He is my best friend, brother and a very skilled fashion photographer… Many years ago he told me that we should collaborate on an experimental photoshoot for Mido Eats (as a Chef). Like I always do, I said: “Yes! Let’s do that some time.” And then I got lost in my daily life, which lead to him persistently criticizing my food photography, because he knew that I can do better.. or rather that HE can do better. His name is Abdallah Rushdi and last week he finally ordered me to get my act together and produce a five course menu of my own creation to be styled by myself and shot by him.. in one day. Yeah, he’s a fashion photographer and he doesn’t cook (or even eat for that matter), so I had to convince him to take it down to three courses. #facepalm
After a few sleepless nights and brief revisits to my culinary roots, I conceptualized the following Asian fusion menu:
Salmon Teriyaki on Spinach & Pea Puree
Chocolate Moon Cupcake with a Saffron Whip
Japchae is a Korean glass noodle stir-fry, that is typically made with beef. For the sake of breaking the convention, I changed the protein to shrimp; in attempt to bridge over to a Thai glass noodle salad and make it ‘fusion’.
Salmon Teriyaki is a Japanese dish that is typically served with a side of steamed rice. Here, I added a European twist by layering a pea puree to impart some creaminess as well as a fresh pop of green in the dish.
For dessert, I completely re-invented the Chinese Mooncake, which is traditionally a cookie stuffed with a dark, sweet bean paste and a whole, salted egg yolk to resemble the full moon when you cut it in half. To make a Mooncake you would need quite a few difficult to obtain ingredients as well as an actual physical stamping tool that compresses the cookie into its typical shape and engraves the top of it with an intricate design. My Chocolate Moon Cupcake on the other hand, is a simple cupcake that I have filled with a ball of sweet & salty yam paste to give a similar visual effect as the traditional Chinese dessert. I also reached out into the far west and borrowed some color from India to create a yellow, saffron whipped cream.
Plating was also a bit of a challenge, because I wanted to go a little fancy schmancy and give Abdallah something that is worthy of being captured by his lens. Selecting the right plates and shopping for garnishes was one of the most time and effort consuming tasks of this whole process. But thanks to my very dear friends at Floradise, I managed to get all my props ready in time! #semi-hug
So here it finally is… #TheFoodPhotographyExperiment
More images to be posted on Instagram soon! And hopefully more food photography experiments to come. A BIG Thank You @abdallahrushdi x