If you follow my blog, or if you know me personally, you know that I love to document my own food adventures. From the creation of a cake, to get togethers with special friends, to spontaneous dinner parties, to the simple making of a cup of coffee, I often get caught up in the beauty of the process. Some people get caught up in a shiny bauble. I get caught up in a shiny coffee bean. I have learned to indulge in my preparation; to take my time, look, feel, smell. With small, uniform cuts or shreds or chops, my cutting board itself becomes something to photograph.
Equally as compelling is watching others, who also have a penchant for the world of food. And recently, I had the distinct pleasure of capturing Chef Heidi Fink at work. For the past 2 years, Heidi has been the winner of the ‘Best in the City’ Cooking Class and watching her this day allowed me to see why.
Heidi is funny. She is dynamic. Completely gregarious, with a smidge of shy. She is born to do this – to interact, to teach, to offer what she knows to others. I know my way around the kitchen to be sure and have a fairly extensive knowledge of foodstuff, so I was excited to walk away from Heidi’s class with new information. How to properly cut a lime in order to extract the most juice, to always add garam masala at the end, where to buy the best spices, rice, fish sauce. I sat, as the photographer, behind 9 others and observed and learned (and ate).
Heidi is at home in a commercial kitchen, and makes you feel as though you are in her home as well. She specializes in ethnic cuisine. She is messy. But it doesn’t phase her. She is an artist with flour and oil and herbs. Her multi-stage recipes stand strong without being too complicated. She is, to say the least, a busy person, but takes the time to shop consciously for the food she brings to her classes and clearly to her family. This is reflected beautifully in the fresh dishes she creates.
It was a good time for sure, and I highly recommend her classes. I found myself chuckling often at her warm sense of humour, and obvious comfort in front of an ‘audience’. Find more information about her and her classes here.
Heidi claims to be ‘not so photogenic’ (!!!). I beg to differ. Oh, and next time you see her, please be sure to comment on her lovely new chef’s jacket! xo