The Making of Book 3

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I've been in New York for the past two weeks doing food photography for book #3 in the Sneaky Chef series, Sneaky Chef to the Rescue. (It's not even out for pre-order yet, but should be available in the next couple of months).

The photography of the recipes is a fascinating process. First, we actually have to make every single recipe from scratch, exactly like readers will make out of the book. All of the ingredients are identical to what's in each recipe.

There's a restaurant kitchen right inside the photo studio. Once the dish is ready, I work with a professional "food stylist" to arrange each recipe into it's own "story." To create a pic nic, for example, we have to gather a wicker basket, a plaid blanket, some colored plastic plates and glasses, etc. For other scenes, like chile cooking on the stove, we show the chile in a cast iron pot with other interesting rustic wooden service utensils and country style props in the background, slightly out of focus.

The lighting and arrangement of the whole scene is then perfected by the photographer and he takes a myriad of shots that we'll all sit around and pour through later to select the best one. The effect is what you see on the pages of magazines and in professionally done cookbooks like The Sneaky Chef. It gives the shot depth and feeling. A plain photograph of the recipe just wouldn't be nearly as interesting or inspiring to the reader.

So the next time you're looking at a beautiful photograph of sneakily fortified birthday cake with a piece cut out to reveal the delicious layers within, and all of the party favors in the room all around, just slightly out of focus, you'll be able to see behind the scene and appreciate each shot is its own work of art : )

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I can't wait!!! I'd buy any book you wrote. I have the 2 that you wrote already and I'm in them a few times a day.

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The Sneaky Chef is available at fine booksellers everywhere: