In the Kitchen With the World's Best Food Photographers
"So, what's the plan?” the photographer Eric Wolfinger asked, eyeing the clams, slab bacon, Gulf shrimp, sourdough, and market vegetables on my kitchen table. After sketching out a quick menu, we got cooking. Eric made a classic aioli with a stone mortar and pestle, and he used charred ginger, garlic, onions, and shrimp shells to make the base of a shrimp stock that would become a bacon-studded shellfish stew. I roasted Romanesco heads whole and showered them with Parmesan breadcrumbs for a riff on Roman-style artichokes. Half of Eric’s aioli became an anchovy dressing for a kale salad, and we saved the rest to swirl into the stew when we sat down to what had naturally evolved into a Californian-Italian-centric lunch.
What makes Eric one of the world’s best food photographers—and two reasons we invited him to be the guest editor of this special photography issue of F&W—is the cook’s curiosity and easy-going sense of adventure he brings to every assignment. Both qualities were on full display during the week he spent collaborating with Photo Director Mackenzie Craig and our team.
Look for Eric’s work in these pages, along with greats like Penny De Los Santos, Christopher Hirsheimer, and Romulo Yanes. You might not recognize their names, but chances are you’ve cooked many of the recipes they’ve artfully photographed for magazines and cookbooks.
Despite the numbingly large number of images we’re exposed to on our phones and through social media, the cream still rises, and we’re exposed to new worlds and new talent every single day. A great photograph tells a powerful story, and food photography has never been better. This issue is a tribute to everyone behind a camera and at the stove who brings the culture of food and drink to life with their photographs. Thank you.