Category Archives: food photography

Jamie Oliver’s Food Photography MasterClass

Great video done by The Naked Chef himself and his photographer, David Loftus.


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Team La Mouette does it again

I am in love with food photography. And while I try to style plates myself I think, and you might agree, that it would be an utterly indulgent affair to have a French trained chef style the plates for you instead.

So I mailed Mari last week and between herself and Chef Henry they allowed me to have my hedonistic moment and take a few snaps  of the new Gourmand Menu at La Mouette.

Here’s a visual introduction to this 6 course meal, which I have to affirm, tastes spectacular.

Chilled tomato gazpacho smoked herb oil, truffle and cheese croquettes
Salt and pepper prawns shaved radish, chorizo popcorn, sweet corn pureé
Assiette of duck apricot puree, brioche crumble, honey and pistachios
Crayfish ravioli almond crumble and cauliflower foam 
Lamb 3 ways ratatouille provençal, grilled courgette and smoked aubergine puree

‘Pina colada coconut panacotta, pineapple granita

Lemon curd burnt honey cream, honey comb, spearmint and crème fraiche sorbet
Gorgonzola vanilla roasted fig mushroom puree and bread crisps

 PS: for the latest menu and specials visit their website or follow @teamlamouette on twitter

78 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town
021 433 0856

Fairview (wine and) Cheese tasting

Table setting at the Beryle Back Tasting Room 
This weekend we decided to head out to Paarl and do some tasting at Fairview. Having left home without having breakie, we stopped over at the Goatshed for some morning sustenance. The bread, freshly baked at the estate, is the perfect combination of crisp crust and soft, chewy heart of goodness! And my broodiness was given a run for its money with the herds of children giggling at Billy Goat Gruff.

After breakfast we headed over to the Beryl Back tasting room were our table was laid with glasses and a mantle of miniature cheeses. It really was beautifully and if only I wasn’t such a furiously snacky person, I might’ve admired them for a moment longer. 

Anyway, the tasting got off to a good start with some Riesling, followed by Viognier (vee-ohn-yey) and Sémillon (say-mee-yon). The Monsieur and I have fond memories of Idiom’s Viognier because it was over those delicate White Peach aromas that we spent many an afternoon idling chatting at il Leone. Anyway, I was quite surprised to note the difference in taste of the Fairview Viognier as it was MUCH fruitier. The apricot in this wine really came through quite strongly and it was unfortunately paired with an apricot studded White Rock, which was a bit too much for my liking.

The favourite reds for the day were the Sangiovese (san-yo-vee-see) and the Tanat (Ta-nat). The former goes down pretty easily, which is a likeable trait in itself. But what I liked most about this wine was its cherry lip gloss colour. Reminded me of the stuff you get at the Body Shop called Born Lippy. Just delicious!

There’s one thing that every should know about me. I am probably less closeted than I should be about my deep seated affections for fromage. So of course the show stoppers of the day just had to be the cheese and then the first princess title went to the Olive Oil and its colluding temptress – squares of thee most amazing Ciabatta. I could’ve sat there for days nibbling on Vampire defeating Garlic and Herb infused cream cheese, Bleu and Blanc so rich and well, blue, that Papa Smurf would give you the thumbs up. Peppered Chevin – a regular, albeit short lived guest in our fridge followed by Gorgonzola so creamy your heart didn’t know whether to flutter or flat-line and even the Chakalaka, the black sheep of the cheesy family,  that initially reminded me of a strange homage to the NikNaks man, were all spectacular! 

Now, even though I’ve been wine tasting before, this was the first time that I didn’t feel as though I had the right words to describe what was happening in my mouth. I felt almost stranded. Alone, without the words to make sense of what was happening. Which is  perhaps why the cheese and olive oil stood out from this experience a whole lot more than the wine did. Or maybe it’s just that I do need to go on a crash course, kinda like the one Keanu Reeves gives his leading lady in “A Walk in the Clouds”. It’s almost spoon feeding wine knowledge – 1) smell white pepper corns 2) stick nose is glass –  “Wine Appreciation for Dummies”, if you will. 

Midweek Dinner

Asparagus and Creme Fraiche Tart

It was one of those days when I wanted to make the effort for dinner. I was in the mood for a challenge (what my friends would term, “my game face”) and so I decided to consult with the recipes resources that be. 

After visiting, food24, BBC-food and of course, my Twitter Stream of Hope for some blinding inspiration, I decided on  James Martin’s Asparagus and crème fraîche tart . I also decided to make the short crust pastry myself, just for shits and giggles, but of course. 

So, my first attempt at the pastry was going really well. I was chuft when my alarm sounded to commemorate the end of the blind baking. Upon removal from the oven and trying not to burn myself, I broke the perfectly baked tart crust. After an amount of fowl language and slamming of items, I re-made the dough and got on with the rest of the baking. I do hate it when things go awry because I really am a bit anal about it all. More than that though, I was really enjoying the process and the glitch did turn my mood decidedly south.

Anyhoo, base two was slightly more successful – it  made it out of the oven alive. Unfortunately though, I didn’t roll it out enough, so it was marginally too small for my tart dish. A slightly more neurotic person would’ve thrown the entire effort off the 7th floor balcony, but I decided to release my frustrations on the cupboard doors, yet again. 

All in all, it was a successful endeavour. I did add some crushed garlic and a little chilli to the mixture. I have faith in and am more comforted with those two by my side, kind of like a safety garlic and chilli infused blankie.

The tart looked beautiful! And yes, I do eat with my eyes before any other senses, but once I’d sliced it, I was a tad disappointed when it damn near mirrored my feelings by weeping onto my plate. All that time. All that effort and I don’t feel satisfied with my meal or the challenge that I’d set myself. May your tart treat you better. 

Serving Suggestion: a salad of your choice. Ours had mixed lettuce, sliced radish, Rosa tomato’s and Danish Feta. 


CakeBread, Pudding & Pie
Kissed the girls and made them *sigh*,
For all the girls made of Sugar & Spice
Loved the store sans thinking twice!

CakeBread, Pudding & Pie @ 71 Roeland Street

Yes, I have completely fallen in love with the new CakeBread, Pudding & Pie store on Roeland Street. It could be because the proprietors of dreams, Mari-Louis & Callie, have thought of every childlike indulgence and have executed it in only a way that could end with “and they lived happily ever after”. Walking into this “shoppe around the corner” left me feeing the fairy dust on my shoulders!

With candy stripes in delectable pink and a bubble gum coloured till & ladder to match, this store, built on old world values of the sole trader from the days of “the butcher, the baker, the candle stick maker”made me feel as if I had stepped into the quintessential candy store that every princess has ever dreamed of.

The fresh coconut toppings, the meringue and butter cream icing adorned with blushing red rose petals and dried grapes – still on the vine. And red heart-shaped lolli pops that could only be eaten in pink tulle and satin shoes. And of course their signature beauty, the utterly intoxicating, Red Velvet Cupcakes, were a feast for the eyes and believe you me, the proof was in the tasting!

It’s almost as if I need not sing any more praises, but the store has so much more to offer with freshly baked breads, home-made pies filled with butternut and plans for chicken and leek and other such homely, yet unusual flavours that it is no wonder that this store will be a beacon for all those in search of only the best baked goods this city has to offer.

Treat yourself today and give CakeBread, Pudding & Pie a visit, be introduced to the store and thee most sincere people that bake with their hearts and live by that very motto.

PS: take a look at the rest of my images from the launch on

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Kamini only eats hot food!

I often think that staring into the window of an oven is more interesting than that of a moving vehicle because you know that you will be able to have THAT, all of that, when you hear the timer bing! In a perfect world, all food would be eaten moments after it was cooked, when the flavours are at their peak and more importantly, when the food was still hot. 

One of my pet peeves is eating cold food. On some days, I will consider a morsel that has made its way to room temperature. I’ve even been known to leave things out for a few hours and believe me, in this case, a watched pot does eventually get to the finish line. But under no circumstances will I go near anything that has JUST made its debut from the light of the fridge.

Recently, I’ve found myself in a bit of a pickle because I’ve had to take photographs of some of the dishes I have cooked. Now, everything I’ve read has warned me about hair spraying dishes and other nasty “Editorial Tricks to Great Food Photography” and besides these pearls of wisdom, eating said dish after it had done the rounds goes against my cardinal rule – no chemicals with dinner. 

Anyhoo, my issue is that yes, I do need to set up my shot before the food is cooked, which works better with baked dishes, but with those stove top creations, not so much. Because of course you need to tend the pot and plate up and I am often left with something that is just not warm enough. 

I have a little confession, my relationship with my microwave is on its last leg and these days it more of a “design feature” in my kitchen than anything else. But sometimes I am forced into greedily re-heating because by this point I am ready to chew on my Nine West boots. Now, don’t be fooled into thinking that I am the sort of person who EVER defects meal times, but give me a feisty aroma or two and I suddenly invoke my Somalian roots. (no offence) 

Due to my rapidly escalating levels of impatience, my mouth can take unnaturally high temperatures owing to the number of times I have scalded my palate. And some might call me greedy and others might be nodding at their screens in solidarity, but right now, I’m unconcerned with either opinion, I merely want to know how to have my cake [insert_dish_here] and eat it (hot) too. 

All suggestions welcome.

For those of you that want a few tips, here’s a blog post with 10 great tips and some deelishuss photo’s