Posts Tagged: Jennifer May

Apr 15

Easter Weekend

A weekend of cooking for friends and family. Whenever I cook for friends, I look to recipes I’ve shot for Alana Chernila’s books. This weekend I riffed on radish butter, which we photographed this summer for her upcoming title. I also made roasted & marinated eggplant from Jamie Oliver’s Italy, it’s loaded with fresh mint, garlic, oil & vinegar. We (my husband) smoked a huge brisket, delivered to our door from the Applestone Meat Company. There were cocktails around a fire, an egg hunt in snow flurries, a spring walk wearing winter gear, and general frivolity.


Apr 15

Roasted Root Veggies with Capers & Lemon

One more recipe from Ottolenghi’s Plenty, and I’ll move to another book, I promise I will try. This is an incredible way to use up the last of the winter vegetables kicking around. Chop and roast, in progression, parsnips, red onions, olive oil, thyme, rosemary, garlic, sweet potato, cherry tomatoes. Roughly chop capers, and whisk them into lemon juice, maple syrup, and Dijon. Don’t leave this hanging around on your counter through the day or I’m sure it will disappear quickly. The bite sized pieces are too enticing.

Yamcut garlic and fennelParsnipsroot vegetables

Mar 15

Caramelized, Roasted, Bitter, Funky, Sweet: Salad

Is it a salad when it is roasted and drenched with melted cheese? Probably not, but it is delicious, and I’m sure it counts as two vegetable servings. This dish is a play on one I found in Ottolenghi’s Plenty. I didn’t have endives and Gruyere, but I did have radicchios and Taleggio, so I made due. It’s so simple: Cut, caramelize, cover with sliced cheese, bake, add bread crumbs & thyme, eat while piping hot.

Radicchio SaladradicchioRoasted Radicchio Saladcut thyme on a boardTaleggio cheeseRoasted Radicchio Salad


Mar 15

Cucumber, Smashed Garlic & Ginger Salad

I always feel grounded and balanced when I’m eating lots of salad, and I’m always looking for new twists. This one, inspired from Ottolenghi’s Plenty, is sure to be repeated. The basic idea: Chop cucumber & red onion and toss into a vinaigrette of smashed ginger & garlic, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and top with roasted sesame seeds. There’s a little salt, sugar, and cilantro in there to balance out the flavors.

Cucumber SaladCucumber Salad Cucumber Salad

Mar 15

Dandelion Greens Salad

This is a riff on a salad by David Tanis from Heart of the Artichoke. I didn’t measure my ingredients, and I used white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, shallots, mustard, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme leaves. Chop, whisk, toss. It’s hearty and spring-inspired at the same time.

dandelion green saladdandelion green salad


Mar 15

Courtney Lapresi, MasterChef Season 5 Cookbook

Last year, in a top secret studio setting, I photographed the winner of MasterChef Season 5, Courtney Lapresi. Her cookbook, Everyday Fancy, will be published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang in May 2015. Courtney was such fun to photograph. She truly shines and the camera loves her. I can’t wait to see the rest of the book, for now, here is the cover.

Courtney Lapresi cookbook cover

Feb 15

Against the Grain cookbook

I am excited to announce the publication of Against the Grain: extraordinary gluten-free recipes made from real, all-natural ingredients. The book was written by Nancy Cain and is published by Clarkson Potter. I will be adding interior shots to my main website soon, but for now, here is the cover… a gluten-free breakfast pizza. Even a gluten-lover like me loved this!

Against the Grain cookbook cover

Jan 15

Citrus Season, Juice & Peels

Before and after still lifes with multi-colored juice & eating oranges, and grapefruit.

citrus season fresh fruit

citrus season fresh fruit juice salad
citrus season fresh fruit

Jan 15

Making Fresh Pasta

It’s really this simple: eggs, flour, elbow grease and there is fresh pasta for lunch. The most comforting of comfort food.

flour and eggs for fresh pasta

Jan 15

Mackerel, Mayo, Crackers

Mackerel crackers mayo

Dec 14

Maya Kaimal Fine Indian Foods

Maya Kaimal produces the most delicious jarred and prepared Indian foods. Simmer cubes of chicken in her Tikka Masala or Madras Curry, add some chopped shallot and maybe some cashew nuts, and you have a fast, healthy, and yummy dinner.

Maya wanted to do a step-by-step to show all of the ingredients that go into her prepared sauces, so she, Jessica Bard, and I photographed her making Coconut Goan, from scratch, using those components. The mustard seeds & curry leaves popped, the onions caramelized, and the spices infused the tomato and coconut. I was so inspired to watch the process that I found myself cooking her recipes all week.

cooking indian food

Nov 14

Zak Pelaccio of Fish & Game

A portrait I did of Zak Pelaccio of Fish & Game Restaurant in Hudson, NY, for the New York Times. The story – about several chefs’ fantasy Thanksgiving Dinners – is here.

Zak Pelaccio photographed by Jennifer May

Nov 14

Last Blast from the Autumn Garden

From my edible garden: Ornamental squash I planted as seedlings and unripe tomatoes that will ripen on my window ledge. Goodbye summer.

ornamental squash

Oct 14

Broccoli Rabe / Andy Boy Campaign 2

This October I photographed the second half of the Broccoli Rabe social media campaign. Check their website for recipes. Truly, broccoli rabe has changed my regular dinner routine at home. Something I now cook regularly: parboiled broccoli rabe, sausage, parm, orecchiette pasta. So, so good.


Oct 14

Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook

For the better part of October, I have been working on shooting a cookbook for The Hot Bread Kitchen. This not-for-profit bakery trains low-income, foreign-born women in the culinary art of artisan baking. Many of the breads these women bake are hard-to find regional specialties: buttery, flaky Moroccan m’smen; sesame topped Persian nan-e qandi; Armenian lavash crackers; and all kinds of challah. I could eat their heritage corn tortillas every day. I watched two women bake batch after batch from soaked whole corn kernels, and the flavor is unparallelled.  The Hot Bread Kitchen cookbook will be published by Clarkson Potter in 2015. For now, you can sample their breads at these markets.


Sep 14

Broccoli Rabe / Andy Boy Campaign

This summer I photographed a social media campaign for a vegetable. What an exciting project! We photographed all kinds of recipes for Andy Boy’s Broccoli Rabe. From ingredients, to process shots, to complete recipes, we photographed: pesto, citrus salad, pizza and a stir fry. Stay tuned, part two of the social media campaign is coming up. And meanwhile, eat your beautiful, healthful, bitter greens!

Broccoli-Rabe-pasta-2Salad - Broccoli Rabe BlanchedFusili - Almonds/Garlic/Pepper FlakesFusili - Close-up of pesto in a bowlSalad - Blood Orange Slices and Slices of cheeseBroccoli-Rabe-citrus-salad-

Sep 14

West Coast Travels

I spent three weeks in my homeland, the West Coast of Canada, this summer. We cooked, ate, swam, took pictures. Most of the time we were with friends and family on the remote Cortes Island, British Columbia – surely one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Friends, fishing.

Friends, fishing.

A friend took us on his boat to the grocery store to buy eggs & beer. On the way home we caught some crabs.

A friend took us on his boat to the grocery store to buy eggs & beer. On the way home we caught some crabs.

A friend caught a salmon, and grilled it. I adapted a recipe from Alana Chernila's upcoming book for slow roasted tomatoes & garlic.

A friend caught a salmon, and grilled it. I adapted a recipe from Alana Chernila’s upcoming book for slow roasted tomatoes & garlic.

Boats at a dock.

Boats. dock.

My sister explored the beach with my daughter.

My sister explored the beach with my daughter.

My sister.


Jul 14

Arby’s “We Have the Meats” Campaign

This summer I photographed about 30 sandwiches and some impressive meat hunks for the online launch of Arby’s We Have the Meats campaign. The shoot lasted a week, with a broadcast shoot happening simultaneously. I was lucky to work with a killer production team from Wonderful Machine and with some of the brilliant minds at the Fallon agency.

Arby's club stack sandwichArby's Reuben Super Stack sandwichArby's curly friesArby's Chicken Bacon Swiss sandwichArby's Crispy Chicken sandwich

Jul 14

My Edible Garden

When I’m not photographing food, I can often be found in my garden. This garden is only two years old, and half of it is terraced onto a south facing hillside recently overrun with barberry bushes and wisteria vines.

We grow: blueberries, black currants, raspberries, kiwi berry vine, gooseberry, tiny Alpine strawberries, and trees of pear, persimmon and native paw paw. We have flowers to attract pollinators.

I’m not serious about growing vegetables. We get more than we can eat from our local CSA, Hearty Roots, but we grow what is entertaining for a toddler to pick: pole beans, peas, and cherry tomatoes. An ornamental squash climbs a teepee.

This garden follows Lee Reich‘s weedless technique, and for about $200 I installed an automatic watering system. We turn the timer on in the spring, and off in the fall. I want my daughter to experience growing and picking food, as I did…minus the tedious hours of weeding & watering.

black currants

Black currants draped in bridal tulle to protect the berries from the birds.


bowl of berries

Study in blue: blueberries, black currants, beans.

picking peas

Picking peas at Hearty Roots Farm.

cherry tomatoes

Ripening heirloom cherry tomatoes and PJ hydrangeas.

garden flowers

Random flowers: from rose to last year’s unharvested leek bulb (right)

squash blossom

Growing up: beans and ornamental squash trained onto poles.

Jun 14

Silvercup Studios

I was at Silvercup Studios all last week working on a rebranding campaign. What a whirlwind: With the broadcast shoot on top of our stills shoot, we were a team of about 50 – including the food stylist, below, working the steamer. Updates to come when the campaign goes live.