August 8, 2011

Through the Camera Lens

This is a camera.

Taking pictures of low-sodium, salt-free Kale Kelp Salad.

Which I made just for you.

And this is the wonderful team behind that camera: Matt Armendariz (who among other things wrote a book about food on sticks) and Adam Pearson (who among other things is the genius stylist who so elegantly placed that food on the sticks).

This past week, I was lucky enough to be invited to Matt and Adam’s food photography wonderland in LA. And as they twisted noodles and napkins, I sat excitedly on the sidelines, watching the two (and their trusty band of assistants) transform my words and recipes into pictures that will make any mouth water. Even those that love salt.

With open arms and shelves, they let me ruffle through their endless rainbow of props, spoons, and serving platters.

They taught me insider tricks on how to perfectly cut lemons, rim glasses with spices, and crisp noodles without setting your oven on fire. Which I’ve done now. Twice.

They showed me how to set up ideal shots that make you wish you could jump inside to join the party

how to adjust the food so that it looks homey and not overly handled

and how to capture the sunlight just right so that your radishes sparkle like edible butterflies in a minted pea forest.

And among everything else, they handled this low sodium food with as much care and excitement as they would have for any other cookbook.

They asked questions about the sodium contents of their own favorite ingredients. They remarked on the bold flavors that were free to really pop and pow without the salt. They found the simplicity of the salads and the spark of pickles equally enticing. They fully respected the spirit with which you all bring to your health related diet. And they wholeheartedly embraced the mission of this cookbook. As well as the bloody Marys and buffalo wangs.

By the end of the week, we had over forty delectable shots of food that, if you didn’t know otherwise, looked colorful, juicy, and just plain delicious. Blowing apart the assumptions that salt-free food has to be boring.

And with every picture of salt-free yakisoba and bite of low sodium pad Thai, I hope to not only bring joy to your dinner table, but to also show so many other people what we all have already learned–low sodium food simply lacks salt, not flavor.

So keep pushing the low-sodium boundaries in your own home and I’ll keep pushing them in mine. And of course, thank you to Matt and Adam for pushing that camera button.

Chow on.

Ethan Adeland (@EthanAdeland) August 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Hey Jess, looks like it was an amazing experience with Matt and Adam. I’ve been to a couple of conferences which I’ve heard Justin speak about you, so it’s nice to put a name to the blog:) Can’t wait to see how the book turns out!

Christy Ellingsworth (@DailyDishTweets) August 14, 2011 at 9:45 am

This looks amazing! The photos, the experience, and best of all.. the soon-to-be BOOK! Looking forward to savoring each delectable bite.

Narkissos Springer (@NarkSide) August 24, 2011 at 10:51 am

I think I’ve found my favorite blog. 🙂

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