Photo Shoot // Picture Perfect with Bonnie Tsang

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I’ve been doing a bit of spring cleaning around these parts. First up was the redesign of the site and then, to freshen things up further, I decided to take a few new portrait photos. Bonnie Tsang was my photographer of choice because she does a beautiful job shooting natural, lifestyle, almost editorial shots that I find positively dreamy.

But it really was more organic than any other photo shoot I’ve been on as there was no posing and we had a very loose plan. Basically, Bonnie and I met in Silverlake, spent the day perusing the area (list of shops we stopped in below), and the result is a snapshot of our afternoon chronicled in her gorgeous style. You’ll see plenty of her work on the site and elsewhere as I ready for my fast-approaching cookbook launch, but I thought I’d give you a few sneak peeks in the meantime.
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TasteMakers: Brianna Beaudry

TasteMakers Brianna Beaudry portrait

For this month’s TasteMakers interview I wanted to share the unique perspective of those phenomenal food people who work behind the culinary scenes. One such lady is Brianna Beaudry, a culinary renaissance woman who works in food photography and television as, depending on the day, a culinary producer, food sylist, and/or recipe developer. 

We first met a few years back when I needed some help cross-testing recipes for “Ask Aida” and, even though we just talked over the phone and email, it was clear she was a smart, talented lady. Today Brianna is pulling back the curtain of her world to show us behind-the-scenes and share some of her hard-earned lessons about food styling and recipe development. 
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Local Adventure: Finding My Sixth Taste

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A few weeks ago, I got an email from fellow food-lover, Marian, who asked if I wanted to take part in a Six Taste food tour. The thought behind Six Taste is to encourage people to find their own taste experience to add to the five tastes — sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami — hence the Six. In other words, they share my goal to constantly seek out new food adventures, be they near or far. I haven’t lived in Southern California in years, and the local food climate has become much richer and more multi-faceted during that time, so I knew this tour would help me get reacquainted.

I opted for the Taiwanese food-focused Delicious Dumplings tour which takes place in the San Gabriel Valley town of Arcadia. Shadowing immigration patterns, ethnic food epicenters have evolved across Southern California and one of the best known is the corridor of Chinese and Taiwanese-dominated towns in San Gabriel Valley. Arcadia is one of the lesser-known food towns so I was curious how it would pan out. Within a few bites, it became abundantly clear how much I was about to learn. We only covered a handful of restaurants in a few blocks, but ate our way through a cyclone of Taiwanese culture, history, and food.
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TasteMakers: Dani Fisher

Photo by Mia Locks

Have you ever heard someone’s name again and again before you’ve ever even met her?

That’s how it was for me with prop stylist, Dani Fisher. People kept assuming I knew her and would go on about how great she was to work with, what a fabulous eye she has, and her fabulous prop collection. It wasn’t until this summer when we were shooting cookbooks down the hall from each other that my friend, food stylist, Lillian Kang, made a proper introduction. Then, not even a month later, we ended up working on the same shoot. Not only are we both California girls and both went east for school, but we’ve also both worked at magazines and are now forging our own freelance paths. Dani was a shoo-in for this month’s TasteMakers interview because I wanted her to give us some tips for tableware shopping and table setting during this, the height of the entertaining season.

Be sure to check back tomorrow when Dani will share her tabletop gift ideas.
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