Kosher Cooking with Levana

Every day is a different job, making it rather difficult to explain exactly what I do when meeting new people. Truth is, I’m not quite sure I have the whole story straight myself- Am I a student? Photographer? Author? Restaurant cook? Blogger? Well, to make matters more confusing, it seems I’m about to add another descriptor to the list: Food stylist.

Food styling is something that is par for the course for food bloggers, but in the world of professional photography, the person wielding the camera is rarely, if ever, directly involved in plating and arranging that delicious subject seen through the viewfinder. The ability to artfully display edibles comes naturally to most food enthusiasts, or anyone who spends enough time eating out and seeing how the experts do it, but it’s not a job that one stumbles into with little real experience… Unless you’re me, apparently. Never had I flattered myself by assuming it was something I could do beyond my own kitchen- Most jobs clearly state that the stylist have a solid culinary background, a degree from an esteemed cooking school, and experience up the wazoo. So getting that last minute call from my publisher, saying that a kind woman in Brooklyn would love my assistance, was quite the shock.

And can I tell you something? I had a blast. Challenging at times and a definite learning experience all the way, but thankfully, Levana Kirschenbaum was every bit as warm and welcoming as promised, and we hit it off immediately. Two long days of fussing with greens, swabbing plates obsessively with q-tips, and a just one minor pâté fiasco later, and we had dozens of beautiful images (thanks to the camera work of Meir Pliskin) to add into her upcoming cookbook, The Whole Foods Kitchen. [Please note, though this isn’t a vegan cookbook, there are many vegan options.] I still couldn’t help but pick up my camera a few times, though bear in mind that these are not the images going into the book. Just a few of my favorites, and a little sneak preview to whet your appetite!

Steel-Cut Oat Soup

Lemon Pudding

Steamed Dumplings

Pasta Salad

Roasted Fennel and Endive

Chocolate Steel-Cut Oats Pudding

33 thoughts on “Kosher Cooking with Levana

  1. I’m about ready to dive into one of those little lemon pudding things… mmmm Those look slurpy yummy.

  2. It was very cruel to post these images without the recipes. I can’t afford the book and without the recipes, I would as soon not know about these delectable looking foods. sjb

  3. Oh, wow! Congratulations, Hannah – it seems like this was a wonderful experience. I’m not surprised they called you, though. You have the innate ability to turn all food into art.

    That lemon pudding and those dumplings look amazing!

  4. Based on your images alone, I am pretty sure that I will love this cookbook!

    You are just a jack of all trades, Hannah! Prob why I adore you so much.

  5. Nice job! I love all the pics. Help- I NEEDS lessons from you. :) I just moved from a point and shoot into an SLR and I’m completely lost with it!

  6. Beautiful photos, Hannah. I am actually not surprised to hear of you finding work as a food stylist. You definitely have an eye for it! Well, you certainly have been busy enough to stay out of trouble! Sorry I haven’t been over to visit in so long. I think about you often and hope you are well. I’ve missed you but haven’t been blogging as much. So HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  7. I am convinced that you were BORN to be a food stylist! (Well, in addition to all those other jobs you have going on. :)) Your talent is amazing, Hannah. These photos are beyond gorgeous (AS ALWAYS!), and the food is so beautifully arranged. Only you could make chocolate oats look beautiful! :D

  8. I always love your food stylings- it inspires me to get off my lazy ass and do more with my photos! My favorite is the lemon pudding- gorgeous!

  9. I can’t believe the photos going into the book could be more beautiful than the ones you took. Not possible. You could be the stylist AND the photographer. (As well as the author and the chef!)

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