As you may remember, several weeks ago I took 2 photography classes at the Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE). After the intermediate photography class with Chris Padgett, he mentioned that he may need an assistant to help with some food photography at an upcoming event. Lucky for me, his assistant fell ill last minute and he needed a “pinch photographer”. After learning about this amazing event, I was more than happy to fill in as amateur food photographer for the night!
Lovin’ Spoonfuls is non-profit organization founded in 2010 by Ashley Stanley to facilitate the rescue and redistribution of healthy, fresh food that would otherwise be discarded. Lovin’ Spoonfuls works with many local grocery stores, produce wholesalers, farms and farmers markets to help provide hunger relief in the Greater Boston area. They have rescued over 2 million pounds of food to date!
The culinary board includes many big names from the Boston food scene such as Joanne Chang (Flour, Myers & Chang), her husband Chris Meyers (Myers & Chang), Michael Scelfo (Alden and Harlow) and Jamie Bissonnette (Toro and Coppa) amongst others. This was the 4th year of their large fundraising event, aptly named “The Ultimate Tailgate”, consisting of multiple auctions, raffles, a DJ and delicious food from about 20 Boston area restaurants.
The event was held outside in a large, heated tent at Sam’s at Louis with a gorgeous view of the waterfront.
As you can imagine, I was in foodie heaven! Not only did I get to sample appetizers from some of my favorite restaurants, but I also had the opportunity to meet many of the chefs and unabashedly take photos because it was my “job”…and all for a good cause! Below are many of the food offerings from the night.
Tiffani Faison’s (Sweet Cheeks) shrimp boil was my favorite dish of the night.
Not only do I love shrimp (and corn, potatoes, sausage and butter) but the display was so fun and colorful to photograph…not mention that Tiffani is super nice and makes incredible biscuits!
The most interesting dish award went to Mei Mei for their Kung Pao Curry Frito Pie. Warning: fritos and any food that accompanies them may be highly addicting!
The beet tartare pictured above from Fairsted Kitchen was a play on deviled eggs. The simple combination of deviled eggs and sweet roasted beets was delicious and had me coming back for seconds! I’m going to have to figure how to make these- they would be an excellent appetizer at a holiday party.
In between preparing food, socializing and eating, the chefs also did a little goofing around!
One of the more creative dishes was the chorizo, potato and squid quesadilla from relative newcomer on the Boston dining scene, La Brasa.
At one point during the night I was surrounded by the intoxicating aroma of fried chicken, only to find myself next to these mouthwatering duck drummettes with red plum balsamic glaze from Sam’s at Louis. If I hadn’t been so full by this point (it’s easier to eat and photograph at the same time than you think) I would have taken at least seconds…and maybe even thirds.
Bergamot served a deliciously tender brisket over a bright and acidic red cabbage slaw.
Nebo was so popular with their Italian sausage, rustic broccoli rage-pine nut pesto and provolone sandwich that they ran out of sausage by the end of the night!
Merrill & Co. served up large meatballs slathered in a robust tomato sauce and topped with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
And finally, no food event with Joanne Chang would be complete without dessert!
I’m not about to quit my day job but it was pretty fun being a photographer for the night! (Hopefully I get “hired” for another gig soon!)