A year gone by 2012



Already one week into the New Year… so please 2013 go slow! Looking back over the past twelve months there have been a few favourites on the Food and Tools blog! But first I would like to say a big thank you to all the readers, subscribers, viewers, also those that have liked and taken the time to comment on food and tools blog posts! Look forward to another years blogging with you all!

  Favourites on Food and Tools

Meeting Happy Hens: On a visit to Ireland my lovely nieces introduced me to their Happy Hens, all very friendly and I was equally happy to eat their freshly laid eggs for breakfast every morning! Sadly, some months later a pine marten managed to enter the chicken coop during the night and kill every hen… I had never heard of a pine marten until then! After recovering from the shock and horror of witnessing such a scene, my sister bought some more hens… a few weeks later a buzzard hovering around swooped down and made off with one of their young bantam hens… it seems hens living in the countryside have their challenges!


Food Workshop: Meeting the lovely Silke Croppe, an artisan cheese maker and attending one of her cheese making courses at Corleggy in Ireland was such a lovely experience and a wonderful way to spend a day outdoors in the Irish countryside!


New Kitchen Jewellery: Apart from acquiring a  yoghurt/cheese maker, my favourite baking tin for 2012… the muffins tin from Ikea, loving the tall shaped cupcakes and muffins!1-2013-01-057

Styling and Photography: Attending Meeta K Wolff’s two-day Food and Styling Workshop (day oneday two), hosted by Sally Prosser in Dubai was an event that I was glad not to have missed… and meeting Giorgio Locatelli… what a surprise!


New Cookbooks: Got to meet the lovely Suzanne Husseine and Ariana Bundy at book signing events at Words Bookstore and Cafe in Bahrain… adding new cookbooks to my collection, “When Suzanne Cooks” and “Pomegranates and Roses”!  A signed copy of Bobby Chinn’s cookbook “Vietnamese Cooking” was a gift from a lovely friend!  Lots of delicious mouthwatering recipes!


Travel: Traveled to Turkey for the first time, first visiting the charming town of Alacati (a blog post soon) for a couple of days and then to the bustling city of Istanbul! Definitely a place to visit again!


Farmers Market: Excited to have visited Bahrain’s first Farmers Market and pick up some lovely fresh vegetables and herbs, also good to know that it will be held every Saturday until next May!

Cheers to the year ahead… 2013!


Food Photography and Styling Workshop Day 2

Arriving at the Miele Gallery and still digesting the mass array of food from the previous days workshop…  it was a quick cup of coffee then straight into a busy days schedule! Metta (Food Stylist and Photographer) gave each team assignments to work on throughout the day, which would later be evaluated, discussed and critiqued at the end of the workshop!

Sally Prosser (Social Media Strategist and Activator) ran us through some social media strategies for food bloggers… leaving us with thoughts to ponder on, reasons for blogging and our goals! Interactions with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social media platforms were covered, discussing some of their advantages and disadvantages!  Afterwards Meeta went through some basic post-processing, using lightroom and Photoshop to enhance images… touches that make such a difference using good post-processing software!

Somewhere between all this information from Sally and Meeta we had some very tasty morsels (Mreqqed – Marinated Eggplant above) prepared by the lovely Dima Sharif, a food writer, educator and recipe developer!

Dima, already very busy in the kitchen was preparing a Traditional Moroccan Menu (Pumpkin Soup, Lamb and Aubergine Tagine, Couscous with Toasted Almonds and Sesame Crusted Almond Cookies) for us to shoot and eat… and a delicious feast it was!

Running through one of her own styling demos Metta showed how her thought process works when styling a photo shoot. Choosing appropriate props, freshness of ingredients, creating a certain mood, colours, textures, the story you want to tell, placement of props and food, lighting, focus and angle are some of the important elements to think about before taking a photograph!

Armed with all the information Metta had given us, we worked our way through our assignments, each taking on roles as cooks, photographers and stylists as the day progressed…  it really was a very action packed kitchen!

Cynthia Farhat and the Miele team were always ready to give a hand when needed, which was much appreciated! Tavola supplied the lovely props and utensils for us to use throughout the workshop… glad we have a Tavola in Bahrain! Working on some post-processing, each team presented some final images for evaluation and it was really interesting to see how each had interpreted and styled their given teams assignment!

A delicious finale dinner prepared by Chef Russell from Lafayette Gourmet and a Spanish paella fiesta from Tapeo ended the workshop! The food on this workshop was outstanding but I must say, the taste of the Heritage Angus Steak from Canada, simply pan seared on a griddle was truly amazing… this meat could convert a vegetarian!

Goodie bags were presented to us on leaving, so thank you: Dima Sharif for her special bottle of Olive Oil from her family olive groves, the marinated eggplants, jar of fish spice rub (all put to good use), chocolate truffles and recipe booklet! Lindt Chocolate for the boxes of luxury chocolates! Aqua Panna and San Pellegrino water and cute bottle opener! Lime and Tonic Gift Voucher! Toffee Princess for her delicious Scottish tablet!

Sally and Meeta… I thoroughly enjoyed The Food Photography and Styling Workshop and meeting and working with all the lovely group of other participants! You have left me inspired to better my photography skills and take my food photography to another level! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Other blog posts and photographs from the Food and Photography Styling Workshop, not everyone has a blog so I will link up were possible and add others as they become available:

Meeta from What’s for Lunch Honey (conducted above workshop) | Sally from My Custard Pie  also here (the host of above workshop)  | Shy form Cooking with Shy – Facebook Page photographs | Catherine from Cat in The Dunnes | Antone flicker photographs | Minna from Naked Plate