Guest Post : The Food and Photography of Chef Simon Sperling
I have to admit now that it was a wonderful blessing the day that I saw this on my dash “aperture24 started following you”, this was back in July of last year. All I saw was an icon of a man with a camera that covered his face. And so I visited his blog and immediately I was inspired! I saw proper photographs of plated dishes (fantastic food photography), street, landscape and travel photography… really a cornucopia of awesome visual images all neatly cataloged in one blog.
Then I started to investigate who is the photographer behind all that tasteful food shots (although I already have an inkling that it must be someone very well connected with the food biz).
I stumbled upon this link on his blog About Me and my guess was right on the money!
The man behind the blog aperture24 is Simon Sperling a “well-seasoned” Chef with a very impressive resume, holding the Executive Chef position throughout his culinary career in the kitchens of luxury cruise ships and top hotels all over the world.
Elements Magazine: Exclusive Interview with Simon Sperling
Simon Sperling is a chef cum photographer who loves traveling and has a brilliant portfolio of food photography! He has very kindly agreed to an interview with us and believe it when we say that he is talented! Not only that, he has travelled the globe and he was also based in Malaysia for a couple of years and has showcased wonderful food.
- I was born and grew up in the south of Germany . I didn’t really enjoy school, but life sort of started during my chef’s apprenticeship. Food, people, creativity, ideas and lot’s of activities, I loved it.
After apprenticeship I went to work for a year in Geneva , a city I love and remember until today. A few years on, back in Germany , I finalized my master chef title and was looking for new experiences.
I ended up working on a cruise ship for Celebrity Cruise Lines, based in Miami , as Executive Chef. Here I met my love, we stopped cruising and got married in Las Vegas!
We went to Asia and I worked in the Philippines , China and Malaysia for a few years. Best time of my life, also as my son was born in the Philippines . Next stop was the Mediterranean, Africa and the Middle East region, where I am until today. I had the pleasure to work at the fabulous Anassa resort in Cyprus , followed by a classic, the Oberoi’s Mena House near the pyramids. Just imagine looking out of the window and seeing the pyramids everyday.
Then we experienced a completely different environment on the beautiful island of Mauritius . Didn’t stay long though and moved on to Saudi Arabia, where I worked a few years in Jeddah, where I was opening chef for the Waldorf Astoria Collection hotel, the Qasr Al Sharq, or Palace of the Orient.
Recently I worked again in Egypt and am now in Kuwait . Let’s see for how long…I want to see more of the world and take photos of it.
I try to keep my life simple, live healthy, love my family and help others where I can.
Read more of this interview here
(Source: www.elements-magazine.com - May 19, 2011)
I said that it was a wonderful blessing to have met Chef Simon here because since following each other he has been sort of a Chef mentor to me. And almost everyday, I get my dose of original food photographs to promote and share on #food.
He was the one who also made me discovered (without him being aware) the wonderful and most supportive community of photographers here who in return discovered me and my blog and all made an exception to follow a food blog girl… most photographers are now my friends here.
To visit and browse through Chef’s Archives or click his Tags tab, one can instantly travel to all the places he has ever been… a good way to exercise after seeing all those pictures of fine food he constantly stock his blog.
Chef is also a constant Top Contributor on #Landscape page because of his stunning photography of Kuwait and other Middle Eastern cities landscapes.
And finally, I couldn’t let this awesome opportunity end without including this wonderful recipe so graciously shared by Chef Sperling himself.
The Food and Photography of Chef Simon Sperling… Brilliant and filling to our sense of sight.
All Photographs are owned and copyrighted by Simon Sperling (aperture24 + Follow)
[Alain Ducasse in his restaurant at The Dorchester, Photo by Toby Glanville, 2010]
Alain Ducasse: Honest Opinion
The Michelin-Starred Chef Dishes Out Choice Tips
French chef Alain Ducasse is one of the food world’s most dazzling success stories. His vast culinary empire lays claim to three-Michelin-starred restaurants, but it’s his humble beginnings growing up in a family of farmers in the South West of France that provide the key to his cuisine’s appeal: a blend of extreme sophistication and local, “honest” basics. NOWNESS met up with Monsieur Ducasse at his tasting of The Dorchester’s Winter Menu, to discuss cooking for Brits, dim sum in Hong Kong and cheap comforts in France.
How did the dishes in the tasting measure up?
The spicy scampi ravioli was a success. The Jerusalem artichokes with bacon were perfect, in my opinion. On the other hand, the roe deer was a little too firm, and might have needed a bit of a boost. It should be cooked more quickly, without burning the pepper, which can be tricky.
How do you adapt your recipes to an English palate?
When you cook for the Brits, you have to give them intense tastes. The influence of Indian cuisine is considerable; it has affected their taste buds. Today, they want seasonings with an attitude. You need bold flavors, which are also decipherable. It has to be clear, honest.
What do you look for in a perfect dish?
It has to be delicious! It should be perfectly cooked and seasoned. When eating it, one should feel an immediate palatable pleasure––not unnecessary complications, just pure, instant delight.
Are you able to eat simple foods despite being surrounded with such sophistication all day?
You know, gastronomy is neither simple nor sophisticated; it’s either good or not. A restaurant should try to be the best of its genre, [and do it] with sincerity, quality and in harmony with its environment.
Can you name a particularly memorable gastronomic experience?
When I was in Hong Kong, I had an incredible dim sum meal in a simple canteen.
How have eating habits evolved in France since you first started cooking?
Fast foods are increasingly popular because of the lack of decent snacks. If cafés valued the young generation as an important customer and offered affordable options, there would be less people at McDonald’s. Bistros should offer cheap, quality sandwiches––because €10 is an awful lot of money when you’re a student.
What is the one ingredient you could never live without?
There are two: olive oil and fleur de sel (hand-harvested French sea salt). I use olive oil to cook and season, although you should be careful not to heat it too much.
Do you have a recession budget meal tip?
Eat vegetables. Buy a couple of leeks from your local farmers’ market. Make sure you clean them well and slice them; then, steam cook them and sprinkle olive oil and sea salt, and voila!
Molecular Gastronomy - Cuisine R-EVOLUTION
TRULY ASIAN… OR MY VERSION OF IT