It’s what you’ve all been waiting for… Some behind-the-scenes snippets from the shoot for my new book ‘Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook’, which is out next week by the way! Here’s part two of the trailer to get you in the mood:
You know how they say behind every man is a strong woman…well behind every successful food writer is an impeccably talented and team of creatives making sure everything is perfect. From left to right we have: Tamsin English (my editor for this book while my usual editor, Lindsay Evans was on maternity leave), John Hamilton (Art director and also author of 100 cookery postcards), David Loftus – food photographer extraordinaire, Lydia Brun (prop stylist), Frankie Unsworth my good friend and food stylist, me! and Helen Vass (food assistant). Note: this is just the team behind the pictures. Theres’s a whole fantastic team of people managing sales, marketing, PR, distribution and much more back at Penguin Random House HQ.
You might be looking at the picture above and thinking ‘that’s not your little kitchen!’, well you’d be right – it’s not. I’m good at working in small spaces, but not sure how it would work shooting a book in my small flat! So, instead we shot all around London for the book, and had use of this beautiful big, airy house with a lovely garden for part of the time. It also had lots of lovely features, which lend well to styling photos successfully i.e. big tables, work spaces and other nice features (like in the picture below).
It’s not just the way food looks which makes a successful recipe (they say we eat with our eyes first), but it’s also all the other components, from choice of plate, to how it’s served, what surface it’s on, lighting etc., that make a real difference. Thankfully we had access to a beautiful array of crockery, utensils and other kitchen bits and bobs, like pestle and mortars, jugs, spoons and trays to help make this happen.
Props are also a big part of this and the assortment of lovely vintage pieces we had for the book were so delightful. From fabrics to serving trays, I was super happy with the finds. Here are a few of my favourites below – I particularly love the longer serving dish, with the dancing alpine figures on it. And the pom poms! Who doesn’t love a pom pom? The props are all down to the wonderful Lydia.
So what happens next? Location, team and props all secured…it’s then down to lights (well actually just natural light), camera, action. Each day we had a schedule of which recipes we’d be shooting. Frankie and Helen will be busy in the kitchen prepping, Lydia picking props, John and David discussing the shot/layout for the book while I nip in and out of everybody’s area. We all then come together when the food hits the table.
A quick discussion after whether we’re happy with the shot. Usually everything looks great but sometimes a recipe doesn’t look quite right and we might have to reshoot it (change of plate/background/presentation). Whatever happens the food always ends up being eaten (that’s staff lunch sorted out or my dinner sometimes).
And once each recipe is finished, it’s straight onto the next shot. I’ve been really privileged to work with David on my books, he has a seriously good eye for making things look delicious and the master of shooting quickly (we do 10-12 recipes a day)!
There you have it, a peek behind the scenes of my new book! Can’t believe it’s out next Thursday (in the UK, Australia and New Zealand), doesn’t quite feel real yet. If you want to pre-order a copy of Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook, you can do so by following these links:
And there’s still time to get your orders in to Books for Cooks if you’d like a signed copy – all the details are here (they’re taking orders for all my books).