MAWFF debrief

Two weeks ago 60+ chefs and 23 winemakers from around the world convened in seven counties in four states in the Midatlantic region on the U.S.’s east coast for the fourth annual MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival. I have had the privilege and honor of being one of a handful of photographers enlisted to help cover this marathon 4-day long festival since it began.

Here are a few humble snapshots from this photographer’s point of view:

(more images can be found on Instagram by following @Alessandra_Official)

a Night in Shangri-La in Nectar Restaurant, Berwyn PA

Von Buhl brut sparkling Riesling (Germany) started off the Night in Shangri-La dinner held as part of the 4th Annual MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival

MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival 2015 “A Night in Shangri-La” ::Third Course by Chef Laurent Leveque:: Seared New York strip and octopus carpaccio, Barolo star anise reduction, confit potato, poached shallots, morels. Paired with: 2014 Sula Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, 2013 Chateau Lagrezette Purple The Original Malbec

MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival 2015 “A Night in Shangri-La” ::Fourth Course by Chef Patrick Feury:: Tea-smoked squab, parsley and garlic sausage, rainbow Swiss chard, red beet dumplings. Paired with: 2006 Domaine Kikones Limnio, 2008 The Old Faithful Shiraz

MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival 2015 “A Night in Shangri-La” ::Fifth Course by Chef Douglas Hernandez:: Tiramisu, espresso-soaked biscuit, marscapone mousse, caramelized white chocolate, espresso sauce. Paired with: 2012 Savage White, 2013 Rioja Vega Red Tempranillo-Garnacha

        

Duncan Savage, Head Winemaker (CPV), Owner / Winemaker (SW) for Cape Point Vineyards and Savage Wines – South Africa

Eduardo Sáinz of Príncipe de Viana in Rioja, Spain and winemaker Duncan Savage of Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek, South Africa pose for me at The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival’s Winemaker’s Dinner at a private residence in southern Chester County, PA

::Second Course by Chef Gyanendra Gupta:: Fresh mozzarella and tomato salad with pine nut pesto. Paired with: 2013 Cape Point Isliedh, 2013 Hook & Ladder Chardonnay. The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival’s Winemaker’s Dinner at a private residence in southern Chester County, PA

::Second Course by Chef Gyanendra Gupta:: Fresh mozzarella and tomato salad with pine nut pesto. Paired with: 2013 Cape Point Isliedh, 2013 Hook & Ladder Chardonnay. The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival’s Winemaker’s Dinner at a private residence in southern Chester County, PA

::Third Course by Chef JD Morton:: English pea soup, lardo, charred ramp oil, shad roe bottarga. Paired with: 2013 Rioja Vega Red Tempranillo Garnacha, 2008 Kikones Ippeas. The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival’s Winemaker’s Dinner at a private residence in southern Chester County, PA

South African winemaker Duncan Savage talks wine with the guests at The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival’s Winemaker’s Dinner at a private residence in southern Chester County, PA

Chefs enjoying a rosé break at The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival’s Winemaker’s Dinner at a private residence in southern Chester County, PA

Chef JD Morton plates the third course at The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival’s Winemaker’s Dinner at a private residence in southern Chester County, PA

A beautiful, wise old tree that deserved to be photographed 💕 The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival’s Winemaker’s Dinner at a private residence in southern Chester County, PA

Chef Fabio Raiola of Italy at The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival’s Winemaker’s Dinner at a private residence in southern Chester County, PA

Chef Fabio Raiola of Italy at The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival’s Winemaker’s Dinner at a private residence in southern Chester County, PA

::Fourth Course by Chef Fabio Raiola:: Veal fillet with crust of beans and brown sauce with dried tomato pesto. Paired with: 2013 Chateau Lagrezette Purple The Original Malbec, 2013 [Ee’Z] Zinfandel. The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival’s Winemaker’s Dinner at a private residence in southern Chester County, PA

Chef Fabio Raiola of Italy at The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival’s Winemaker’s Dinner at a private residence in southern Chester County, PA

Chef Gérard Ménétrier of France treating the guests to the Fifth Course: Butter biscuit with caramel mousse, flambéed apples. It was paired with: 2006 Old Faithful Shiraz, 2013 Lagarde Malbec. The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival’s Winemaker’s Dinner at a private residence in southern Chester County, PA

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Zuppa Toscana, a recipe for staying warm

While spring is struggling to maintain altitude in the northeast and midatlantic, we are keeping hearty soups on the menu. It was below freezing last night, will be again tonight, and again this coming weekend! Philadelphia forecasters warn that we won’t be able to put our snow shovels away for good until after April 15th! 

Here is a photo from a lighting test for an upcoming cooking shoot on an icy day in southern Chester County, PA recently. This is Chez Dejardins’ Zuppa Toscana, a similar recipe below.

    

 Zuppa Toscana 

  • 1 pound(s) Italian Sausage (spicy)
  • WE RECOMMEND Esposito’s sausage, located in the heart of Philly’s Italian Market mmm
  • 4-6 Russet Potatoes :bite sized cubes
  • Onion :minced
  • 1/4 cup(s) REAL bacon pieces
  • 2 tablespoon(s) Garlic :minced
  • 32 ounce(s) Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 bunch(es) Kale (or Swiss Chard) :destem & cut/torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup(s) Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 tablespoon(s) Flour

Prep Time: 20 Minutes 
Cook Time: 5 Hours, 30 Minutes 

  1. 1. Brown sausage links in a sauté pan.
  2. 2. Cut links in half lengthwise, then cut slices.
  3. 3. Place sausage, chicken broth, garlic, potatoes and onion in slow cooker.
  4. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and meat.
  5. 4. Cook on high 3-4 hours (low 5-6 hours) until potatoes are soft.

  6. 30 minutes before serving:
  7. 5. Mix flour into cream removing lumps.
  8. 6. Add cream and kale to the crock pot, stir.
  9. 7. Cook on high 30 minutes or until broth thickens slightly.
  10. 8. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.
  11. 9*. Serve with Alsace, stoke the fire in the fire place, and nosh leisurely while gazing out over the hilly serenity of quintessential horse country in southern Chester County, PA
  12.   
  13. *substitute for enjoying the best of your unique surroundings 🙂

A Day in the Life … Running around in Philadelphia

I often freelance in Philadelphia for a friend of mine who is the editor of a popular online food and entertainment website. This is a literal snapshot of a day in the life of a freelance videographer / photographer.

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First we began at 9am with Brad Spence at AMIS (412 South 13th Street – amisphilly.com) and filmed the making of a Turducken.

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Brad carves up the finished version of the two Turduckens that were prepared for the shoot.

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The finished result, Turducken with a Cranberry Mustård

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AMIS’ busy kitchen during the daytime preparing for dinner service.

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Brad and my editor, Adam, chatting about the industry, the big topic yesterday amongst many people involved with food being NYTimes’ Pete Wells’ scathing article about Guy Fieri’s Time Square bomb. (read here)

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the quintessential Center City snap

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Next, we headed to Philly-famous sports outfitter Mitchell & Ness (http://www.mitchellandness.com/) to pick up some threads for our next project.

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My editor was assigned a light editorial piece in anticipation of Sunday’s Philadelphia Marathon and our job was to go “carb up” at 5 Philadelphia eateries.

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My editor dressed as a marathon runner and holding an iced latte from Elixr (207 S. Sydenham St. – www.elixrcoffee.com)

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First stop was Pizzeria Stella (2nd & Lombard – http://www.pizzeriastella.net)

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Pizzeria Stella’s Rigatoni Bolognese

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I photographed my editor in a small stunt using pizza boxes outside the restaurant.

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Next we headed to Market Street for my personal favorite Old City restaurant FORK (306 Market St. – http://www.forkrestaurant.com/)

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…and then to South Philly for THE INDUSTRY (1401 East Moyamensing Avenue – http://theindustrybar.com/), lambs neck gravy with grilled baguettes and some pushups.

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over to charming restaurant LE VIRTU (1927 East Passyunk Avenue – http://www.levirtu.com/)

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one of Philadelphia’s infamous urban murals outside of Le Virtu

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Lastly, we photographed these at VERNICK in Rittenhouse Square (2031 Walnut Street – http://www.vernickphilly.com). Pumpkin butter and Squash toast and Pea and Bacon toast (tasted like split pea and ham soup, mmm!)

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My editor reviewed some of the still shots I took throughout the day. We debriefed and then he left to edit the photos and caption them for his deadline. This is the most difficult part for me as a freelancer: walking away from my files and allowing someone else – someone who doesn’t typically – edit them.

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My phenomenally empathetic boyfriend treated me to a bottle of one of my favorites at dinner back at home so that I could wind down from such a hectic and long day of shooting over in Philly.

Yesterday came and went, and this morning my professional work (as opposed to these Instagram snaps) was published for public consumption on the regional and national branches of my editor’s site and my fears were confirmed. Oh well! It was a fun, exhausting day of running around in the cold in a great city and getting to do one of the things I love best.