A few weeks ago, I had the chance to travel to the Shakotan Peninsula in Hokkaido, Japan to photograph sea urchin fishermen and the dishes that local restaurants are creating with the unique delicacy. I traveled from Sapporo to Otaru, and from Bikuni to Hakodate, shooting craggy, rock-strewn seascapes, chefs at well-known sushi haunts, uni straight from the water, and scenes of local life in all of the small towns along the way. Here are some of the outtakes from the trip. Visit my website for more travel photographs from across Asia.
Just a quick image from a job yesterday with Angelina Restaurant in the Sofitel Metropole hotel in Hanoi. I’ve been photographing chef Egidio Latorraca’s food for over a year now, and it’s always nice to catch up with him and see his new dishes when I pass by the restaurant. This time around we shot seven dishes or so, including the above: chocolate and coffee mouse with a fried apple crisp and berries. More to come.
Vietnam is obsessed with food, and food writers are obsessed with Vietnam. So I end up with a lot of smaller, cuisine-based assignments here. Above are some recent outtakes. They’ll be a bit too gritty for newspaper publication, but I really like them. This is what dining in Hanoi looks like to me. It’s nasty, crowded, street-side and alive. It isn’t pho at the Metropole or steamed fish in a villa courtyard. Or it is those things, but it’s these other things, too. Sometimes I feel like a lot of food writers ignore these other things. They obsess over the country’s colonial past and its more watered-down restaurants and perhaps unwittingly temper the pulsing heart of the nation. Its food. Simple.
I’ve always enjoyed reading Sticky Rice because he seems to understand that pulse–the beauty in a bushel of herbs and a bowl of noodles, a small plastic chair and some paper napkins that feel like little more than brittle cardboard stock. Some chopsticks, a litter-strewn sidewalk. Xanthe Clay, the food writer I followed around for The Telegraph, also seemed to understand these things. She was game for it all. Her trip was mostly about pho, and she took several local recommendations to heart when scouring the city for her next bowl. It was refreshing, even if a lot of those places didn’t make it to the final article. In the end, anyone who braves a steaming bowl of noodles amidst the madness that is Dong Xuan Alley on their first afternoon in the capital is alright in my book.