I really love restaurants that do themed right. A well conceptualized menu that showcases the cuisine they wish to champion, creative décor that spotlights regional motifs without recreating a cheap souvenir tableau, dishes and drinks that know when to stay true to their terroir and when to borrow from the global repertoire.
So I was really pleased with a visit to Bushman’s – the Aussie restaurant at Anantara The Palm Dubai – that has been on my must-try list ever since I heard it might serve witchetty grubs and other strange meat and bugs from Down Under.
The bugs and grubs might have been a rumour (not sure if they did offer it at one point and took it off the menu like the crocodile that sadly is no longer served), but there was plenty more that captured some inventive Aussie flavours and left me ready to head back for more.
Starting off with the cocktails. We picked a fruity concoction called Gumnut, made from Havana Rum and raspberries and presented in a tumbler covered with a glass cloche sprayed with eucalyptus-infused rum mist. I never thought drinking anything with eucalyptus could taste that good… I’m starting to see the koalas’ point :)
Cocktail 2 was a savoury Surfer’s Paradise served as a trio of chilli-infused vodka, a freshly shucked oyster and tomato juice that had great body and bite. We were assured we had unknowingly picked the two best cocktails on the menu – I was definitely convinced.
After nibbling on a warm plate of crusty Damper bread (traditional Australian soda bread) served with olive oil and a Bush Tucker spice mix of sesame seeds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and earthy cumin, we settled on the Australian Antipasti platter which offered a great spread of native delicacies for those that can’t decide what to pick.
The platter was as much a feast for the eyes as the palate – a selection of paperbark smoked kangaroo with a wild spice and bush tomato relish, eucalyptus-smoked Tasmanian Salmon, delicate Yabby tail served with rosella slaw (a local Australian hibiscus) and seared emu fillet drizzled with lemon aspen salsa verde – all artfully arranged and perfectly proportioned to be shared by two (check out the lead pic at the top of the blog post).
I decided to go all out on the Aussie theme for the main course as well – picking the Kangaroo sirloin which was prepared with a chilli glaze that gave a good amount of heat, and served with a crisp sweet potato fritter and pak choi. My dining companion picked a cut of tender wagyu ribeye off the Butcher’s Board that has perfectly prepared and delicious with a creamy pepper sauce. The beef was richly flavoursome and I think I had a slight case of plate envy despite picking the more authentic Aussie main… But I got over it when I picked out the fancier steak knife from the case presented at the table so guests can choose their dish-demolition weapon of choice. A nice touch :)
Bushman’s has a healthy selection of wines by the glass (which as a light drinker I always appreciate) in addition to the bottle, with the wine list unsurprisingly composed largely of Aussie and Kiwi grape.
The dessert list looked fairly substantial and suitably Australian too and a Tim Tam and raspberry ganache tart provided a decadent end to a very enjoyable meal. (The Jaffa Cake brownie was slightly less successful, in being more cakey than brownie in texture, but one miss in an otherwise genuinely enjoyable meal is easily forgivable).
Bushman’s laidback atmosphere definitely lived up to its Aussie theme, with light live music offering a chilled out background track to an evening that hit all the right notes of casual comfort. The airy interiors wrap round a stylish bar, and the terrace tables offer a unique vista of both the Burjs – you definitely feel a fair way from the main Dubai drag on this corner of the Palm’s Eastern Crescent. Not quite the Australian Outback, but far enough to forget the to-do list!
The restaurant even had my favourite ghostly wire frame animals (I discovered these in Berlin earlier this year and love the quirky addition they make to a space.)
Service was friendly and well informed, confident with recommendations and personal without being pushy. A big thumbs up!
I will definitely be imitating the rows of boomerangs at the door and making a return trip!
(Disclaimer: My meal was hosted by Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort but I had such a lovely evening, Bushman’s is going straight onto my list of recommended restaurants in Dubai for a taste of something different coupled with a chilled out vibe – definitely my kind of place. I am surely heading back to try their Lazy Saturday Brunch at the first chance I get, which at AED330 a head with house beverages sounds like fantastic value.)
I have been thinking about getting in shape for my summer break for a few weeks now. The thing is, my track record with diets of any sort is abysmal.
I managed the Dukkan Diet for all of 3 hours, deciding it wasn’t worth the effort when I realized I couldn’t have a pot of fruit yogurt after lunch.
The Master Cleanse (or the Lemonade Diet as it is sometimes called) faired a bit better. I think I managed that juice fast until around 4pm but then thought the idea of drinking only lemonade, cayenne pepper and maple syrup for 10 days seemed a bit nuts, would be utterly boring and – let’s face it – wouldn’t really be something I could manage in this lifetime. (Aside from the questions about its impact on one’s health, I seriously think you would need a truckload of will power to manage on lemon juice for 10 whole days and it wasn’t the sort of will power I have.)
But… having had a particularly indulgent June (ok, May, June and start of July) I thought it was about time I tried to get my eating habits in check and decided juicing may be a good way to get myself on the road to a healthier diet pre-holiday.
To clarify, juice diets don’t really promise weight loss. They focus more on detoxing your system and preparing your body for a healthier lifestyle (which may or may not include a weight-loss program of diet and exercise in days to come). It sounded like just what I needed.
So what exactly is the concept of juicing based on? While you can find thousands and thousands of words written on it online, I will attempt to summarise it in a nutshell:
1. Your body uses a fair amount of energy digesting the food you eat. Giving your digestive system a break by not consuming solid food and ingesting your calories in liquid form allows your body to conserve its energy and use it to “heal” itself instead.
2. Not all calories are created equal. Ingesting 500 calories from greasy burgers smothered in cheese with chips and mayo on the side won’t have the same effect on your body as eating 500 calories derived purely from fresh fruits and veggies.
Juice diets tout a fair few other benefits – everything from cancer cures to better sleep and clearer complexions to aiding your liver and kidneys in flushing out toxins.
Needless to say, I am no expert so the above in no way constitutes medically proven advice. Juice fasts have as many critics as they do staunch supporters, with the main criticism being the lack of appropriate amounts of protein and fibre (which actually aids digestion) and the possibility of high sugar intake if one decides to primarily drink fruit juice.
Many also feel the side effects of the body detoxing (as a result of all that spare energy and injestion of pure liquid goodness) aren’t really pleasant. I was almost put off the idea after reading about the headaches, hunger pangs, food obsessions, aches, pains, dizziness, acne, et al.
Still, the idea of 3 whole days of consuming nothing but pure wholesome vegetables and fruits and other “good” stuff seemed like it would do me good. Despite a lot of conflicting and inconclusive research on the benefits of juice diets (or their ills), no one can deny that drinking nutrient-rich veggie and fruit juices and healthy smoothies beats eating carby, processed food or sugary, caffeinated drinks.
And, one of the biggest benefits of juice diets has long been attributed to a placebo effect – the belief that you have done something good for your body seems to make you stick more diligently to your longer-term diets and exercise plans..
That seemed good enough for me!
So how did I do? Here are the highlights of the 3 Day Juice Detox I did from Fresh Juice Bar in JLT.
JUICING DAY 1
I received my freshly cold-pressed juice and smoothie pack the evening before so I was all revved up to begin as soon as I woke up! The 500ml juice bottles were numbered 1-6 in the order I had to drink them and had informative labels listing out the ingredients of each mix along with their prescribed benefits.
I started the day with a “Sweet Potato Pancake” smoothie which was filling and tasted very healthy and then progressed through the day with very little trouble in terms of hunger – ‘snacking’ on juices every 2-3 hours. In fact I did not, during the whole three day juice cleanse, feel hungry at all… more on that later.
Day 1 in my opinion had the tastiest mix of juices and smoothies and I enjoyed all of them, ending the day with a cocoa-infused mix of cashew nut milk. The cashew nut milk was a constant every night, with the label informing me that its amino acid content helped regulate one’s sleep and mood. Sounded perfect.
JUICING DAY 2
I woke up very early with a slight headache. But this disappeared instantly after my first juice of the day – the “Creamy Red” smoothie made with banana, beets, apple, avocado and yogurt (so not completely dairy free), which was one of my favourites. While I was never hungry, the food obsession that I’d noticed the day before was off the charts on day 2. I found myself thinking of food. All. The. Time. I even dreamt someone placed a fistful of M&Ms in my hand the night before (Sad but true). This particular side-effect could just be a personal one as I am pretty food-obsessed anyway, but it was not fun watching TV and only noticing the kitchen and dining scenes.
I ended the night with my vanilla and cinnamon cashew nut milk with slightly less enthusiasm than the evening before (despite the fact that I actually thought the mix was tastier). But on the whole the day was a success. I got everything I needed done, I was convinced I was doing my body some good (placebo or positive thinking, you decide).and surprise, surprise - I was a kilo lighter. Yay!
JUICING DAY 3
Day 3 was the hardest. I woke up with the thought "I really cannot be bothered doing this anymore", quickly followed by "There is no way I can drink another bottle of cashew nut milk." I then thought "I just need to power through!"
Thankfully it was a work day and after drinking a thick and very healthy looking "Power Juice" featuring every green thing you can imagine from avocado, marrow, spinach to broccoli, I worked my way through the first day of the week and my last day of my juice diet. I could concentrate perfectly and only briefly felt a tiny episode of dizziness which was the only spell I had in my entire 3 days of not eating a single solid meal.
The drinks on Day 3 I personally found the hardest to get down - not for any particular reason but bad associations. It had one drink featuring lemonade and cayenne pepper (bad memories of that Master Cleanse diet day!) and the Herbal Power Juice that was my dinner tasted rather too herbal for me. (It did taste super healthy though.) I also didn't get through my entire bottle of strawberry flavoured cashew nut milk. I was actually too full from drinking some of the other juices too late in the evening.
Juice diet done, I went to bed happy and slightly smug that I had actually finished the entire 3 days without sneaking in a single cracker.
I lost weight, around 1.5 kilos in 3 days (I'm guessing most of that was water and it will probably creep back as I return to a normal diet, but it still felt good.)
I did feel clearer headed and the fact that I was doing the good deed of feeding my body so many nutrients anyway made me think I should go all the way and exercise as well. So I did my recommended 30 minutes on the treadmill.
Fresh Juice bar's juice detox package uses a mix of 80-20 veggie-to-fruit juice with a total calorie count of around 1900 a day, so it is not exactly a calorie restricted plan although I believe special blends can be made for those wanting to lose weight. As mentioned before, losing weight isn't really the prime aim, it's more about giving your body a boost of healthy and healing goodness and resetting your relationship with food.
On that note I think the package worked 100%. Since coming off it I have been more careful about what I eat. (Although I have to confess I did not break the juice fast in the recommended way of eating fresh and preferably raw fruits and slowly introducing lean protein over the course of a few days. I went full protein with a breakfast of scrambled egg with a hint of chorizo, onions and tomatoes (I did stick in some veggies so I guess that's ok?) I have to confess that I didn't enter the juice diet the recommended way either. I ate a whole Singaporean Chilli Crab complete with soft steamed buns the night before starting the package. I am very glad I did as the crab would have haunted me for the whole of the next three days otherwise :)
The daily pack intersperses juices with thicker smoothies containing bananas and avocados and a nut milk at night which leaves you fuller. Many of the "juicy" juices also had veggie and fruit pulp so your body isn't completely starved of fibre and the nut milks and addition of ingredients like peanut butter in at least one of the smoothies (the Chocolate PB Green Bomb - actually one of my favourites, despite featuring the unlikely combo of spinach and peanut butter) meant you also get some protein.
The juice packs got delivered daily all ready to go which meant I really had no, problem fussing over prepping and juicing my own drinks. And I really liked the funky, colourful labels with encouraging descriptions at the back about how the contents of each bottle would do me good in different ways.
As mentioned before, I thought a lot about food. Not in a "I'm hungry and want to eat some dim sum right now" way but just constant contemplation which was a bit strange, even for me.
If I cared more about calories I would have liked to know exactly how much each bottle contained. Thankfully I don't care too much.
Finally, it was the sheer boredom of drinking just juice that was the ultimate negative. I like cooking and variety in my meals, so while having everything ready to gulp down was a huge time saver, ultimately I missed looking at a plate of different ingredients.
So did I think it was a success and worth the trouble? Definitely yes. It felt good to actually stick to a diet - for once, even if it wasn't aimed at weight loss - and the thought that I'd eaten just vegetarian food and in effect turned almost raw vegan for 3 whole days (bar that one bottle with yogurt) felt like a huge healthy achievement for a true-blue meat, dairy and fish eater like me.
Would I do it again? A one day juice fast - definitely yes. Two days - perhaps. Three days - I would think harder about it. Five days - I would personally not do it as I don't think I could get through five days without looking at a plate of food even if I ultimately eat less each day. As it is, I had to trick myself almost every lunch and dinner time by drinking the juices out of a bowl almost like soup (the Pepper Infusion Juice proved best at fooling my brain - it tasted almost like gazpacho).
My advice - for very green juicers like me, go for anywhere between 1-3 days. Unless you really are a health fiend or don't particularly care about food.
You can always juice your way up to 5 days, a week or even months. For me 3 days proved the magic - and satisfying - number and a great way to kick start my plans to get healthy before my summer break next month :)
A big thank you to Fresh Juice Bar for providing the 3 Day Detox Package which retails on the market at AED595 - (Which incidentally is significantly lower than most other juice detox brands I could find in Dubai). I came across the brand at a yoga workshop and loved their inventive flavours. It was also one of the few juicing companies in Dubai that provided a mix of smoothies and juices, which for me was a crucial consideration. I know my own limits!
Happy Juicing! And do share your juicing experiences, good or bad :) Would love to hear about them.
There used to a point in time when I knew exactly where in Dubai I wanted to eat next. A list – perhaps 5-6 restaurants or cafes deep – that was easy to manage. And recall.
In the past couple of years that list has grown a lot longer. Part of the reason for that has been the fact that I have had less reason to regularly go out for a meal in Dubai. But a bigger reason is the fact that there are sooooo many new restaurants and dining experiences popping up across the city every week I have honestly lost track.
This September I will mark 10 years in a city I wasn’t really planning on staying in for more than 3. Arguably it has been a decade in which Dubai has witnessed the biggest changes in its history.
When I arrived in 2005, Sheikh Zayed Road – Dubai’s lifeline – was amongst the most dangerous roads to drive on in the world. There was no metro. The world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, was just a series of renderings and concept notes. There were no Smart City Initiatives, no Salik (the divisive road toll introduced in the famously tax-free city), no Palm Jumeirah.
I have watched – and as someone working in communications – marveled at Dubai’s spectacular launch onto the global stage.
My first job in the city required me to drive past the Burj Khalifa (then the Burj Dubai) each day, allowing me the opportunity to track its progress daily as storey after rising storey stacked itself up into a glimmering needle point.
I watched the heart-stopping pyrotechnic show that marked the opening of The Atlantis and simultaneously cemented Dubai’s reputation as the fireworks capital of the world, and also saw the gradual decline in the weight of Property Weekly - the popular real estate listing supplement - as ads for shiny new apartments dried up during the recession.
There was just one airport. And it wasn’t the world’s busiest – yet.
When I arrived in 2005 Dubai was not the gastronomic capital of the Middle East. That title belonged to a city with a history older than four decades. Somewhere like Aleppo or Cairo, steeped in centuries of rich culinary traditions.
But what Dubai lacked in age, it has rapidly made up for in diversity and opportunity. No other city in the Arabian Peninsula has its breadth of authentic cuisines, or its height of headline-grabbing dining concepts. No other Middle Eastern city has seen leading international chefs descend in droves to set up outposts of their famous London, Sydney or New York restaurants literally in the middle of the desert.
I am not complaining. As a foodophile, I enthusiastically celebrate the addition of every new restaurant – big or small – to this city that seems constantly hungry for more. Tapas bar opened by a chef with El Bulli creds? Great! Ethiopian coffee and popcorn dive tucked into the backstreets of Deira. Sounds interesting. New K-Pop joint? Bring it on!
But for every new shutter that flies up, the law of the land states – even a land in which whole new districts regularly spring out of virgin sand – there’s another slowly sliding down. And it’s these sad shutters I want to remember today.
Anyone who has lived here will know that you need to be comfortable with saying goodbye in Dubai. Things change. What’s here today is often gone tomorrow. Friends, jobs, buildings, parks (yes iconic Safa Park – whole swathes of you will be sorely missed!) disappear. Hulking chunks of mega malls get swallowed up in scaffolding overnight to emerge shinier and more impressive a few weeks later. Exclusive new boutiques and clubs open to the flash of society photographers and the old ones vanish in a blink of an eye.
So, much as I love the newest additions to the city’s dining choices – its organic food markets that have enlivened weekend mornings across the city, its food trucks and secret suppers, and its packed calendar of food festivals and promotions – I will hold a fork up to my long-gone favorites.
To The Coconut Grove – that little outpost of Konkan coastal delicacies on what used to be called Diyafah Road - with its glass-walled views over minarets and blocks of traditional low-rises – that always seemed like the perfect spot to enjoy a taste of my real home in Goa and my adopted one in Dubai.
To Aussie Legends – the laid-back Australian pub just a few floors down that played host to many winning pub quizzes that have filled my brain with a load of useful and not so useful trivia.
To Sino Chai – The Taiwanese dim sum joint oddly tucked away in Dubai Healthcare City that I discovered while searching for places I could buy real Taiwanese clay teapots.
And to the numerous other restaurants, bars and cafes that have been renovated to the point of being unrecognisable, dumping memories of meals enjoyed with friends who have long since left Dubai with remnants of discarded bits of furniture and crockery.
I will happily admit that I am as fickle as the next person when it comes to chasing Dubai’s latest foodie fads. But in a city whose moniker is a melting pot, I have to admit that many of my fondest Dubai memories have been cooked up into oblivion.
I broke two of my cardinal holiday rules early this month.
One, I took a staycation.
Two. I didn't leave the resort I stayed at all day.
Now, that may not seem like such an unusual activity, but I have often been accused of not knowing how to relax. If I have two days off, I will try my best to pack as much as I can into them. Midnight flight out of town on a Thursday, a packed city-break with a return at 7am on Sunday morning? That sounds like I could just about make it back in time and head straight to work. Booked!
Stay in Dubai when I had actually booked 3 whole days off? Let's just say it's not the way I usually plan my holidays.
But... I had a rather tempting reason to stick around town. A night at the newly opened Four Seasons Resort at Jumeirah Beach beckoned. I would have happily stayed there when I did a hard hat tour around the half-finished hotel last year. A chance to check out the completed version seemed like reason enough to break a lifetime's worth of staycation-scoffing habits. (And let's face it, there is something incredibly satisfying about taking a mid-week break in a beautiful resort in the city you normally work in. It just seems doubly rewarding sitting in a Jacuzzi when you could have been sitting at your desk.)
All I can say is that if you are like me and the thought of an exotic holiday ALWAYS seems better than the thought of a relaxing staycation in Dubai (even with the multiple hours spent at the airport, packing, unpacking and frantically finishing work fearing no access to WiFi over the weekend) then you haven't tried a staycation at the Four Seasons.
Also, having had a peek and a taste of the lunch menu at Sea Fu - the resort's beachfront seafood restaurant - on a previous visit, I couldn't wait to check it out in greater detail over dinner.
It's been a while since I have looked at a menu and almost every page has got me excited. As someone who could happily live off seafood for the rest of my life, a selection of dishes almost exclusively composed of fish, crustaceans and shellfish, coupled with inventive Asian-influenced flavours (like pineapple XO sauce and ponzu vinaigrette) seemed like a refreshing break from the rather uninspiring grill-heavy choices one usually comes across at many seafood restaurants in Dubai.
We started with pan-seared Duck Foie Gras and Abalone with artichoke, garlic puree and parsley butter and Marinated Mackerel, accompanied by a socca (chick pea flour) galette, sweet onion escabeche and a Thai Basil vinaigrette. The oily mackerel's sweet sharp vinagery notes reminded me of the flavours of cured boquerones (the restaurant does claim a Meditarranean influence too) and were a great start to the meal.
But the real highlight was undoubtedly the mains - we picked the Roasted Chilean Bass with azuki red beans, lotus root and Balqees honey and the Seared Black Cod with sweet carrot papaya salad, beansprout and yuzu dressing and I spent much of dinner alternating forkfuls of tender flesh from the two plates trying to decide which was my favourite (I think the Chilean Bass edged out the competition by the teeniest degree at the very last minute).
Dessert was another triumph with a selection of unusual flavours including a Beetroot, Coriander and Wasabi cake served with a palate-burstingly fresh beetroot and raspberry sorbet. (The sorbets at Sea Fu are my personal favourite - just drenched in flavour and incredibly refreshing. The lunch menu has a Citrus Salad served with orange and cinnamon sorbet and star anise dressing that is a real sweet and delicately-spiced treat!)
After dinner, having made slightly falsely-laid plans to check out the Dubai skyline from Mercury Lounge - the resort's stunning rooftop vodka bar (which turned out to be shut that evening as it was a Tuesday) we ended up instead at Hendricks Bar, the cosy, leather-ensconced gentlemen's bar leading off from the lobby with a truly inventive G&T menu featuring everything from gin infused with sochi, basil and roses (I opted for the latter and was very happy with the massive fish-bowl-style G&T I ended up with).
The resident mixologist infused our chosen gin with various botanics at our table using a fascinating contraption called a hot siphon and then mixed a zesty Cherry Negroni as a night cap to send us on our way (I think I will be heading back for another look at that gin-infusing machine.)
The piece de resistance of the resort is of course its gorgeously airy and elegant rooms looking out over the moonlit Gulf. And that Four Seasons bed!
I think Four Seasons Resort Dubai may have converted me to becoming a believer in the staycation ;)
PS: For someone who usually can't wait to head out the door and check out the city the minute I check into a hotel, one of the biggest factors that kept me happily indoors was the resort's amazing spa. (Ok, and the fact that I have lived in Dubai for almost a decade and have traipsed around Jumeirah plenty of times!) But I could happily sit in that spa for hours. A steam room maintained at the perfect temperature to melt muscles without cooking them through, a sunken Jacuzzi, a shower that you can set to rain down on you like a Caribbean Storm (complete with thunder and flashes of lighting) or a Tropical Burst (with twittering jungle birds providing the soundtrack) and an ice room where you can scrub yourself with ice chips while being blasted with chilly air reminiscent of a Siberian Night - this staycation came with a lot of arm chair (or maybe that should be shower cubicle!) travel perks..
A few weeks ago I attended a fun "Food Photography on Your Phone" session led by my favourite Dubai food photographer Sukaina Rajabali at GPP. In between a host of useful tips on how to get the best light, angles and set-ups, one slide in the presentation really hit home.
It simply said "Eat Your Food" - urging food photographers to stop stressing about styling the perfect looking shot and making sure every crumb is exactly where you want it to be, but rather to capture food in the moment. Raw. Messy. So delicious you couldn't wait long enough to actually take a picture without taking a bite out of it first!
As a serial food photographer while on holiday, Sukaina's advice on capturing food while you are in the process of eating it is something I completely relate to. Food photography on the go doesn't always give you the space or time to line up the perfect shot. You are often ravenous, have a party of fellow travelers who aren't ready to wait for you to take your pictures while their food turns cold, you need to wolf down your meal because you have a bus to catch... there are practical problems!
Also, half the fun - for me at the very least - is capturing the interaction between the food and the people making or eating it, the bustle of the marketplace, the lay of the table, the natural play of light and shadow on a dish. These elements aren't under your direct control - you often have to make do with what you've got.
Many of Sukaina's tips on taking great images of food on one's phone were directly relevant to travel food photography.
The basics like looking for great light, composition and the rule of thirds, and capturing photogenic textures, colours and points of interest all hold true.
But there were a few specific pointers that I thought would prove particularly helpful when trying to capture great food images on the fly.
Move away from the table
It may seem counter productive, but actually moving further away from the food could give you a more appetising picture, especially when photographing brown food and gravies in countries like India and elsewhere in Asia that don't stand up too well to the macro mode. The pulled out shot also allows you to incorporate interesting elements on the table - place settings, the furniture itself and so on that can really create a sense of place.
Fill the Frame
While focusing on individual plates and dishes can result in stunning images, capturing a table full of food has its own power and a multiplicity of dishes creates real impact when photographing certain cuisines such as Middle Eastern mezze, Chinese dim sum or a dessert platter. Filling the frame also works well when photographing busy market stalls offering a variety of colourful produce. So many things to eat, so little time!
See the Light
Sukaina pointed out that getting your food lit from one light source helps deepen and create interesting shadows. It's something most people do unconsciously when framing a great shot, but being aware of light sources can immensely improve the quality of your pictures - enhancing contrast and minimising distracting reflections caused by overhead lighting bouncing off shiny crockery and cutlery.
To Sukaina's expert tips, I will add my own - specifically on the topic of travel food photography.
Don't forget the People
Food - its sourcing, preparation, rituals and enjoyment - is a people-driven activity. Food exists solely to nourish and relish so make sure the people engaging in these activities are a part of the equation when taking photographs of food. As mentioned before, the interaction between people and plates is a fascinating one and an evergreen subject for the avid food photographer.
Follow the Process
The process of food production and preparation involves a whole load of implements and tools - they make incredibly interesting subjects. Hand presses, mass machinery, cooking and brewing utensils, special transportation - all fair game. Add to that the various stages through which the food itself passes through on its way to your mouth - bales, sludges, bunches, bundles, chopped up morsels of flesh and prettified parcels - and the world of food provides endless fodder for the hungry photographer.
Look for the Unexpected
Like all good travel photography, it's not about capturing the picture-perfect cliched postcard shot, it's about telling a story. Good travel food photography like all good photography captures moments in time and provides an entry point into a culture or an individual life. Look for the unexpected subject, the decisive moment a la Henri-Cartier Bresson and the stories that haven't been told a million times over.
And finally, put the camera away when it's finally time to tuck in!
What are your top travel food photography tips? I would love to hear them.
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