Monday, 29 June 2015

Food Photography | A Day With a Chef

As part of a recent trip to France, a stay in Dijon was part of the itinerary. My wife Marie, to my surprise had arranged for us to join chef/eduator/author Alex Miles for a "Day with a Chef" cooking adventure. You can find out all about Alex here I can only say what a great unique experience it was.

It all started when Alex stopped by our apartment we had rented in the morning and we got a great guided tour of Dijon as we walked through historic city. Dijon certainly was a feast for the senses. 

Walking through the historic centre of Dijon. 
After a quick coffee at a cafe on Place Francois Rude we set off to explore the market and gather some fresh meat and produce for our meal we were going to prepare. I  am going to save many of my market photos for another post but the Farmers Market in Dijon was an experience of sight and scent all it's own and Alex knew his way around like a cat stalking a mouse, procuring produce from select vendors that were most local and would compliment our meal.
Just Another Day at the Cafe :-)
Inside the Dijon Farmers Market
Chef Alex at the Dijon Farmers Market.
Here we also picked out our protein for the day, fresh rabbit. We also selected two styles of fresh bacon from one of the vendors for the Rabbit braise. After the market it was on to a wine store we had discovered independently the day before, La Route des Vins, where we picked up a great bottle of Burgundy to compliment our meal. An excellent and expansive selection of wines and very helpful staff, the Route des Vins was the ideal place to get some Burgundies. Website here

Of Course with Alex Being a former Pastry Chef and me a Food Photographer we had to see some of Dijon's best treats in the area too.
Another stop on route to Alex's apartment to get some bread ( a few stops to look at pastries) and we were set to cook. Alex had a beautiful place close to the market and it was such a joy to cook in his home and meet his wife as well. One can't help but marvel at his kitchen and it's bright red professional range (which I neglected to photograph)! After a glass of Kir, a great local drink of white wine and creme de cassis, we got down to making our meal. Of course Alex the great host he was had some of his terrines handy just to whet the appetite. (not that extra food was needed!)

Alex's Home Made Terrines perfect with the fresh bread.
We began by prepping dessert which was beautiful apricot and vanilla custard tart. I won't say much the picture speaks for itself.

May as Well Show Dessert First!
Next on the prep list was our rabbit which we browned with some of the bacon and then slow braised to give a perfect tenderness. Also on the menu was medley of fresh local vegetables and mushrooms, including some very unique field Asparagus which I had never seen before. 

These wild Asparagus had such vibrant color and delicate structure to match a rich taste that was totally unique to us. 
Dishing up a fresh vegetable medley for the first course. Delicious!
First course plated and ready to go topped with some freshly baked puff pastry. 
There did come a point where I decided to forego photography in favour of savouring the experience, but I did manage a shot of our table with rabbit. It was such a pleasure to sit with Alex and his wife for our mid day feast. The conversations were as equally enjoyable as the gourmet food. 

Getting ready to enjoy the rabbit, with some unique to the area, naturally buttery mini potatoes and of course a Dijon mustard sauce for the rabbit. 
The Apricot tart was the perfect finish to the meal but...... if that wasn't enough Alex had a cheese board with about 7 local selections and some dessert samples from a previous day's pastry lesson!

 A complete cheese board after everything else! My love of cheese is second to none and I sampled all, but needless to say a nap was in order after the walk back to our rental. 
The Personal Touch, thanks Chef Alex. I hope our paths cross again.
So if you ever find yourself in Dijon, save a day and book a session with Chef Alex, you won't be disappointed, it was a feast for all the senses and a great adventure exploring a great city.

Robert is a Toronto based photographer specializing in Food, Beverage and Product work. His business is called Fulcrum Imaging and he is available for freelance work both home and abroad. His portfolio is available at

As usual our images are copyrighted . We love to have our work shared with credit but using our content for your own gain or profit is not cool.

Copyright 2015 Fulcrum Imaging and Robert Greatrix Photography.