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Entries tagged with “bord bia”.


tomato corn tart

What does Irish food look like?

That was the question on everyone’s mind at the 2nd annual (hopefully!) foodie photo workshop hosted by Bord Bia last week in Dublin. After viewing the Google images results from an “Irish food” search, we were appalled at what the rest of the world is seeing of our beloved fare.

Unfortunately the websites coming up tops on the image searches are old and therefore enjoy a high ranking; photos of gray, unappetizing Irish stews and painfully plain-looking roasts take up the first page. But the food bloggers in Ireland know better: Irish food is now about artisan producers and organic meats and beautiful fruit and vegetables. It’s about handcrafted cheeses and luscious cakes and biscuits. This is what the world needs exposure to when it comes to Irish food.

irish foodies bord bia

We gathered to get some pointers on how we can make our food photos look even better so that we – as the food bloggers of Ireland – can pull together and get the word out. The always enthusiastic and tireless Donal Skehan went over how to use props, interesting backgrounds and perfect lighting to make our food look as appealing as possible; the wonderfully talented food stylist Sharon Hearne Smith (who worked on one of my favourite cookery shows, Barefoot Contessa) showed us how to position and work with our dishes to bring out the best colours and angles. Food photographer extraordinaire Jocosta Clarke reviewed camera settings and photo setups that will guarantee a professional-looking result.

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pork belly Beautiful pork belly by Maire Dufficy

My friends and I are dining at a restaurant, and my starter of grilled tomato atop garlic-rubbed grilled bread drizzled with extra virgin olive oil with a dash of sea salt arrives. I say something about the beautifully ripe tomatoes and note the perfect grill marks on the bread before whipping out my camera (cue collective groan from friends) for a close-up shot of the dish. I snap away, taking breaks only to rearrange the food on my plate to get the perfect angle.

This type of pre-dining behavior is not appreciated by my friends. They even have a nickname for me – Nikon (pronounced knee-con here) as I’m hardly ever without my camera. So imagine my absolute glee when I walked into the Bord Bia offices in Dublin last week and saw a room full of camera-toting foodies – I could finally let my freak flag fly! The event, sponsored by Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board) and organized by cookbook author and fellow food blogger Donal Skehan was a day of photography, cooking demonstrations, lectures, and – of course – food! Needless to say, I felt I’d finally found “my peeps.”

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