Food Art: The Incredible Sensuality of Food, a food photography exhibit by Alessandro Guerani

By Wednesday, April 4, 2012 Permalink 0

by Jonell Galloway

Alessandro Guerani‘s food photography approaches true art.

Photo courtesy of Alessandro Guerani.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food is not, after all, only a story of taste. It is about texture and how it feels in your mouth. It is about whether it looks appetizing, how it is presented on the plate. It is about the smells coming from the kitchen, gently seducing you to the table, and the taste you have while it’s in your mouth and the aftertaste that lingers. It can even be about sound, for example, when the alcohol goes up in flames as they flambé your crêpes Suzette.

Guerani manages to bring all the senses together in a single photograph, even though the smells, texture and other senses are not concretely present. It remains, after all, a photograph, but a photograph like none other, because though visually beautiful, it takes you beyond the confines of visual.

Take a look and let us know what you think.

You can see more of Alessandro’s photos on his website, Fotografia.

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When Food Becomes Art: The Photography of Alessandro Guerani

By Wednesday, April 4, 2012 Permalink 0

by Jonell Galloway

This article was published earlier. We’re reprinting it to complement Guerani’s  food photography exhibit, to be published today

The visual importance of food

I spend a lot of my life looking at food.

I look at the fruit and vegetables so beautifully and carefully stacked in the market stalls, forming masses of color and myriads of shapes. I look at the “masterpieces” of the great chefs who take so much care to artfully arrange the food on the plates so that it is as visually tempting as it is appetizing.

Photo courtesy of Alessandro Guerani.
Photo courtesy of Alessandro Guerani.

 

Without much success, I try my hand at photographing these beauties for my MarketDay and restaurant posts, but I never get it right. And when I develop recipes, I make the most embarrassingly amateur photos of what actually does taste good in the mouth, despite the lifeless-looking photo with its hit-or-miss compositions.

My point is that food photography is not as easy as it might seem. Like any photography or art form, you need the right lighting, composition and contrasts of colors. And above all, you need talent and a good, trained eye.

In my case, I often make everyone at the table wait to start eating while I try and get it just right, because I simply lack the true artistic talent and technical skills that it requires. That might partially be explained by the fact that I ran away from the classroom at the Cordon Bleu every time we had to arrange flowers, set tables, and do presentations, so what should I expect?

Photo courtesy of Alessandro Guerani.
Photo courtesy of Alessandro Guerani.

 

I look at food blogs and food photography, and no matter how much I look, my favorite photographer never seems to change. I think the secret of Alessandro Guerani’s success as a food photographer is that he is also a cook. He develops recipes and thinks with his taste buds, just like me, but he has the added gift of being capable of capturing visual beauty and essence, in the manner of the Flemish and Italian masters.

Food is not, after all, only a story of taste

Food is not, after all, only a story of taste. It is about texture and how it feels in your mouth. It is about whether it looks appetizing, how it is presented on the plate. It is about the smells coming from the kitchen, gently seducing you to the table, and the taste you have while it’s in your mouth and the aftertaste that lingers. It can even be about sound, for example, when the alcohol goes up in flames as they flambé your crêpes Suzette.

The enjoyment of food is a coming together of all the senses, and when all the senses are happy and content, you come away from the table satisfied.

About the photographer, Alessandro Guerani

Alessandro Guerani was born in Bologna, Italy, in 1969, where he still lives. He started using cameras at the age of twenty while studying Medieval and Renaissance art history.

After college, Alessandro worked as an intern in a professional photography studio, and that’s where it all seems to have come together. Afterward, it was clear to him that food and still life photography were his calling.

But the underlying secret of Alessandro’s success is not as simple as that. He obviously has an exceptional visual sense and the technical skills required to turn this into art, but he also loves good food, especially traditional Italian cuisine, with its multitude of flavors and combinations. As a result, he knows how to make all the senses come alive in a seemingly simple photograph.

Photo courtesy of Alessandro Guerani.
Photo courtesy of Alessandro Guerani.

 

Guerani is a master of lighting, and is meticulous about every visual detail. His photos are full of color and contrast, making them rich and full of depth. They sometimes verge on the Medieval, and at other times, on the Renaissance or the Baroque. At still other times, they are spartan and ultra-contemporary, but they are always beautiful. And they always make my mouth water and my eye twinkle.

But above all, they are more than food photography. They are art. Slide-showing through his photos on my large-screen iMac truly makes feel like I’m walking through an art gallery. In the photos above, the vegetables, carrots and artichokes are worthy of a Chardin; the silver filigree platter with apricots is as rich in tone, texture and contrast as the great Italian Renaissance painters; the intermingling of the blue and white tones in the third photograph, so beautifully composed, bring back memories of blue Delft, French faience, and luxurious Italian country linen tablecloths. The knife handle is pointed toward the viewer, inviting the viewer to pick it up and take a taste.

True art is when all the criteria come together in a perfect balance. Guerani not only captures the image of the object he is photographing. He understands the very essence of its beauty and calls on every sense, thus making it much more than a simple picture on your run-of-the-mill food blog.

You can see more of Alessandro’s photos, as well as his recipes, on FotoGrafia, and a Baroque-like photo of pomegranates in What is Mindful Eating?

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This Week’s Top 10 Food Photos

By Friday, February 24, 2012 Permalink 0

February 24, 2012

We’ve started a food photography album! Every time we fall in love with a food photo, we add it to our gallery.

 

Baroque Lemons (C), by Alessandro Guerani

Continue Reading…

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What is Mindful Eating?

By Wednesday, October 5, 2011 Permalink 0

by Jonell Galloway

Mindful Eating : Get serious about what you put in your mouth!

Mindful Eating means getting serious about what you put in your mouth.

Mindful Eating is sensual -- in this case visual -- as well as cerebral.
Mindful Eating is sensual — in this case visual — as well as cerebral.

You don’t have to think with your taste buds every minute of your life, like I do, but eating takes on a new importance in your life, and is no longer just an essential action required to fuel your body.

Mindful Eating starts by being mindful of every aspect of our food chain, from the very soil to the end product we put in our mouths. It is about taste and smell and nutrition, but also about respect for the land and soil that provide our nourishment.

It is about the seeds we plant, the fertilizer we spread.

It is about the human contact between a producer and a buyer and the bond that is formed when he puts the vegetables he has grown with tender loving care and the sweat of his brow into your hand. It is about leaving the land in a condition that will allow our children to live on in a healthy manner.

Mindful Eating is not only about how the steak tastes, but also about what the cow has eaten, where it comes from, how it has been treated.

It is about cooking real homemade food for our family in a spirit of love and awareness, and making sure they are getting the nutrients they need and about avoiding the toxic ingredients so many foods contain.

Hoeing-Odette de Crecy-The Rambling Epicure-Mindful Eating-Jonell Galloway
Photo courtesy of Odette de Crecy.

It is about reading labels in supermarkets, about trying to eat natural, if we can, or at least making the best effort we can to put quality products on the table.

Mindful Eating requires us to look at the food we eat, smell it, chew it slowly and appreciate its texture and flavor, and then pause and enjoy the aftertaste.

Mindful Eating is somewhat a way of life, although we mustn’t become obsessive about it. Almost by definition, it moves toward consumption of local products, and thus re-creation of local economies.

It is a way of communing with our environment – our family, our community, local business, producers, nature – and the satisfaction that is derived from this.

Mindful Eating gives concrete, practical results. It can improve our health and help us lose weight; it can help us lower cholesterol and consume more nutritious food.

It can give us a sense of well-being, because we have the feeling we’re doing what is right not only for ourselves and our family, but also for our community and the world.

ReadingFoodLabel
Photo courtesy of Nikoman.

It can cut down our food budget, since seasonal products bought directly from local farmers will invariably be cheaper. They will also fresher and have more vitamins.

This is Part One of a series of articles exploring the endless possibilities incorporating this approach into our daily lives. Stay tuned for the following segments:

Part Two: Mindful Eating and Farmers
Part Three: Mindful Eating and Health
Part Four: Mindful Eating and the Local Economy
Part Five: Mindful Eating and the Land
 
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Alessandro Guerani is a food and still life photographer in Bologna, Italy. He also has a food photography blog with beautiful food photos, Food-o-Grafia. The pomegranate photo is from his Baroque Food photo album.

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Food News Daily: September 21, 2011

By Thursday, September 22, 2011 Permalink 0

Mainstream Anglo Media and Press

Giant vegetables: more fun than flavour + gallery of massive veg, The Guardian

Giant potato on truck

Fry me to the moon: British cuisine takes off in Berlin, The Guardian

Antibiotic Resistance and the Case for Organic Poultry and Meat, The Atlantic

Angela Hartnett’s ham hock and cannelini bean soup – a soup hearty enough to serve as a full meal, The Guardian

Best of the Anglo Food and Travel Blogs and Sites

5 Ways Bloggers Changed Restaurant Reviewing, Will Write for Food, DianneJ

Pomegranate Walnut Relish, Leite’s Culinaria

The Shark Fin Debate, Zester Daily

Who Wants to Be a Career Food Critic Anyway, The Atlantic Wire

To Ditch the Dessert, Feed the Brain, PsyPost

The People’s Grocery in West Oakland is a great example of a community taking charge of their food (video), Organic Nation

Cooking smoke deadly threat in developing world, Eatocracy

Food Photography

Apricots on silver platter, Foodografia (Alessandro Guerani)

Alternative Press/Sites

Is Your Choice Of Food A Fundamental Right?, Food Renegade

You say tomato, I say code violation: Judge wages war against urban gardener, Mother Nature Network

Project: Design the Ultimate American Sandwich, GOOD

World

Chocolate Roundup #9: Switzerland, UK, USA, Poland, MyKugelhopf

Tomate: el duro camino hasta el éxito, ADN.es

Pumpkin Salad Tripoli style, Mom’s Recipes And More, An Israeli food blog

Healing South Indian Tomato & Black Pepper Soup, love food eat

Australian chocolate industry praised for commitment to accredited cocoa, Food Magazine

Brasil Afora: Pernambuco – Bolo de RoloChef Fafá – Receitas

Les Espoirs de Mougins 2011: The Winner, Le Gagnant, Gayot

Gâteaux Basques à la Confiture de Cerises Noires,  J’en reprendrai bien un bout

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Food News Daily: September 16, 2011

By Friday, September 16, 2011 Permalink 0

Mainstream Anglo Media and Press

Time for Tea in the Kitchen, The Times of India

Insects: the future of food? Would you find it easier to eat insects and arachnids if you knew you already do?, The Guardian

Food for Art: From Time Immemorial, Man Has Always Craved a Good Meal, The Wall Street Journal

A French Feast From a Political Pot, The New York Times

Market Watch: A new tack in farmers market regulation, Los Angeles Times

Coffee’s caffeine fix may be a placebo, AFN Thought For Food

Best of the Anglo Food and Travel Blogs and Sites

Mystical Rock Salt Rocks Restaurant Design, Chow

New French Symbol for Made in France, BK Wine

How to Send Wine Back — Outsmarting Wine, Food Network

Two Kinds of Chef plus bakers, cooks & ninjas, Brave Tart

The Obamas: The new First Foodies, Friends Eat

Long Live the Kouign, Chow

Praline Cake Squares, She Wears Many Hats

Essential Wine Etiquette, Cooking Light

The Unthinking Man’s Case Against Backyard Slaughter, Chow

Food Justice or Junk Food: Will more supermarkets equal more access to healthy food in underserved communities?, Democracy in Action

Exotic Granola: Four New Versions That Don’t Use Oats, Chow

Food Photography

Vienna with coffee, Fotografia

Alternative Press/Sites

5 Things You Didn’t Know about Your Dinner, Rodale

When Healthy Foods Backfire, AOL Healthy Living/Huffington Post

EXPLAINED: Why We Crave The Foods We Crave, Huffington Post

World

Behind the Medieval Walls of Murten, My Kugelhopf

Sorbet aux pêches, miel et romarin…, La Cuillère

Pork Medallions with Prunes, Taste of Beirut

Milky whole grain wheat with orange zest and pumpkin seeds, almonds and coconut chips, Lemon Love Notes

 

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Food News Daily: September 5, 2011

By Monday, September 5, 2011 Permalink 0

Mainstream Anglo Media and Press

5 Ayurvedic mocktails, Times of India

Where Budding Magnates Experiment With Recipes, The New York Times

Secrets of a Blue-Ribbon Brewmaster (a woman!), The Wall Street Journal

Fast food goes gourmet: Fast food chains are trying to gain new market share with ‘gourmet’ products. Have any of them won you round?, The Guardian

Time called on gastropubs: Last orders for metro foodies as hard times see a move back to the bar stool, The IndependentHow to expand your kids’ diets, Seattle Times

Monsanto Corn Falls to Illinois Bugs as Resistance Probe Widens, Bloomberg

Beer as an Ingredient, The New York Times

Market Driven, Oaxaca-Style: In Oaxaca, Mexico, fresh, locally grown food is not a “movement,” but a way of life, The New York Times

Food Photography

 

Alessandro Guerani

Best of the Anglo Food and Travel Blogs and Sites

Irene’s damage not ‘overrated’ for farmers, Grist

The World’s Most Tech-Savvy Boutique Hotels, The Next Web

Peachy keen: How to pick a peach, Culinate

Lemon Cucumber Cocktail, Leite’s Culinaria

Eat Well, Spend Less: Homemade Substitutes for Grocery Staples, Simple Bites

World

Dad’s Favorite Date Slice, Inside Cuisine

A Few Healthy Pickle Recipes – Green Chili Pepper with Chickpea Flour and Spices, Lite Bite

Lemongrass shrimp, Rasa Malaysia

Alternative Press/Sites

Irene’s damage not ‘overrated’ for farmers, Grist

 Are IQ and vegetarianism linked?, PubMed

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