Il Grano

I grew up in an Italian family in Santa Monica, so I felt right at home walking into Il Grano. This was another location where the natural light did all of the work (okay… most of the work) for us! The bonus was that there was a little mix up in communication about which recipe we were supposed to be shooting for the CFAC Cookbook. Consequently we shot (and ate) two recipes. Chef Sal Marino was SO gracious and welcoming, and just plain fun to be around (can’t you tell?). I can’t wait to go back and sit down with another bowl of this amazing Caramelle di Burrata e Pomodorini (for which Chef Marino grew all of his own tomatoes).

Il Grano - Chef Sal Marino - Caramelle di Burrata e Pomodorini

Photographic Copyright

My students are always asking about copyright and their imagery. While I could regurgitate all of the various pieces of information on this topic, someone has already done an excellent job of thoroughly and fairly concisely aggregating the most important points on this matter. Check out Ken Kaminesky’s blog where he collaborated with Carolyn E. Wright to impart some great information. Click Here for the article. Also check out the follow-up posts that are listed in the right sidebar! Nice Job Ken!!

Tavern – Los Angeles

Our last stop of the day on June 1st was Tavern. While shooting for the CFAC Cookbook, there have been a couple of locations that were just a dream to shoot in,… this was one of them. It took virtually no time to find the set-up and be ready. Mostly due to the fact that the back dinning room is like a big softbox just waiting to be taken advantage of. Since it was our last stop and Chef Suzanne Goin was such a sweetheart, we had no problem staying for a beautiful glass of wine. We also thought we’d help her with some dishes… okay so we only cleaned the one from this photo.. but is was spotless once we were done with it!

Tavern - Chef Suzanne Goin - Pomegranate Salsa

Eat at Joe’s

We arrived early at Joe’s when we were shooting it for the CFAC Cookbook.. actually before they opened. We wanted to grab a bite before we started shooting. I wish it wasn’t all the way over in Venice.. I would definitely frequent this restaurant more often! I had a stupendous Ravioli, however the dish we were shooting was a Tuna Tartar. And of course as these things go, we did not get a chance to taste it and the following week we come to find out that it is rated one of the Top 5 in L.A.!!  Arrrrgh!

Joe at Joe's in Venice with Tuna Tartar


Michael’s in Santa Monica has been around since I was a kid. I was born in Santa Monica so I have a natural affinity for all things related. Michael’s is walking distance from where I lived in my early years and even closer to what was my grandfather’s store on Wilshire (Mike Caruso’s, a men’s fine apparel store), but I digress… This is about the Cart for a Cause cookbook and one of its contributors.. Michael McCarty. Here he is with a Duck Confit Salad…

Michael McCarty - Duck Confit Salad

Public at the Roosevelt

I still have a very strong sense memory of the Burrata in a Glass that Chef Rainer Schwarz made when we were shooting at Public for the CFAC Cookbook. It was one of the few dishes we did not get a chance to savor. We were up against the clock that day and had to dash out, but the aroma that wafted up from the plate as I was shooting still makes my mouth water to this day. Now that all of the photography is done for the cookbook, its my goal to revisit all of the restaurants we photographed and sit down and properly experience the fine cuisine that was, oh so briefly, placed in front of our camera!

Chef Rainer Schwarz - Public - Burrata in a Glass

M Catering – Arizona

One of the chefs that has contributed to the Cart for a Cause is Michael DeMaria. He and his company M Catering are based out of Arizona so when Lexus decided to have an event in Tucson and we found out that both Chef Michael and the Cart were going to be there, we packed up and headed east to photograph him for the CFAC Cookbook.

Michael DeMaria  from M Catering