A couple of months ago I was asked by the brilliant Miranda York – food writer and curator of Druid St Market, if I would food style an incredibly ambitious shoot she was planning to mark the relaunch of her beloved brand Toast as At The Table. Toast started off life as a fantastic alternative food journal showcasing some really intelligent, explorative food writing from the likes of Marina O Loughlin and Sophie Dening, and then morphed into a food festival, ongoing food events, pop ups and talks. With At The Table, the ever-innovative Miranda has also created a market place for makers to sell their beautiful kitchen-related wares, as well as a platform for sharing what’s great at the moment in British food culture. The line up for the Summer Camp workshops at the Town Hall hotel in Bethnal Green is breathtaking and covers everything from candle making to fermentation classes – check them out before they all sell out.
Anyway back to the food styling. Miranda and her partner Ross Turner, Digital Creative Director for the brand and a filmmaker/photographer, wanted to create a film for their website’s homepage which would show the progression from breakfast through to dinner and an after party, all through dishes served at the table to be shot in one continuous take and then played on loop on the website. It was a lovely idea, but an epic one to pull off, in practise it meaning that they had to pull a huge team together for an effort that included setting up one huge long table, propping it with some amazing makers’ such as Lazy Eye and Lisa Ommanney’s ceramics and products, as well as gorgeous flower arrangements from Frida Kim, and then filling it with gorgeous looking food and shooting it, with people in place to interact with the food, pour wine pop party poppers. It was my job to create the many dishes and style them (with the help of fab Holly Cowgill who created an amazing cake and my assistant Ellie Silcock) and it was one of the biggest jobs I’ve ever done in terms of volume of food and challenges faced by filming and it all being under hot lights with a kitchen minus a working oven.
We shot in a gorgeous, natural light flooded Platform Gallery space above Habitat in Chelsea, and it was a long and super stimulating day which ended with everyone sat around the table, sipping the wine and having a giggle. I hope you’ll agree that the resulting film, made by Ross Turner, is rather beautiful.
There’s also this brilliant time lapse film which shows the massive effort and all the people involved, including me in apron and glasses with hair scraped back, doing my frowny concentration face.