I'm not crazy about using my phone for photography. While I freely admit that it's a bit silly to carry around several black rectangles that dictate to me my life, as opposed to just one black rectangle that tells me what to do, I still appreciate a separation of my medias: music, photos, phone. Since my camera's home is on my beat up, Rubbermaid plastic folding table that I consider my desk at work and hence tends to not be with me, I occasionally find myself in need of a photo of something using my phone. At a glace, it is a peculiar set of photos, disparate, with little sense of continuity. So, I thought I'd dig through and try to explain a few.
Here, Michael McAllister, beloved cook of L2o, stands before a 10# pile of black truffles from Australia. We had bought a considerable amount towards the peak of the season, when there are "seconds" on the market; truffles that are not of a good shape or color that are nonetheless great, if aesthetically flawed. We made a gigantic batch of truffle butter, as I hate the taste of the store bought truffle butter which always is artificially "enhanced" flavor wise. One can't help but pose for such a thing.
Here's a photo of Christian Ragano, former Chef de Cuisine of NoMI and about to be chef of Guildhall, flipping me off outside of a bar on W. Chicago Ave. I'm not quite sure of how this photo came to be, lost to the camaraderie and alcohol I suppose. It is apparent from the date on the photo that it was my birthdate. Good to have Christian back in town.
This is a picture of a veal breast dish that I was testing for L2o. The dish wasn't working, I was unhappy with the lingering connective tissue left in the veal breast and I didn't feel that the dish represented anything new in regards to my cooking. I would later retinker the clementine component along with the sweet potato puree into a pigeon dish that I was more satisfied with. They don't all work out, it's knowing when the idea just isn't strong enough in the first place and when to abandon ship.
Probably what I use my phone's photography capabilities most for is sending pictures of product that I'm unhappy with, as I can't link my camera directly to the internet. Here is a picture of European loup de mer which has lots of broken capillaries, probably due to very poor handling on the boat. When blood is allowed to leach into the flesh of a fish, it kills the flavor of the fillet, nevermind an unattractive look. This is me communicating that I won't be paying for this fish.
August 28th, 2012
This photo I sent to a purveyor to convey what I meant by Merlan. No, I'm not looking for juvenile whiting ( and yes, I understand that the caption under the photo says "whiting" but it's a mistake in translation which is exactly the problem that I was having with the purveyor), but Merlan from the Channel. Fish ID is often troublesome when dealing with transcontinental fishmongering, usually the Latin name is used to clarify translation issues.
A shot of the cheese counter at Zingermann's in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My wife and I were up to Ann Arbor to get my sister settled for her first year of college at U of M. We went for lunch at Zingermann's and I had no idea what I was in for. An unbelievable operation, I was just flabbergasted. Awesome.
A Hobart stand mixer wrapped in plastic wrap at Charlie Trotter's. I was shopping around the kitchen with Michael Rotondo, who was kind enough to let my souschef and I have a look to see if we would like to grab some smallwares before the whole thing went up for sale publicly. I'm still saddened that this restaurant is gone.
A photo that I sent Ryan LaRoche, chef of NoMI and all around fantastic human, of me writing him in for President of the United States on Election Day 2012. I'm still disappointed that "Punch Yourself in the Face for Four Years" wasn't a ballot option in this category.
A picture of a crabcake from G and M Restaurant in Linthicum, Maryland. The greatest crabcake on the face of the earth. Not in any way up for debate, just be quiet.
This is one of the worst things that can happen to you as a cook on your day off, the chef texting you a photo of your product being wrong. Here, I was irritated that the pain au lait are clearly not cut straight, so hence, they are not proofing straight. It probably killed Dave's day off (who is doing a great job at the bread, don't get the wrong idea).
A picture of the daily selection at Grand Central Oyster Bar. I'm very passionate about oysters, and it was a real treat to spend an hour eating oysters at one of America's great institutions.
The last image on my phone at the moment is from the farmer's market in Santa Monica. Tom Lents, chef of Sixteen Restaurant and old friend from Vegas, knows a great deal about California produce and was showing me and my wife around. Another talent that I'm happy to have in Chicago.