisine“ recommends that you can turn a glossy menu into a makeshift reflector to give your photo a warmer, well-lit feel. Also, this may be obvious, but chose the seat at the table with the best light, that way you won’t need to resort to flash.
#5. Use the right filter.
Some Instagram users tend to get a little carried away with the endless photo filters they have at their disposal (these fake, over-exaggerated filters can lead to some pretty unappetizing results). We recommend only using a filter sometimes, and when you do use one, keep it simple. We like the effect that this subtle desaturating filter has on this platter of crab legs.
#6. Go Raw!
Food doesn’t have to be cooked to be worthy of a portrait. Perhaps the most common #foodporn shots are of the final product, the delicate dish right before you dig in… This doesn’t have to be the case! Food is an exciting subject even before it’s been prettied up and plated.
#7. #ヤムヤム (aka #nomnom in Japanese)
Tired of seeing #nomnom again and again, well how about you mix it up with the Italian #gnamgnam, the French #miamiam, the Creole #yomyom and the Japanese #ヤムヤム. Get creative (and international) with your hashtags. Some other best practices include adding your ingredients as hashtags (i.e. #broccholini, #couscous, #arugula), and signing off as a #foodie, #foodlover, #foodtraveller, or #foodadventurer.
#8. Take some tips from the pros.
Soon enough, with these tips, you’ll be a pro yourself, but for now it wouldn’t hurt to take cues from the best and the brightest #foodies out there. Here is a short list of Instagram feeds that will help inspire your own compositions.
Also check out FirstWeFeast’s well-curated lists of the best food Instagrams of the week for some serious lessons in composition and great lighting.
Christmas and New Years are just around the corner, which means it’s time to start planning some menus. Skip the traditional fare this year in favor of an international celebration of flavors. We’ve collected a handful of recipes, ranging from savory to sweet, to help you mix it up this holiday season.
The Feast of Seven Fishes – Italian-American
Italian-American families observe Christmas Eve with the Feast of the Seven Fishes. These seafood dishes are usually fried and popular fare includes baccalà (salted cod), fried smelt, and calamari. This feast is an entirely American invention, but it has roots in the more traditional (and less numerically specific) Italian Christam Eve seafood meal, La Vigilia.
Lutefisk – Scandinavian-American
Lutefisk, codfish soaked in lye, was a traditional Christmas Eve meal of yore in Scandinavia. Today, the strange delicacy has faded into partial obscurity in Scandinavia but it is still enjoyed in the Midwestern region of the US by Scandinavian-Americans in an effort to connect with their ancestral home.
Tourtière is a meat pie originating from Lower Canada (now Quebec), traditionally made with finely diced pork, veal, beef or salmon in coastal regions. It is served with ketchup or savory fruit relish.
Bigos – Polish
The national dish of Poland, bigos is a dish of meats and sausages slowly braised over a bed of sauerkraut. Bigos is a favorite meal for the day after Christmas and is also popular in Lithuania and Belarus.
Bánh Chưng – Vietnamese
Tết, or the Vietnamese Lunar New Year is largely centered around food. In Vietnamese language, to celebrate Tết is to ăn Tết, literally meaning “eat Tết”, emphasizing the role of food in the celebration. Some dishes include bánh chưng and bánh dầy, sticky rice with meat or bean filings, mứt, dried candied fruits, and hạt dưa, roasted watermelon seeds.
Romeritos – Mexican
A batter of powdered, dried shrimp and egg whites cooked like pancakes and mixed with an indigenous mild-tasting green plant that resembles rosemary, thus the name romerito. Served with mole, romeritos are eaten during the Posadas, the nine days leading up to Christmas.
Toshikoshi Soba – Japanese
Soba is traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve in most areas of Japan. The special New Year’s noodle dish is called Toshikoshi soba, buckwheat soba noodles in a hot dashi, mirin and soy sauce soup. Garnished with spring onion and kamaboko fish cake, New Year Soba symbolizes wishes for good luck in the year ahead.
Bibingka – Filipino
Bibingka is a pastry traditionally served for breakfast on Christmas day. It is made of rice flour and coconut milk is baked in banana leaf–lined terracotta pots, topped with kesong puti (white cheese), grated coconut, and sometimes even a salted duck egg.
Cola de Mono – Chilean
Served around Christmas time in Chile, Cola de Mano (which means Monkey’s Tail) is a drink concocted with aguardiente, milk, sugar, coffee, and cloves. It is the Chilean version of egg nog.
Glögg – Nordic
Glögg is warm wine mixed with a melange of wintery spices. The traditional ingredients are red wine, sugar, spices cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and bitter orange, and optionally also stronger spirits such as vodka, akvavit, or brandy. (In France this warming winter beverage is known as vin chaud, in Italy as vin brûlé. Germans drink Glühwein… In fact, tons of culture have their own version of mulled wine!)
Coquito – Puerto Rican
Coquito is a drink made with rum, egg yolk, coconut milk, coconut cream, sweet condensed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The drink is commonly associated with the Christmas holidays, where it is traditionally served along with other holiday food.
Sorrel Punch – Caribbean
Cougnou – Belgian
Cougnou (or Bread of Jesus) is a Belgian sweet bread eaten around the holidays. It is molded into the shape of baby jesus, decorated and often enjoyed with a cup of hot chocolate – both precious and delicious!
Bûche de Noël – French
The Bûche de Noël, or branch of Christmas, is the French version of a Yule Log. A rich cake filled and rolled to resemble a log, it is often decorated with tiny merinque “mushrooms” or other edible treats made to look like items found in the forest. In France, it is traditionally served after the Christmas Eve midnight mass. One of the most common and classic flavors is chestnut.
Pandoro – Italian
Panettone often steals the thunder as far as Italian holiday cakes go but we prefer Pandoro. Pan d’oro, literally “Golden Bread”, is a traditional sweet yeast bread enjoyed around Christmas and New Years throughout Italy. In the Middle Ages, sweet breads were only consumed by the nobility, thus the name. Pandoro come in a tall, regal shape, sprinkled with powdered sugar and cut into thin slices.
Lebkuchen – German
Lebkuchen are traditional German cookies that are usually baked for Christmas. They are similar to gingerbread cookies, made with molasses and full of warm spices.
Try out a new recipes this holiday & leave a comment with your culture’s holiday food traditions.