Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Just Splendid

Have you seen the new Splenda commercial on tv lately? I worked on the ad a couple of months ago with the talented team Reelgood and Bonfire. It's always amusing to work with a hand model and check out how perfect their hands are and how well they look after their money makers. I most certainly wouldn't get the job, what with all that washing up I do. My dear hands did get to do all the very controlled Splenda sprinkles from out of shot though. I'm good at Splenda sprinkling me. Well, after rather a lot of takes.

Commercial story board

Director Aidan keeping tabs on the strawberries with body doubles lined up in the background ready to be sprinkled on.

Hand model doing her thing


Monday, June 21, 2010

The Food of The Tudors

I see The Tudors is back on our screens. Here are some snaps from my food file archives from working on Series 1.

Also, here's a blog post from Delicious magazine about food in film. Two well known and respected film food stylists in the UK, Debbie Brodie and Katherine Tidy are quoted in it. I had great pleasure in assisting them when I was 'growing up'. I worked with them on movies like Cleopatra, Tenth Kingdom, The Golden Bowl, Man & Boy, Family Tree, The Visitors and The Golden Bowl. Sadly all in the day when I wasn't a nutty 'photographing everything that moves' blogger and tweeter so I have no photographic evidence. They would have been so amazing too with stunning sets, costumes and of course food.

I have my memories though, with the most memorible food for film moment being at Shepperton Studios in London at 6.30am in the morning, with a stinking cold and having been up since about 4am to get there on time. Then, wait for it, being handed a box with a wild boars head in it, which had just been freshly 'done' (yes, as in, beheaded) the day before, so yes, warts, fur and all. I had to rinse every last drop of blood 'through it' (from cut throat & through nostrils) to get it ready to present on a platter. Nice. See? It's not all glamour glamour around these parts!

Anyhow, speaking of glamour, Katherine didn't take me with her to the set of 'Sex & The City' in Morocco I see! Lucky Lady eh?! Must try and get some behind the scenes gossip from her...

Anyhow, in the meantime, enjoy Season 4 of The Tudors!

UPDATE: Yes, hot and flushed tweeters I can confirm that JRM is a total dish....got up close but sadly not personal. I did chat to him briefly, but I imagine the smell of Tudor food from me most likely put him off!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pecha Kucha turns Foodie

Huge group hug for the 20 speakers at last weeks final Pecha Kucha. What a great, inspiring, good feeling, one big happy family event! As I said in the previous post, PKN6 was to be the last, and in total about 70 'creatives' had their 6 minutes and 40 seconds on their soap box over the last year. So by the last night everyone in the audience was extra supportive because they had either been up there themselves or their nearest and dearest had.

The evening started with a very funny, dead pan presentation from Artist Teresa Nanigian and ended on a very hilariously weird, but high all the same, taped head performance from 'cool guy' Hugh Cooney. In between we had lots of fun learning more about the weird and wild creative past of Illustrator Steve Doogan, stylish things that rock stylist Angela Scanlon's world and what it's like to be cute little people like daydreamers, Arsheen & Anahita. See? A weirdly wild and ecclectic mix and that wasn't the half of it!

I threw some food into the mix and made myself right at home while chit chatting by doing my usual 'cooking at any opportunity'. A bit of a departure for the PK stage I gather. Thankfully, the end result of what I was making wasn't too important, as it was certainly a multitasking challenge to speed talk to slides and cook at the same time (I know, I didn't think that would be too much of a challenge for me either, but it was!). There was flour flying everywhere and by the end I had got so over-excited, I was jumping around clapping that everyone in the audience was going to get a 'chewy chilli chocolate chit chat cookie'!! Check me out (& go easy on the comments!)...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fabulous Foodie Fixtures

Summer is a great time of year in foodie diaries. The country is brimming with abundant Farmer's Markets and Food Fairs and Festivals. Did anyone make it to Sheridan's Food Fair last week, the same day as the launch of The Point Village Market or the bank holiday weekend's fabulous Bloom in the Park? Bloom had a great 'Love Irish Food' area exhibiting some of their member brands. Speaking of which, there are also some great food initiatives going on now too. So, this is a bit of an all encompassing foodie round-up I guess.

The 'Love Irish Food' campaign has really taken off with more and more Irish Brands coming on board. They have a powerful message.. "Did you know that if just one third of households in Ireland (that’s 400,000) spent an average of €1.67 more on an Irish item each week for a year we would generate €35 million for the Irish economy". I remember the 'Guaranteed Irish' campaign launching in the 70's having a strong impact on me (and at such a tender young age!), something that is engrained in me ever since so it's good to see this surge or Irish pride and support for our own (struggling) economy once again. Just like old times eh? By the way, you can print off recessionista money off coupons on their site here.

Also, of course it's still not too late to grab tickets for next weekends Taste of Dublin. Check out their site for exhibitor and restaurant listings and chef demo timings also. Superquinn are sponsors of this years event. Check out their demo area where I believe you will be able to preview some of the snaps I worked on for their new upcoming cookbook.

Some Foodie campaigns going on at the moment include Bord Bia's Fish, Surprisingly Simple campaign. Hit the link to check out some fishy recipes. Also, their Best in Season competition for strawberry week is underway. Send a photo of you enjoying strawberries and you could win a €500 all for one voucher. The Irish Heart Foundation have linked up with Safefood and the HSE for their Healthy Heart Eat Out month this June. Their main message this time is 'small portions' (something I must admit I'm not great at but will be more mindful!). Participating eateries nationwide, which you can find listings of here, are encouraged to provide heart healthy choices on their menus.

Localmarkets.ie sounds like a very exciting prospect hopefully coming your way soon, unless you are in Cork, where the site has kicked off already. You can have a wide selection of local produce delivered to your door within 24 hours for €7.95. The service hopes to expand to other counties soon. Check out their site for more details.

'My chef at home' is a new to me website with contact details for the likes of chefs, cookery school, event suppliers and also artisan producers. Apparently they are going to put together a list of food bloggers also! Check it out. Also, check out the newly launched Kilkenny Food Trail for perhaps an Irish holiday this summer?

The Slowfood Sugar Loaf Club has organised a movie viewing on Sunday 27th June at 4pm at the big screen in Brookhall at Macreddin Village. "One food documentary, one food movie, together with slow nibbles, slow wine and slow friends". Contact aislingnicra@gmail.com to reserve tickets which are €10 for members and €15 for non-members.

Finally, are you all set for Streetfeast on the 18th of July? It sounds like a fantastic concept, organised by a group of young volunteers, to bring communities together through the medium of food! You can join one or organise your own, have it in a car park, community centre, your garden or well, a street. I'm loving the idea and am dreaming up decorating banquet tables with pretty fabrics, hanging bunting from the trees and of course...the food. Click the link for the lowdown.

Do you know of any other upcoming 'fab foodie fixtures' that I've missed out on?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pecha Kucha Night 6, Dublin

click to make bigger & see the full listings

This coming Thursday (3rd June), the final Pecha Kucha looks like it's going to kick off the bank holiday weekend with a bang. It will be the 6th PKN put together by the talented guys at The Small Print and The Irish Architecture Foundation. The event actually started in Tokyo in 2003 with a gathering of creatives and designers as a bit of networking. It has since travelled the world in a simple format where creatives 'chit chat' (the meaning of Pecha Kucha) to their 20 slides for 20 seconds each. The idea is that it stops people from talking too much and just getting to their point. Good idea!

So, speaking of talking too much, this is where I come in. I'm one of the chosen few (well ok, 20) being put to the test of cramming in as many of my 20,000 daily allowance of words into the 6 minutes & 40 seconds. Yes, my name is in lights with the creative movers and shakers of the design community here in Dublin. It's going to be an exciting night with a collection of photographers, fashion journalists, art directors, architectures, designers, jewellery designers, illustrators, artists, daydreamers and of course little old me banging on about...well, food. For fear of potentially boring myself and an audience of 300 (eek), I have a little multi-tasking performance up my sleeve. Never one to make things simple for myself me.

Anyhow, hopefully you can make it and join in the fun! See you at the Sugar Club, 8 Lower Leeson St. Entrance €5...Doors open at 7pm with kick off at 7.30pm.