When Cammie from Epicure Catering reached out to me asking if I would be available to photograph this dinner it was truly an honor. The Birds of a Feather dinner began last year and the idea is to celebrate women in the food and beverage industry in Traverse City. So female chefs, servers, bartenders, designers, managers, and more come together to put on a multi-course menu for 60+ guests. The dinner was hosted at one of my very favorite TC spots, The Little Fleet. The menu featured a passed appetizer from Katy Viswat of 7 Monks, an appetizer course from Kristen Karam of K2 Edibles, a salad course from Becky Tranchell of Rose & Fern Cafe, the main course by the season 16 winner of Hell’s Kitchen, Kim Ryan, and the dessert course by Becca Snook of Alliance. Unique cocktails were created by a number of female bartenders, staff members, and owners of local restaurants. The design concept and decor came to life thanks to Darling Botanical and the entire event was supported by a number of other amazing hardworking women. A portion of the proceeds even went to the Women’s Resource Center. It was truly a pleasure to be a part of this event. Stay connected via a new FB group for Northern Michigan Women in Hospitality.
When my friend Julie became a mom she was looking for quick, healthy, meal options that didn’t contain any artificial sweeteners or additives. She began making smoothies and pretty soon the idea for her amazing company, The Purple Beet, was born. Now, alongside her husband Ryan and two sweet kiddos, Julie offers smoothie packages that contain only real ingredients. All you have to do is blend them with one cup of a liquid of your choice and that’s it. And there is no ice required because the packages come to you frozen! You can sign up for a smoothie subscription on the website! So when Julie asked me about collaborating with her I was super excited. I get to play with fruits and vegetables and sample 8 different smoothie flavors?! Yes please. We brainstormed the look we were going for, Julie & Ryan created a custom backdrop for this shoot, and then we spent hours carefully styling the ingredients that go into each smoothie recipe. It was so bright and colorful and I always love playing with food ;)
My friend Julie is building a really amazing business - with the help of her whole family ;) The Purple Beet is a company built to make sure you have quick, easy and healthy food options ready to go at a moments notice. I am especially excited about her new smoothie subscription service that allows you to select your favorite smoothie flavors and have them delivered to your door. Keep them in the freezer until you are ready to go. I can’t wait to make this a part of my routine and you should definitely check it out. We’ll be working with Julie and her family again in the coming months and I can’t wait to share more!
The Gather Series is one of my favorite little slices of Summer. A lavender farm in Northern Michigan, a table full of smiling people, an amazing carefully crafted multi-course meal, and of course wine. Sweetwater Lavender Farm is a magical spot and I feel so lucky every time I get to hang out there. The fantastic vendors for this meal include: Petoskey Cheese, Bear Creek Organic Farm, D&M Design Co., S2S, The Bow Tie Baker. Soak in some Summer vibes....
Lee and Amy asked a small group of their closest friends and family to gather at the Boathouse Restaurant in Traverse City for their wedding. It was such a privilege for us to document because it could have just been any old Tuesday night for us... and instead we watched two people make a commitment to each other in a beautiful place, with lovely people surrounding them. They drank champagne and ate delicious food and chatted together and watched the sunset over the water. Sometimes the simple things aren't really that simple after all - they can be filled with meaning and magic. Cheers to Lee and Amy!
A year ago we started working with Paddle Hard Brewing, helping them create and refine a logo, produce a video for their Indiegogo fundraising campaign, and photograph the build out in progress. Paddle Hard is officially open for business and has been featured on MyNorth.com.
Here is the link to the article! Check it out and head on over to Paddle Hard Brewing for great eats and beer! More photos from the finished space are in the works, so stay tuned.
I have spent my whole life around water, growing up on a lake in Northern Michigan and learning to scuba dive at age 13. But until I moved to California, I had never seen the Pacific Ocean. There is definitely something different about the Pacific in Northern California. The cold water, and the dramatic way the land just kind of ends, dropping off into a huge expanse. There are also interesting areas where the ocean meets the land, and merges with freshwater. Tomales Bay is one of those places, and it happens to be a great place to farm oysters. I could never get behind the whole raw oyster thing as a kid - even though my dad loved them - but as an adult living in the bay area and working at Fish. restaurant, it was only normal that I give them another shot. Needless to say, by the time Mike and I moved back to Michigan I had developed a love of oysters - raw, barbecued, and fried - and I know they will be some of the first things on my plate during our next visit.
Before we left, I worked on a piece in Edible Marin & Wine Country with writer Maria Finn to tell the story of Hog Island Oyster Company and their efforts to raise awareness about water quality and ocean acidification. The company is truly one to admire; family owned, with a huge fan base, and an expanding garden to supply the need for greens at their oyster bar in the SF ferry building and Napa restaurant. For their 30th anniversary they released limited edition oyster shucking knives, t-shirts, and a special Hog Island Oyster Wine. Continuing to do great things, John Finger and Terry Sawyer lead the way, aided by their children, wives, and good friends to build a business that celebrates a truly regional cuisine and advocates for sustainability and environmental stewardship. Cheers to Hog Island - Live to Shuck, Shuck to Live.
To read Maria's article online, check out the link here.
I've had the pleasure of working with Francesco Torre since my days at Fish. Restaurant in Sausalito. Francesco opened his restaurant, Canneti Roadhouse Italiana, in Forestville, CA with so much heart and hard work. Canneti prides itself on using the freshest local ingredients available to create a unique blend of Tuscan and Californian cuisine. Each dish is so thoughtfully crafted, delicious, and visually beautiful. This was a fantastic project to work on - in addition to photographing the restaurant, I also built Canneti's website. Check it out to learn more, and if you find yourself in Northern California make sure you stop in.
"Canneti is the name of a road I used to walk to go from my parents' house to elementary school. I had a dream for a very long time, and when I moved to California years ago, I named that dream Canneti. Here it is alive with its custom made rustic tables and stools, refinished wood counters and a Tuscan Country flair. My cucina is a mix of many experiences, from a Relais & Chateaux two Michelin starred restaurant to a simple Tuscan Trattoria, a Louisiana Church BBQ to Long Island country style. As Canneti came to life, I made the decision to offer just what I experienced myself in the first place. So you will find just Tuscan and local wines in the wine list, and you will hear a true story behind every dish and decor decision".