PC in Lyon…

suckling_pig2_0133People love piglets. That statement may be ( definitely is ) a little too inclusive, I know, but, all the same, I have met many people who are piglet lovers and there is no doubt that the many thousands who read Celi’s delightful blog are piglet lovers too. Not conclusive proof of ubiquitous piglet love but moving in that direction  But our love of piglets wanes at the first waft of sizzling bacon or at the crisp crackling of a spit roasted suckling pig. Good advice for a young piglet would be to trot, on his PC’s (Pieds de Cochon) as far away from Lyon as is piggily possible. Lyon may well be Politiquement Correcte but the only version of PC available to a tiny porker will be on a Plateau de Cochonaille. In my PC ( Pig Caring) life at home I do not partake of pig or piggy bits….as I feel my nose growing longer I now remember a sausage or eight and some good saucisson….but as a rule there is the same chance of a bacon sandwich being on offer as there is of watching an aerobatic display performed by the local Old Black Spots in the skies over La Moussiere. However, on the other lard smeared hand, in my life as a PC (Photographe Créatif) specialising in food, it behoves me to eat whatever is put before me, from which onerous duty, shirk I do not.



The swirling waters of the Rhone and the Soâne flow through Lyon but it is the Bocuse that pumps the lifeblood through the veins and arteries of that city. His name and his influence permeate this food capital in a way that is unmatched, to my knowledge, in any other. Paul Bocuse has attained the status of a high priest yet, if one listens carefully, it would be impossible to overlook the undercurrent of supposition as to what will happen, or more to the point, who will inherit the crown, in the time of PB or Post Bocuse. As one might imagine, there are more than enough pretenders to the throne. Through my job as a photographer, as well as my interest in food and cooking, I have been able to eat at the tables of some notable European chefs yet I have never had much interest in fine dining and even find the term to be faintly ridiculous. That is by the by, as the successor to Bocuse will have to be a recognised and impeccably qualified master of those skills who will have been elected by his very jealous and competitive peers and who, even if he has those credentials in spades,  will still not be Bocuse. Just wearing the hat will not be enough…..PC ( Pauvre Con :(



Posted in 2015, Art photography, Cooking, Digital photography, Expectation, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Humour, Illusion, Photographic Prints, Photography, Pork, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

another cake moment….

Today I discovered, which is to say, saw for the first time, the food paintings of Wayne Thiebaud. I can’t imagine how I haven’t known about his work before as the his imagery, for me, is utterly captivating. It makes me feel like “I wish I’d said that…” The slide show is of a cupcake picture, that I did some time ago, together with some versions that I created today…a faint homage to an amazing painter.

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The grey damp day outside is occulted by the wind blown shutter of my office window. Here, inside, everything is warmth and peace with a cat sleeping on the shelf next to me as I write. This is a good place to be.

Posted in 2015, Art photography, Baking, cup cake, Digital photography, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, Photographic Prints, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

grumpy santa’s golden balls….


Being that we are, if not renowned, at least known for our minimalist Christmas decorations which, were it not for our grandchildren could easily descend to many degrees below minimal, you can imagine my surprise when I was, this very afternoon, faced with examples of these decorations being refurbished in our outhouse at an indecently advanced date. I just hope it’s not me who’s doing it….although it very well could be.


Posted in 2015, Christmas, Christmas decorations, Digital photography, Humour, lifestyle, Photography, Still life | Tagged , , , , , , | 27 Comments

I’ll be the judge of that…



Taste is everything in the world of food and drink. Outside of that realm it is nothing. Good taste does not predicate tasting good which is why the discernment between good or bad taste rests in the eyes of the beholder whilst the personal judgement used in discerning whether something is tasting good or bad resides in sensation, perception and experience……a précis of which would read something like this “People with bad taste are people whose opinion differs from mine and if you don’t like the taste of this you’re a tosser”. This carefully considered judgement came to me but a few minutes ago when our neighbour gave me a bunch of turnips. For the next few hours I shall be carefully leafing through that classic tome,  Baldrick’s “The Turnip and I” or is it “The Turnip and Eye”…that would definitely be an acquired taste.




Posted in 2015, Cooking, Digital photography, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Humour, Photography, turnip, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

a cake named Roger….


My mother once had a Pekinese dog whose given name was Brownie. As she did not have a memory for names she may well not have known that. I’m not sure whether this was because her mind was full of other much more interesting things, which, if that were the case, she never imparted to me, or whether, like myself, when she had achieved a certain amount of years, she just took no notice of names. We both would have had a similar reaction when being introduced to people at some gathering or other.The person performing the introduction might as well have recited the alphabet as neither my mother nor I would have absorbed any of the information that he/she was sharing with us as, in my case, I would already be too absorbed in the faces and behaviour in front of me and my brain would have applied the name filter whilst I imagine that my mother, although graciously nodding and smiling interestedly, would have been wandering through the garden in her own place of no names. The upshot of this, if upward shot there is to this rambling reminiscence, was that my mother would sometimes call me Brownie and would happily introduce me to friends of hers, friends who treasured and remembered names, in the same way: it’s fair to say that she did ring the changes by sometimes introducing me as Manuel, my maternal grandfather, or Charles, my father, which meant that I might find myself in a conversational group where, owing to the protagonists’ clear memories for names and according to the style in which my mother may have introduced me to them, I was prepared to be addressed by a multitude of names save for my own. And so we come full circle and I can share with you this very good recipe for these toothsome and chocolatey Rogers….jolly good.



175g butter, chopped
300g light muscovado sugar
175g dark chocolate, chopped
50g walnuts, chopped(optional)
3 eggs, beaten
100g self raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder

1 Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/Gas 4. Line a shallow oblong tin with baking paper(about 20x30cm) Melt the butter, sugar and chocolate gently in a large pan. Remove from the heat, cool for a few mins, then stir in the eggs.
2 Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder and fold everything together until well mixed. Pour into the tin and bake for 30-35 mins. Cool to lukewarm in the tin, then cut into squares.

Posted in 2015, Baking, Brownies, Brownies, Childhood, Childhood memories, Chocolate, Cooking, Digital photography, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, Garden, Humour, Illusion, Photographic Prints, Photography, Reality, Recipes, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

fly poster….


I foolishly forgot to include a recipe for the this wonderful pear cake in my last post so here it is. The recipe comes from Patricia Wells’ “The Provence Cookbook” which is among my favourite books of recipes. There is a common link between the cookery books that I use most and that link is the absence of recipe photographs: this book stays true to that ethic.

THREE PEAR CAKE  from “The Provence Cookbook” by Patricia Wells


Spring form pan or loose bottom cake tin 9”

0.5 cup all purpose flour
0.3 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
0.5 tsp fine sea salt ( I leave this out)
0.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp eau de vie poire Willian
0.3 cup yoghourt
Grated zest of one lemon
4 x large pears, peeled, cored. Cut lengthwise into 1/16’s

0.5 cup sugar
1 large egg lightly beaten
1 tbsp eau de vie poire William
Grated zest of one lemon

1/Preheat oven to 180C. Butter and flour cake pan.

2/In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and stir to blend. Add the vanilla, eggs, oil, eau de vie, yoghourt, and lemon zest and stir until well blended.. Add the pears and stir to thoroughly coat the fruit with the batter

3/Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and place it in the middle of the preheated oven. Bake until fairly firm and golden; about 40 mins.

4/Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sugar, egg, eau de vie and lemon zest and stir to blend. Set aside.

5/Once the cake is firm and golden, remove it from the oven and the the topping mixture on top of the cake and return it to the oven for a further 10 mins.

6/Remove to a rack to cool. After 10 mins, run a knife around the edge of the pan and release the cake from the pan, leaving the base under the cake.

Posted in 2015, Art photography, Baking, cake, Cooking, desserts, Digital photography, Eau de vie, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Patricia Wells, Poire William, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Just William…


Pears can be tricky, of that there is little doubt. There are times when they can just fuck off -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVTDwq2q3Ak – but that time was not this afternoon. The pear on my plate, by the name of William, could not have been better behaved having reached that perfect moment of ripeness which state, in a pear, is undetectable from the outside giving truth to the maxim that beauty is only skin deep as there is no way to judge if it is pleasure or disappointment, sweet flesh or decaying mush, that lays beyond that thin epidermis. Today I had sweet flesh. which I relished whilst waiting for the flesh of William’s chums to transform themselves into an excellent cake.


Posted in 2015, Baking, cake, Cooking, Digital photography, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, Fruit, Humour, Pears, Photography, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

the fable of the swallow and olive…

It is not clear as to whether the epithet declaring that one swallow does not a summer make was written from the view point of an ornithologist, sodden by the traditional August downpour, or from that of Don Juan just beginning his summer hols. On the other hand it would be unequivocal to declare that one small basket of olives does not a bottle of olive oil make but that unequivocality would not encompass the enormous pleasure I took in harvesting this basket of fruit from the four olive trees that have grown and developed in our small garden over the last ten years.

Posted in 2015, Digital photography, Garden, Humour, Olive oil, olives, Photography, Prints, Uncategorized, Video, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 51 Comments

the damp patch…



Days of wind and rain make the passing of those glorious summer days of wine and roses all the harder to bear. Each year my expectations of a gentle transition from sunshine to mellow fruitfulness, born of some atavistic memory, are dashed, only to be replaced by the damp patch in which I now find myself laying. Most damp patches, save for those of incontinence, have a silver lining and this one,  being the start of the season of fruits de mer, is no exception. Seafood is very sexy which means that you need time to enjoy it. Moules frites is a knee trembler and prawn cocktail is exactly that. They are the trailers, the Pearl & Dean, the crap before the big feature. On the other hand a glistening wet giant of a plateau des fruits de mer is a big sexy epic which demands knowledge, care, and time but, above all, it needs appetite; insatiable appetite with the urge to get tongue, fingers and probes into the tiniest. pinkest and sweetest spots. Getting intimate with fruits de mer can be dirty, but only if you do it properly…pace Woody Allen. The colours, shapes and textures scream obscene and I love them. I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it; I think I’m going to lose control and, do you know, I think I like it. Bienvenue, automne.


Posted in 2015, Art photography, Autumn, clams, coques, crab, Crayfish, Cuisine bourgeoise, Digital photography, Emotion, Excellence, Excess, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Humour, langoustines, Mussels, oysters, Photographic Prints, Photography, prawns, scallops, sea urchins, seafood, Sex, Uncategorized, vongole, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

interlude….for those who remember the potter’s wheel

Here’s a nice image because I posted an old thought by mistake….

Posted in Uncategorized | 17 Comments