A Food Photographer’s Conflicting Interests

And a recipe for a healthy snack!

I have a conflict of interest. As an online writer who specializes in food things—restaurant industry, recipes, fun food facts—I should never allow an elaborately plated and vibrant dish to leave the kitchen without some photos. As a professional chef, I won’t let a dish sit on an unheated surface to be photographed like some bored model at an unorganized photo shoot.

With that in mind, many of the photos you will see on this site are staged specifically for this site. Before I began this blog, the only reason I ever photographed food was for a practical reason—to show an employee a specific presentation—or for a joke:


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Above: Chef Wilson

I subscribe to the philosophy that cooking is a science, not an art. There are several reasons I believe this to be true (outlined in a previous post) but the first and foremost is that I’m a lousy artist! I can’t draw, paint, write poetry, sing, dance, play music; I have absolutely zero artistic aptitude.

In fact, I am so inept at the “art of food photography” that each food dish you see is selected from a file of a dozen or more blurry, smudged, poorly lit photos destined for the “Recycle Bin.”

And the only way I can get a good one is if I re-enact a glitzy and flamboyant stereotypical Los Angeles photographer, which is rather ridiculous, considering my model won’t pout or smile, and I circle around the dish, and the entire table it’s on, to get those all-important crooked angles. I could just as easily turn the plate, or tilt it ever so slightly.

Anyway, sometimes the science of cooking lends itself well to the art of food photography, as in the case of these inexpensive little snacks, or appetizers. It is an easy recipe—fifteen minutes with ten minutes of photos—and it is somewhat healthy. I suppose anything that’s green is healthy, but I’m no expert about that. Here are the pictures, the recipe follows.

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Above and Beneath: Marbled Rye Sausage and Watercress Stuffing

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Above: Place a thinly-sliced radish in the wrap for some bite and a fresh “crunch.”
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Above: The stems of the Swiss Chard make for a nice, eye-catching tower for the wraps.

Sausage Stuffed Swiss Chard Wraps

For the Stuffing:

  • 5 slices marbled rye, dried or toasted and cubed
  • 2 sausage links, cooked and diced (I prefer Andoulle Sausage) (cook with butter and de-glaze the pan with chicken stock to increase the stuffing’s flavor)
  • 1 cup of mirepoix
  • 1 1/2 cups of Chicken Stock
  • 1 radish, diced
  • 1/4 cup “crunch” (I used roasted chick peas, but you may use some sort of nut or sunflower seeds)
  • 1 cup watercress leaves

Directions: Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix, adding the chicken stock a little at a time. If the stuffing is too moist, place it in the oven to dry it out some. If it is too dry, add some extra chicken stock. Read the Disclaimer to find out why the measurements might not be perfect.

Assembly: Roll the swiss chard up with stuffing and a slice of radish in it. Finish the dish with a drizzle of light salad dressing.

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Chef Wilson is happy with you.

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