Metropolitan Opera New Menu

Just before the July 4th long weekend, I did a couple of photo shoots at the Metropolitan Opera. One shoot was to update their restaurant’s website with new menu items. I am posting two dishes that speak to me. The salad on the left is the reason why I own a mandolin slicer. I love those thin circles of radish, beet and cucumber. This salad inspires me, and I will be riffing on it in future salads. The dish on the right is a spring pea risotto with red-veined sorrel and fiddle-heads. Photographing these dishes beneath the 30-foot Chagall painting was definitely memorable.

food at the met opera

IACP Award for Chelsea Market Cookbook!

IACP Chelsea Market cookbook award Jennifer May The 2014 IACP awards were just announced, and I am excited to report that The Chelsea Market Cookbook won the award in the Best Compilation Category! It is the story of a place, with 100 recipes from purveyors and restaurants including Sarabeth’s Bakery, Buddakan, and Lucy’s Whey, and includes recipes from guest chefs such as Bobby Flay and Hugh Acheson. I spent a good portion of last summer photographing the market in action, and recipes in the studio. The book is written by Michael Phillips and Rick Rodgers, and is published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang. See the cover here, and some interior images below.

Chelsea Market Cookbook

I am so excited to announce the publication of the Chelsea Market Cookbook (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, October 2013).  It seems like last week, but it was actually last summer that I was running through the market, photographing as many vendors as I could schedule on a tight timeline. From Sarabeth in her bakery, to the infamous “knife lady,” it was a blast.

Chelsea Market book cover

Alliance for Downtown NY Annual Report

I don’t always shoot food! I also do a lot of portrait-based work. This spring I did 12 location portraits of New Yorkers for an annual report for the Alliance for Downtown New York. It was a blast running around Lower Manhattan, meeting all kinds of people in their environments. Here is a snapshot with some favorite pages.

The Alliance for Downtown New York photographs by Jennifer May

Promos for a New Restaurant

The Fourth is a new restaurant opening in mid-May 2013 on 4th Ave and 13th Street in NYC. It is attached to a new Hyatt boutique hotel, and they called me to do some promo shots for their website, publicity, and branding. We shot interiors, exteriors, food, and environment for two days. Here are some favorite images.

The Fourth, restaurant, NYC, photo by Jennifer May, food photographerThe Fourth, restaurant, NYC, photo by Jennifer May, food photographerThe Fourth, restaurant, NYC, photo by Jennifer May, waiter, food photographerThe Fourth, restaurant, NYC, photo by Jennifer May, food photographerThe Fourth, restaurant, NYC, photo by Jennifer May, food photographer, interiorsThe Fourth, restaurant, NYC, photo by Jennifer May, food photographer, New York CityThe Fourth, restaurant, NYC, photo by Jennifer May, food photographer, sorbetThe Fourth, restaurant, NYC, photo by Jennifer May, food photographer, exterior signage

Guy Gourmet Cookbook

Here is a sneak peek of a cookbook I shot for Rodale in the fall. Quite a shoot: we photographed these recipes in Manhattan days after Hurricane Sandy. The city was still recovering… but the shoot went on. Look for the book in May.

mens health, rodale, jennifer may, cookbook, food photographer

Men’s Health, CIA & Sandy

It’s been a busy few weeks! Hurricane Sandy, a Nor’Easter, a cookbook for Men’s Health, and currently working on a project for the Culinary Institute of America. All the while running all around NYC and the Hudson Valley with Babes. Here is a document of events, in images:

In Williamsburg with Babes, after racing the nor’easter so we could shoot a cookbook for Men’s Health.
Working with food stylist Paul Grimes
Summer in the studio
The first signs of sun – seen from the studio windows – after a week of storms including the brutal Hurricane Sandy
Back in the Hudson Valley. Working on a new project for the Culinary Institute of America.
Wringing out an herb infusion, CIA style.

People’s Pops Cookbook

Introducing a popsicle cookbook I photographed for the Brooklyn-based company People’s Pops. The book is published by Ten Speed Press, and is out this June. We ran around Brooklyn and NYC doing the shots for this book…we photographed people eating the popular popicles at their shop in the Chelsea Market, and from their stand on the High Line. I still dream of the plum popsicle and I will be making up a batch soon.

People's Pops cookbook, photo by Jennifer MayPeople's Pops cookbook, popsicles, photo by Jennifer MayPeople's Pops cookbook, popsicles, photo by Jennifer MayPeople's Pops cookbook, popsicles, photo by Jennifer May

Cookbooks & Bon Appetit

Last week was a hectic week amidst a hectic summer: Three trips to NYC in 5 days, twice to shoot popsicles for the Brooklyn based company, People’s Pops, and on Friday I shot my first feature for Bon Appetit magazine. Bon Appetit! What a great experience working with food stylist Simon Andrews, prop stylist Stella Yoon, and the amazing Bon Appetit creative team.

I probably shouldn’t take photos while driving, but what a dramatic entrance to the city – and totally inappropriate weather for the last day of shooting popsicles – I couldn’t help myself on the GW Bridge at 8 in the morning.

And finally, a scene from the apartment where we set up an impromptu studio for the People’s Pops recipe shots. For me, there is nothing better than their plum/sour cherry pop, although apricot/orange blossom is out of this world. Seasonal fruit + sugar + freeze: look for the cookbook in Spring, 2012, to be published by Ten Speed Press.

It takes 3 tables worth of props to photograph 10 popsicle recipe shots.


Last week marked the first of the brand new weekly Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, brought to us by the people who created the Brooklyn Flea. Smorgasburg is a small-batch gourmet-product extravaganza. My friends and I strolled through the site with fistfuls of cash and the impulse to sample everything. The mood was high and it was inspiring to see all those people on the path to creating their dream businesses. I asked many of the vendors where they made their products and 80% of them answered some street corner in Brooklyn.

Samples at Smorgasburg

There were 100 vendors that first Saturday, and there is no doubt it will become huge. The enthusiasm of the vendors and the clients is infectious. My friends and I left after a couple of hours and thought we had seen it all, but every mention I have read about it lists some other product I missed.

A vendor selling two bowls of beans at Smorgasburg

Some of my favorite samples include: luscious whole grain Tin Mustard, grapefruit marmalade from This & That Jam, Hot Fireman’s Pear Jam with Chipotle & Cinnamon from Anarchy In a Jar, and an icy cold glass of rhubarb & star anise soda from the Brooklyn Soda Works was good for sharing.

This & That Marmalade at Smorgasburg

When we had our fill of taste testing and people watching at Smorgasburg, we walked over to Spuyten Duyvil and cooled off with pints in the courtyard garden. A great day in Brooklyn.

A pint at Spuyten Duyvil, to drink in the courtyard garden
Food stories in New York's Hudson Valley and beyond from photographer Jennifer May