Food is such a big part of our lives in New Orleans, and food photography is one of Steve’s favorite genres. We’d love to do more of it, so we welcome every opportunity to hone our skills. So when our dear friends, Chef Fred Heurtin and his wife Paige invited us to their home in Atlanta for a fun weekend of food and photography last month, we jumped! I’ve known Fred and Paige some 15+ years now, and we used to have some great times hanging out and cooking in my kitchen when he first got out of culinary school … so I knew this would be equally fun.
When we got to Atlanta, we didn’t have a set plan as to what Fred would prepare, but rather we planned to shop for what looked good, and then follow the food from market to table! We started out early on Saturday morning at the Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market where we picked up a few fresh fruits and vegetables. And then the real fun came when we made our way to the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market, which is a literal smorgasbord of every kind of ethnic food, spice, fruit and vegetable one can imagine! Chef Fred resembled a celebrity rock star, with two photographers documenting his every move in the market, but watching his creative juices come to life as he touched and smelled the various foods was so much fun, and a huge part of the experience!When we returned back to the house late Saturday evening, we got started sorting the food from what I dubbed our “hunting and gathering” expedition. Fred decided we would jump right in that night and start preparing the first dish, a deep fried whole snapper. The fish were lightly coated, and deep fried, and drizzled with a tangy sauce of complex flavors that left us just about licking our plates (OK … I’m pretty sure I did actually lick the plate), and garnished with sugar glazed BACON. Oh yes, pair that with a couple of glasses of great wine, great company, and you’ve got a couple of happy photographers.On Sunday morning, we started again bright and early and began with what was probably my favorite of Chef Fred’s creations, a dish he calls Masquerading Bananas. And what are they masquerading as??? Why scallops, of course! The completed dish contained sauteed bananas and sauteed scallops, dressed to look alike and sitting in a beautiful saffron spiced cream sauce. Trying to figure out which was the banana and which was the scallop was fun and surprising … and it was quite delicious!Next up was a pancetta wrapped smoked tuna served over watermelon. This dish was beautiful and colorful to look at, and the taste was light and refreshing. And it went just fabulous with the Pimm’s Cup that Paige was serving while we worked!While I was at the Buford Market, there were some things that were never intended to go into any of our dishes, but were just too much fun to not buy. Can you say dragon fruit?!
Fred then delighted our eyes and our mouths with a Pipérade flat bread, with a little surprise ingredient baked inside. (He also sent us home with some of this sauce and we ate the most fabulous variations of flatbread to two days thereafter.)
And finally, there was a simple yet delicious cheese plate with a side of roasted figs and peppers. I love the simplicity of this dish and find Fred’s presentation of this dish to be one of the most visually appealing that we photographed over the weekend.We had an amazing time, and are so happy and grateful to Chef Fred and Paige for their generosity and hospitality. It is great to spend time and catch up with old friends, and it’s even more amazing when we can get together and share interests and talents! We thank you with all of our hearts and from the bottom of our very full stomachs!