Pacific Northwest Vacation

I just got back from two weeks visiting family & friends on and around Vancouver Island. We took 6 ferries in 12 days and…

valdez boat access only island british columbia
Spent 3 nights on Valdez, a boat-access-only island
that has no electricity or fresh running water
but is deluxe all the same
We sourced goods from local islands
camped on a hill in a tent that became target practice
went fishing
and rested in a hammock overhanging a cliff.
Back on Vancouver Island, my dad and I visited what used to be our front yard
butterfly brand smoked scallops on the beach
and had a snack.
pork roast rotissserie
My mom and step-dad hosted a pork roast
and invited the neighbors.
fishing on salt spring island bc
We took a ferry to Salt Spring Island where my brother tried to catch a fish
and later I swam with my sister.
Off to Deep Bay on Vancouver Island where my second family lives
fresh caught prawns to grill
they caught a whack of prawns and grilled us a feast.
Then we took one last ferry on the way to the airport.

Butchers with Style

Two of my favorite people, Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura, have finished their internship programs at Fleisher’s and are moving to Los Angeles to open their own sustainable butcher shop. In the next few weeks they are signing the lease on their building, getting married legally in Connecticut, driving across the country, having a wedding ceremony on the west coast, and opening their new shop, Lindy & Grundy’s Meats. I will miss them, but it is California’s gain.

Check out Amy Scattergood’s post on the LA Weekly blog (with more photos of Erika & Amelia).

Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura of Lindy & Grundy's photo by Jennifer May

Kripalu Cookbook

Hot off the press: A cookbook published by the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health – the largest center of its kind in the United States and located in the rolling hills of the Berkshires. I photographed the dishes, executive chef Deb Morgan and helpers cooked, Jessica Bard styled, and it was overseen by Kripalu creative director Elena Erber. May the recipes inspire clean eating everywhere.

Kripalu Seasonal Menus cookbook photos by Jennifer May
The cover of the Kripalu Seasonal Menus cookbook

The Kripalu Seasonal Menus cookbook photos by Jennifer May

Prison Food

For a recent issue of Edible Hudson Valley, writer Lee Bernstein and I visited New York’s medium security Fishkill Correctional Facility for a tour of the kitchen, messhall, and food storage rooms. No food is actually cooked on the premises – it is prepared off-site, trucked in, and the packaged contents are heated in large stainless steel tubs and served by inmate staff. Meal names are often glamorized (“creamy chicken dinner” consists of bagged chunks of soy protein mixed with bagged white powder, plus water). For the full story see the Summer 2010 issue of Edible Hudson Valley.

Left, an officer makes sure each utensil is accounted for. Right, an inmate who works with the special dietary meals.
In the locked utensil room: Utensils are kept on a shadow board, to keep track of them.
An inmate cook prepares hot dogs for lunch. Hot dogs are one of the more popular items - along with pizza and chicken.
An inmate maintenance porter fills a kettle with boiling water, which will be emptied into buckets and used for mopping the messhall after lunch.
Signage in the hallway
A kosher meal, pre-heating
Left, tables and stools in one of the large messhalls, moments before inmates arrived for lunch. Right, creamy chicken dinner, before it is prepared for serving.

Artisanal Vinegar

For the July 2010 issue of Chronogram magazine, I met a Benedictine monk who makes artisanal vinegar at a monastery in Lagrangeville, NY. Read Peter Barrett’s full story here.

Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette a benedictine monk who makes artisanal vinegar
Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette at the monastery near Poughkeepsie, where he lives and works. Brother Victor is also shown in the garden where he grows and harvests herbs to flavor the vinegars.
Apricot vinegar and special reserve vinegar - produced, aged, and bottled on site at the monastery

Elephant Wine & Tapas Bar

The Elephant Wine & Tapas Bar, in Kingston, NY, is located directly across the street from Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats. This is convenient as that is where chef Rich Reeve sources much of the meat on his menu. He buys the inexpensive cuts and turns them into adventurous tapas dishes. The menu changes regularly, but one night’s offering included beef heart tacos, lamb sliders, “porchetta” roulade, Basque style bbq lamb ribs, and crispy blood sausage. I spent an evening speaking to and photographing chef Reeve and will make a complete post later, but for now, one of my favorite dishes of the evening, bone marrow:

bone marrow as cooked at the Elephant Wine and Tapas Bar in Kingston NY

Oyster Farmer, PEI (Audio Slide Show)

On Prince Edward Island, Canada, oysters are harvested today much as they were 100 years ago. Oyster farmers float above oyster beds in dories, and they use long forked tongs to collect the shellfish from the red sandy bottom below. On board, they sort the oysters by shape and size, and pack them into crates. Here is a glimpse into one oyster fisherman’s morning on the sea, when the spring season opened this May.

Audio Slide Show – Oyster Farmer (1 min)

Philip Buote, oyster fisherman

Ceviche

Kendra McKnight, of Magpie Kitchen, introduced me to mackerel ceviche. It was a refreshing homecoming after a week of butter-dipped lobsters and clams, cheese-baked oysters, and cream-based mussel chowder on Prince Edward Island. I borrowed her recipe and lime-cured a version.

Tuna ceviche

Rhubarb

After a week-long journey – by train – to Prince Edward Island, Canada, to photograph oyster, mussel, and lobster fishermen with the chefs and writer of the Joe Beef cookbook, I stayed with friends Kendra & Joost in Montreal.

Kendra just finished a two year stint at a culinary school and she has been cooking private parties around Montreal and styling food for magazines and newspapers. We photographed the food she cooked for us to eat. For this rhubarb tart recipe visit Magpie Kitchen

Rhubarb from the market
Rhubarb chunks and sugar for roasting
Rhubarb tart with a cream cheese & whipped cream filling
At Kendra’s house Rhubarb tart is the first course of three for breakfast

Mojito Time

While wandering around Rhinebeck, NY, shooting a story on the town, I visited the Blue Cashew Kitchen Pharmacy. The staff was squeezing limes for the mojitos they were preparing for the annual Taste of Rhinebeck event that night. This shot probably doesn’t sum up Rhinebeck enough to make it into the magazine, but it is a reminder that summer is on the way.

A fresh lime simple syrup

Mint

At Mint Premium Foods in Tarrytown, NY you may trip when reaching for an obscure food product on the haphazardly stacked shelves, but it might be worth the risk for all the fine cheese you will sample while tending your bruise. Shot for the Spring 2010 issue of Edible Hudson Valley.

Owner Hassan Jarane used to be a photographer in Manhattan, until he got tired of lugging gear around
Maria and the rotisserie filled with spiced chickens
Shelf stable

Joe Beef Cookbook

On location in Montreal, Canada on a shoot for the Joe Beef Cookbook we are doing for Ten Speed Press.

Signage and shadows
Updating the menu board is a daily task
Food looks beautiful on these white dishes with scalloped edges

North Winds Farm

Obviously, I don’t shy away from meat. But like so many others, I was a strict vegetarian for almost a decade. Luckily, there are now sources to buy meat that comes from well cared for animals that lived decent lives. On a recent shoot with farmer Richard Biezynski at North Winds Farm near Tivoli, NY, he told me if he hadn’t become a farmer, he would have been a vet. On season, you will often find me visiting his booth at the Woodstock Farmers’ Market.

Farmer Richard Biezynski and his son, Russell, at Northwind Farms, where they raise pigs
Food stories in New York's Hudson Valley and beyond from photographer Jennifer May