James Beard Award Win!

James Beard Award New Midwestern Table coverThe James Beard Awards were held last night and I am thrilled to announce Amy Thielen‘s New Midwestern Table won in the category of American Cooking! I am so glad she chose me to photograph her book.

Big thanks to our fantasic stylists Kendra McKnight and  Alison Hoekstra.

Amy is a fantastic writer, and now also a television host of her own show. Congratulations, Amy! Well deserved.

Below are a few of my favorite shots from our book.

James Beard award for Midwestern Table

More from the Midwest

I am sorting photos from my archive to update my website. This afternoon I am revisiting images from my trips to Minnesota, for Amy Thielen’s New Midwestern Table (Clarkson Potter, 2013). Such a beautiful place. I will make a new posting when my website has a flush of new photos.

The New Midwestern Table

A few shots from Amy Thielen’s New Midwestern Table (Clarkson Potter, 2013). Since we did the photography for her book, Amy is now a host on The Food Network. Her show is called Heartland Table, and it is terrific. In the first episode – dedicated to butter – she shows the cooking of her grilled new potato and onion dish (photo below). Everything she cooks looks so delicious.

The New Midwestern Table Cookbook

This is a book I have been outrageously excited about sharing. For this book, I visited the Midwest three times, and I toured Minnesota and the surrounding states with author Amy Thielen through three different seasons. The book is officially available in a few days, and I will upload some of my favorite images soon!

The New Midwestern Table cookbook cover photographed by Jennifer May

Shooting a Midwestern Cookbook, Part 3

I love location-based photo shoots, and location-based cookbooks are the best. Not only do we shoot a whole lot of delicious food, but we travel around to meet local people, see local sites, tell picture stories, and capture the essence of a place. I spent this past week with Amy Thielen in Minnesota, on the third and final shoot for her upcoming cookbook (Clarkson Potter). This trip was all about winter.

We went ice fishing on a frozen lake with a local guy, visited a survivalist-style bunker stocked with hundreds of jars of home-preserved foodstuffs, hosted a garage party with a bonfire in the snow, and joined the crew of a local logging mill for their monthly soup day.

Amy Thielen, Midwestern cookbook, jennifer may
Here I am riding on the back of a quad on a frozen lake in Minnesota, returning from ice fishing
Guest quarters feature a heated & lit out house. A fun adventure at midnight in winter.

 

More Adventures in the Midwest

I spent part of last week with Amy Thielen, back in Two Inlets, Minnesota. We got up at dawn every day and drove around the northern part of the state, taking photographs for her upcoming cookbook. We visited a 100-year-old fish-smoking house, fishermen on Lake Superior, farmers, and more of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes. Such beautiful country.

Driving through fields, chasing the dawn light.
A farm in Minnesota with chickens, horses, ducks, turkeys, kittens, and a toddler running around in a kind of harmony.
Flying out of Fargo, North Dakota

Fermented Meat & Smoked Trout

Driving around Northern Minnesota for a couple of days with writer Amy Thielen, seeing sights, tasting bites, and making photographs for Amy’s upcoming book on Midwestern cuisine (Clarkson Potter, 2012). This evening we stopped on the rocky shore of Lake Superior for a quick dinner of bison pastrami, elk summer sausage, and smoked trout from Lake Superior. Tonight we sleep in a lakeside hotel. Tomorrow we watch the fishermen haul in their catch.

Shooting a Midwestern Cookbook

Sitting at the Ladyslipper BnB in northern Minnesota, going over today’s shot list with food stylist Kendra McKnight. We are deep into our 8-day shoot, making a cookbook about the cuisine of the Midwest for Clarkson Potter. Every day we cook & shoot in a hand-built log cabin in the woods. The nearest town is 25 miles away, there is no cel reception, and everyone in these parts seems to forage & fill their pantries with seasonal specialties: raspberries, chokecherries, wild rice from the river, and as a treat, crayfish. Really getting into this frontier lifestyle.

Food stories in New York's Hudson Valley and beyond from photographer Jennifer May