Back in November art director Andy Paterson-Jones asked me if I was interested in doing a Christmas card with him. Theme: chocolate.
I must confess I’m a sucker for sweets, in particular chocolate. One idea followed the other and before we knew it we had scrapped the Christmas card idea and were planning a food calendar. Or many calendars. Regularly. Throughout the year. With lots of different chefs and dishes. Yikes!
The concept started taking shape. We would collaborate with one chef, producing a 3-month calendar printed on an A5 card. The chef would then recommend the next chef, and we would repeat the cycle, producing a new calendar featuring a new chef creating a new dish every quarter. The line of recommended chefs would create a chain reaction, and the story would evolve. Not knowing whom we would meet, what we would taste and what the calendar would look like, added an extra level of excitement.
We decided to start with David Mendes, a chef I have worked with before. David is a very talented up-and-coming pastry chef with a huge passion for desserts. It seemed fitting to go for pastry as our original idea had been to photograph chocolate. Not to mention David accepted the challenge on short notice (and with Christmas already upon us) without hesitation.
And we weren’t let down! David produced a recipe with a kick. ‘Shades of Winter’ is a luxurious dessert for a romantic dinner on a cold evening. It features a brilliant wintery combination of a spicy cinnamon and red wine sauce melded with a delicious smooth white chocolate and lime mousse on a bed of crunchy puff pastry. After a cheeky mouthful, Andy nicknamed David ‘The Mozart of Mousses’.
We are now well into January and the photos have been processed, the website has been published, the calendars have been mailed out and we officially launched Chef Taster on January 24th in Putney. The feedback has been brilliant, and we can’t wait to get started on Chef Taster, chapter 2. Bring it on!
For a copy of the first Chef Taster calendar ‘Shades of Winter’ feauturing David Mendes, or to book us for a shoot please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 386 7078
Chef: David Mendes, www.bakingdreamstogether.com
Art Director: Andy Paterson-Jones, www.newenglanduk.uk.com
Photographer: Marte Lundby Rekaa, www.mlrphoto.co.uk
Assistant and Behind the Scenes photographer: Karla Simpson