Behind the Scenes of the Melt Cookbook Shoot

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

This last few days the photography for the cookbook took place. It's essentially the physical marker for the halfway point of the book. A year ago we found a publisher and a year from now the book will be in print and, hopefully, resting in your hands waiting to be stained with cheese and smeared from use and love in your kitchen.

-A composed shot of cheese.-

Stephanie and I made our way down to Long Beach in Southern California, my old stomping ground where I grew up just thirty minutes south in Mission Viejo. Our friends, Matt Armendariz and his partner in love and creation, Adam Pearson, kindly took us on as clients and would be shooting and styling 47 recipes from the book as well as taking a few style shots and cover shots.

-The styling team at work in the kitchen.-

-Adam styling a possible cover option.-

Now, Matt and Adam are ostentatious, loud, opinionated, gaudy, lovable, sweet, kind, brash, and a know both raunchy and corny jokes. These are all reasons to just ADORE them. However, their approach to food, light, style, and the overwhelming amount of creativity they effuse from their persons like water rushing from a spring is beyond endearing and always breathtaking.

-Tell me you don't want this. And this is just an Instagram pic.-

Matt knows how to work around natural light. How to bend it. Bounce it. Mold it. Scatter it. Absorb it. All this to make food glow ethereally or get as moody as that indie album you're obviously never heard of. His camera - tethered to the computer and harnessed in an industrial tripod that could topple Tokyo Tower - bends around the food as instructed. Above, in front, dead on, or just at the slightest angle the food always gets put at its best.

Adam... what can I say about this tattooed, gaged, ginger-bearded lovebug? He's the hardest working chef I have ever seen. He and his team of stylists - Christina and Alexis - crammed out 47 recipes in 4 days. They shopped, planned, pinned, tucked, melted, and mornayed their way nonstop through 10 to 12 hour days without a break. It was heroic. Plus, not only did they help us identify a few hiccups in the recipes so that they could be refined even further, but they also made each one look gorgeous and ensured that each one was properly styled.

-Line up the shot...-

-Then check the balance.-

Steph and I spent our time watching everyone work. We absorbed knowledge. We asked questions. Stephanie filmed EVERYTHING. We were consulted on recipes, offered advice on cheese and recommendations on preparation, and we assisted in styling. (One or two dishes I styled myself and am VERY proud of.)

-Props Galore!-

But really, you guys, seriously... this book will be so god damn beautiful. You have no idea.

I cannot wait.


19 comments:

  1. I want to eat what's in the bowl in the last picture right now! Looks so yummy! I would love to purchase your book when it comes out and will keep visiting your blog to keep tabs on when it will be released.

    Amy

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  2. I probably won't be able to make any of those recipes but I still want a copy! Can't wait to see it :D

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    1. Why do you think that you won't be able to make the recipes? =)

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    2. I'm from Malaysia where average cheese makes enough of a dent in the pocket and good cheese is non existent. So no cheese dishes for me :(

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  3. I'm sitting in class right now and your pictures have completely distracted me. To hell with my lactose intolerance-I can't wait to try some of these recipes when the book comes out.

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    1. Anon: Most goat and sheep cheeses don't have much to any lactose. Many of the recipes will still be doable for you. =)

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    2. Do you know of any good Goat or Sheep Cheddars?
      I too would overlook my intolerance if I had to.

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  4. That's so awesome! I can't wait for your book to be published!! I will definitely buy it as soon as it comes out! :)

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    1. Yay! Music to my ears, Jes. I hope you like it!

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  5. So exciting! Thanks for sharing behind the scenes! I can't wait to hold a copy! And yes, it will have strings of cheese across the pages, but that's ok! :)

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  6. I'm here to tell you "I DO" want what's in that Instagram pic! Looks like you had the ultimate dream team on this project. Every dish looks delicious! I am so excited for you and your book! I'll be swooping it up the second it goes on pre-order! YAY CHEESE!! :)

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  7. I am a self described cheese whore and cannot wait until your book is published. I'm also not only a huge fan of your blog, I also love reading Matt Bites so this was a double dose of fun reading! Good Luck with the rest of the publishing process!

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  8. Can't possibly wait a YEAR for this book. Can't wait to stain it with cheese and smear it with love... definitely keep updated please with date to purchase!

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  9. I know this doesn't belong on this post, but I thought you should watch this music video to support gay marriage equality by macklemore and ryan lewis: http://youtu.be/hlVBg7_08n0.

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  10. Redwood Hill makes some AMAZING goat cheddars. Garrotxa is, essentially, sheep's milk cheddar.

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  11. I can't WAIT to get a copy. Mac and cheese is one of my absolute faves. Carbs and cheese, what could be bad? You and Stephanie could not have picked a better subject for a cookbook!

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  12. I want it now!!!! Can't wait to taste your recipes and look at Matt's beautiful pics ♥

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Hey, you're leaving a comment! That's pretty darn cool, so thanks. If you have any questions or have found an error on the site or with a recipe, please e-mail me and I will reply as soon as possible.
~Garrett

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