Food Photography & Styling | July Assignment BBQ/Grilling | Longboat Key & Bradenton Food Photographer

It’s our July food photography and styling challenge – already!  I can’t believe half the year has already gone by.  Back in January, I was fortunate to stumble upon a group of ladies that were forming a group with the purpose of improving their food photography and styling skills and it’s been a wonderful journey so far.  Everybody brings something different to the group which we all learn and benefit from.

This month’s challenge is to style and photograph a BBQ dish (or grilled).  Did I mention that I don’t even own an outdoor grill?  Or that I’m not a fan of BBQ in general?  Now I know how the group participants last month who didn’t like fish felt!  To not own a grill seems almost unAmerican I guess.  Sure, we had one, but the Florida salt air finally did it in a few years ago.  In addition, living in an elevated home means one spends their time running up and down stairs and being separated from family or friends if grilling is underway.  So……long story short, we just never used it much and subsequently didn’t feel any strong need to purchase a new one.   I broil and roast.  I roast and broil.  No smoke.  Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.  I just don’t like smoky tasting food.  I don’t even want smoked turkey deli meat in a sandwich.

To that end, I did however put a lot of energy into this month’s challenge!  Some of the California participants in our group were able to meet up and complete this month’s assignment together which sounded and looked like a lot of fun.  As for me, I decided to work on my “indoor” grilling skills.  I really couldn’t decide what to make even as the days dwindled down to our deadline (which is right now).  I wasn’t loving the idea of meat…..so I decided upon shrimp, radicchio, and hearts of palm skewers, as well as a dessert component.  I also made a fresh salsa to go along with the skewers (yum).  Styling it all, however, was another big component of this challenge.  I knew I wanted to shoot outside in late day light to give it that “outside BBQ” feel and look.  I didn’t, though, want a classic July 4th hamburgers and hot dogs appearance either, because that wasn’t representative of  the story behind my dishes.

I was looking for upscale casual.   Sort of like casual Fridays in the office when you get to wear something less conservative but not jeans or shorts?  Do companies still do that?

Starting off with the salsa……made with mango, pineapple, kiwi fruit, red onion, orange bell pepper, jalapeño, and cilantro.  I used to hate dislike cilantro immensely but have somehow come to enjoy it in recent years.  This salsa is soooo good with a nice spicy kick which you really kind of need when making a fruit-based salsa.

All recipes follow at the end of this post.

Then on to the appetizer – or small plate dish – skewers of jumbo shrimp, hearts of palm, and radicchio and lime wedges.  I love hearts of palm.  Did you know that hearts of palm come from the sabel palmetto or cabbage palm?  That is Florida’s state tree.

A nice addition to round out this dinner would be a grilled pork tenderloin with rice pilaf.

On to dessert!  This is Carla Hall’s recipe from The Chew – and it’s aptly named Grilled Pineapple Upside Down Sandwich.  Oh yeah, oh yum.  You can find the recipe HERE.  The raspberry sauce was my little addition. I also included a pullback of how I took the photo – it was brilliantly sunny so a diffuser panel was a necessity….however, the pop-up storm brewing just off camera left  definitely was NOT a necessity to the shoot.

I shot the dessert first and because of the storm, wasn’t sure if I would be able to shoot the appetizer course or not!  Luckily the sun came back out just in time for the sunset, and enough light to get my shots.  It was a beautiful set within a stormy sky.


Please continue on through our blog circle to see what everyone came up with for their BBQ/Grilling dishes this month.  Next up is  Allison Jacobs of Allison Jacobs Photography and I can’t wait to see what she posted!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kay Pickens - July 23, 2012 - 10:35 am

Love the pull back shot. I must MUST try that pineapple dish. Sounds so yummy. Great shots.

Kat - July 23, 2012 - 11:23 am

You just rock Stacey! ‘I don’t like to grill so I’ll make 3 DISHES’ Love it. Very awesome that you went the dessert route as well. It looks incredible!

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Carey Pace - July 23, 2012 - 1:42 pm

Gah, I still can’t get over how you live on the stinking BEACH!!!

these are phenomenal, as always!! I adore fruit salsas!! And man, I eat things so that I CAN eat cilantro! I adore it! Love that you included a pull back – so helpful for me. And that sunset – ENVY pure and simple.

Tiffany | Peanut Blossom - July 23, 2012 - 2:36 pm

Stacey! These are awesome! I love the fruity salsa and the Florida-style interpretation of BBQ. The dessert is so what took it all over the top for me. Delicious and gorgeous and I loved your upscale casual approach. That’s definitely what you conveyed!

admin - July 23, 2012 - 4:44 pm

That was funny Kat! ;)

Valeria - July 23, 2012 - 5:16 pm

This is so amazing. perfect light and composition. I wish I could see the ocean from my porch, especially on the other side of country, where the beaches are warmer.

Sabrina Wong - July 23, 2012 - 9:48 pm

These are stunning images Stacey, I really love that first shot with all your salsa ingredients, all different colours, some in cute little saucepans. My second favourite is the grilled pineapple upside down sandwich, love the lightness of the image and the red that threads everything in the photo together. Thanks for posting the pullback shot, it’s always interesting to see those and you have such a beautiful view from the balcony!

Laurie - July 23, 2012 - 11:30 pm

Stacey.. you are such a fabulous cook!! OMG.. this all looks so gorgeous and wonderful. I love your styling.. especially of the Grilled Pineapple Upside Down Sandwich. The colors are spectacular! I rarely shoot outside, but even for the rare chance I may have again.. I would like to get one of those diffusers. And I have never had heart of palm.. I’ll have to take your word on it being so tasty.. but you’ll have to give us a little description of what type of flavor it is. And.. February.. would love to come out there and spend time with you. And cook together!! What fun it would be to have our first TIP get together there. Let your husband know we’re coming!!!! :) xoxo

Amalia Ferreira - July 26, 2012 - 11:03 pm

Everything looks amazing!!

admin - July 27, 2012 - 10:33 am

Thank you Amalia! :)

Tammy Bilodeau - July 30, 2012 - 1:27 am

As usual Stacey, simply stunning. Your fruit salsa sounds divine, and I love you made a dessert….it also looks scrumptious. Thanks for the pull back, I’m gonna need to get one of those gigantor reflectors….lol Seriously though, you totally rocked it!

Kristen - August 7, 2012 - 9:06 am

What gorgeous pictures – that dessert, especially!

Kim - Liv Life - August 21, 2012 - 7:02 pm

Oh, Stacey!! I don’t even know where to begin!!! I do own a grill and I use it nearly 5 days a week, however I don’t produce any grilled food like you did without a grill. You know how I adore mango salsa, what a combo you have.
Thanks also for showing the pulled back shot… As I really don’t have any photography background, it helps to see what other people are doing.
And the sunset?? Sigh…..

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