If you've ever wondered what I wear when I work on recipes for this site, well, here it is. I'm usually in jeans, flat shoes, and a wrinkled apron. Ha! I used to own a small catering business, and this outfit would not have worked well. Mainly open-toe shoes are not as acceptable in the commercial cooking world; also I'd need something to cover my hair (hair net, hat, etc.). I actually never minded wearing a bandanna to work every day, but sandals are my jam. So I'm glad I get to take advantage of that these days. 🙂
I keep three or four aprons at our studio and use them until one gets too dirty. Then I take it home and wash it. So, that's how they all get wrinkly over time. I don't take time to iron aprons that basically no one ever sees.
I love all our mismatched dishes! So many fun options to choose from when styling final food for photos. It also makes washing dishes more interesting, as every dish is different.
In the last month I finally upgraded to a new camera and I love it! Getting a new camera is always SO exciting. Before this Canon 5D Mark III, I had a Canon 60D. I love them both, and I'm slowly getting used to some of the subtle differences that the 5D has. It's always fun trying to change settings on a new camera; really throws you off for the first week or so (or maybe it's just me).
Here's what my cooking notes typically look like before I begin. For my original recipes I've typically already cooked the dish a time (or two or three) and made flavor changes or big updates. For example, here you see my notes for the vegan gravy recipe (posted yesterday). I already knew what flavors were going to be present and a loose idea of measurements, but there is room for changing things and making more exact notes to share with readers.
You can also see I was trying out a vegan biscuit recipe from Minimalist Baker. As I mentioned in the post, I am not at all an expert in vegan baking, so I wanted to showcase a resource that I think is awesome to our readers. I did end up needing to change it some from the original recipe, but I have a feeling it may have been because it was an extremely humid day when I was baking, and moisture changes can sometimes alter baked goods in a big way.
Also, I very likely have a typo in these notes. I am about the WORST at spelling, and my handwriting is just awful. But hey, we can't all have beautiful handwriting like my sister, right?
Here's what my notes typically look like afterward. Lots of little changes and tweaks to try and make it perfect and also notes that might help me to explain how to recreate the dish better. Cooking is a bit more laid-back (as far as recipe development goes) because you can pretty easily adjust as you cook, make notes, and come out with something you're proud of. Baking, on the other hand, tends to take a lot more trials before I end up with the final recipe and am ready to photograph. Once you make a batter and pop it in the oven (be it cake, cookies, muffins, whatever), you just have to see how it turns out. If it's too dry, bland, didn't rise properly, etc., it's back to the drawing board. You can't as easily adjust as you work for baking in most cases, so it takes a little longer. But in the end, a good cookie is worth the effort, if you ask me. 🙂
Here's me pretending to juggle. I don't know how to juggle. I'm just a weirdo. Thanks for letting me share a bit more about how I work in the kitchen. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have in the comments. Also, if you food blog or write cookbooks, I'm sure everyone would love to hear more about your process, so please share! Or if you have questions about food photography, just let me know. I'm not an expert, but I do my thing and am happy to share. xo. Emma
Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions. Emma's wearing: shoes and top/F21, jeans/James Jeans, apron/Anthropologie, and headwrap c/o ModCloth.