Sunday, November 30, 2008

On the Move...

I'm off to London with work this week so have been busy planning my route to work every day. Yes, I had forgotten how hard core it was to travel there and will indeed be taking all of these modes of transport! Might have to find the logo for taxi's too! Come back next week to find out what I've been up to there....

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Move over Martha Stewart...

(C) Cliona O'Flaherty

Oh heck, on the subject of Christmas in the previous post, here is the feature I wrote for Savour magazine on how to get yourself organised for Christmas. The mag is still available in Superquinn if you want to read my ideas for being a Domestic Goddess in this festive period. My whitterings range from ideas when gift shopping, cleaning and dressing the house, a stocking up checklist and also guidelines for serving up the perfectly timed Christmas lunch, bubbly in hand.

Setting the Christmas table in November

As I've said in previous posts, Christmas just won't go away this year. At least I've had a bit of a break from it, not having cooked a turkey in about 3 weeks! We had a heavy shoot this week for the Farmers Journal Magazine as we had to get through Christmas and right into January with copy. I was helped by fantastic assistant Denise while photographer Jack had brushed up on his table setting skills so it all came together well.

Jack & Denise hard at work

Friday, November 28, 2008

cocktail sausages at the ready...

(c) Jack Caffery

...that Irish institution, the 'The Late Late Toy Show' is just about to start!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Party People

I attended a great party last weekend to celebrate the launch of The Yellow Door Cookbook. Cliona, the photographer and I headed up to the metropolis of Portadown to the launch at the deli itself. We were treated to gorgeous champagne moitos and canapes, the most memorable being the egg shells filled with white chocolate mousse (the white) and mango coulis (the yolk) - very fab & very clever!

We were then invited onto the second half of the party at chef Simon's house (well, more of a stunning wine bar than a house!) where we soaked up some alcohol by dipping into a huge paella pan on its own stove, filled with gorgeous sticky baby potatoes, caramelised onions and delicious chorizo (this was so good it even converted cliona from vegetarianism for one night only!!). Thanks to all at Blackstaff Press & The Yellow Door for a fantastic night!

Me, photographer Cliona, Simon from The Yellow Door,
Helen from Blackstaff Press & Kevin the designer from Tonic

Friday, November 14, 2008

All Packed Up

Another packaging shoot this week, this time for Roma products who are doing a whole packaging overhaul. I had a fun few days with hilarious photographer, Joshua St. John. The guys from Originate were in and out to see us and added to the giggles also, Ronan the account manager and Stephen the designer. We shot in an amazing house in Dun Laoghaire which was way too pristine and lavish to have me there with my usual boxes of clutter and food everywhere, but I managed not to damage anything, phew.

Josh looking on in amazement at how I can call
poking some rice around a real job!

rice identity parade

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Tale of The Yellow Door

I had a lovely surprise in the post today of the new Yellow Door Cookbook which I worked on during the summer. (See previous post for more info on the Yellow Door). I love it - it's a beautiful hardback, lined with fun wallpaper inside and is printed on gorgeous paper, all of which give it a really lovely nostalgic feel. The cover deign is beautiful also - I should have realised from the hint on the book launch invite I posted earlier in the week.

Me on the shoot, trying to look busy brushing a strawberry!

Pat on the back to the gang on the shoot...photographer Cliona O'Flaherty, assisted by Aoife Herrity and then myself of course, assisted by Barbara Nealon. And of course to Helen Wright at Blackstaff Press for publishing such a gorgeous book. Must get some shots on my website...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Drum Roll Please...

Hugely excited today as my website has finally gone live. Big thanks to Neil at Fuel for putting up with me on what was to be his longest drawn out project ever. I love it, I hope you like it too. Check it out at...

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Yellow Door comes knocking

I just had another lovely invite through my door today. This time for the launch of the Yellow Door Cookbook which I worked on during the summer (see photographer Cliona O'flaherty's blog for some piccies of us hard at work on it). The Yellow Door is a fantastic deli & patisserie in Belfast and Portadown...I haven't been there yet myself but if the recipes for the shoot were anything to go by it will be a real treat. I have to say it was the most consistently gorgeous food I have ever cooked for a shoot (and I piled on the pounds to prove it!). All credit to chef and owner Simon Dougan, amazing man!

Will be there with bells on!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Something to Savour

(c) Trevor Hart

I was really excited when the new Superquinn magazine 'Savour' finally came through my letterbox today. A large chunk of my life was taken over working on it a few months back,but looking at it makes the memory of blood sweat and tears (and yes, there was all of it!) fade away. It's fantastic, and all credit to Hugo Arnold at Prism Publishing for holding it together against all the odds! Thanks for the lovely credits also Hugo! Must get my website live as it is referenced in my biog.....

Bit of a Boozeup

Last night saw the second annual industry drinks - otherwise known as a food photographer and food stylist booze up. We definitely built on numbers this year which is very encouraging and everyone agreed it was nice to get together and gas about working life. Of course we moved off the subject of work also and just relaxed and had a giggle, something that was helped by family and friends being there also. Nice for a bit of freelancer's community spirit and all that. Anyhow, here's the family photo...

Around the table from left to right: Joshua St. John (photographer), Aoife Herrity (photographers assistant), Cliona O'Flaherty (photographer), Chris Judge (Cliona's boyfriend & Illustrator), Ciara (Sorcha's sister), Sorcha Meaghan (food stylist assistant), Barbara Nealon (food stylist assistant), me!, Angela (Joshua's mother in law), Diego (Harry's boyfriend), Harry Weir (photographer)

Packaging Shoot

The other day I worked on a packaging shoot for Dunnes Stores 'Simply Better' range. Eugene Langan was the photographer, assisted by John Scully. Some people make celebrities look good....I prefer to work on Prawns....

Eugene & John hard at it making those prawns look like goddesses!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cook Book and Programme Launch

I am just acclimatising back to earth after an out of this world experience at the launch of Neven Maguire's new cookbook. The celebration was held at his restaurant in Blacklion, Co. Cavan, MacNeans and the book is called 'Neven's Food from the Sun'. It was also the unveiling of his new TV series (which yours truely worked on!) of the same name.

My friend Orla (who worked on the book) and I were invited and were treated to an overnight room also so we kicked back and enjoyed the luxury. For starters, lots of pink champagne (there were gorgeous looking homemade fruit juices on offer also but I declined on this occasion) and a selection of canapes including duck wontons, mushroom risotto cakes and mini goats cheese tartlets. We then sat down to be greeted by jam packed goodie bags with lots of delicious 'Thai Gold' products, a 'Belleek' Christmas tree decoration, a fancy pen from McNeans and Neven's new book also. The evening was compered by Marty Whelan with speeches from Neven himself, Tom Doorley and the minister for agriculture. Then onto dinner...where do i start? We feasted on a banquette of 11 courses so it's easier to show you the menu.

Now you can see why I died and went to heaven! Anyhow, back to business. Watch out for Neven's programme on RTE on February 11th next year but in the meantime buy his book now in all good bookstores.