Chef Keller gives pro photographer butterflies

Tue Feb 1, 2011 6:01am EST
 
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By Chelsea Emery

NEW YORK, Feb 1 - Celebrity photographer Darryl Estrine has been shooting movie actors and sports stars for 25 years but it was American chef Thomas Keller who finally managed to make him nervous.

"You know when you're around a really intense, creative genius." said Estrine, who co-wrote and photographed the new cookbook, "Harvest to Heat." "I don't use that word too often but I can apply it to him."

"Harvest to Heat" paired top American chefs with their favorite artisanal farmers, producing recipes designed for home cooks who enjoy using local farm offerings.

Estrine and co-author Kelly Kochendorfer traveled throughout the United States, often crammed in Estrine's 2000 Volvo Cross Country, snapping photos and interviewing the chefs as they worked side-by-side with their favorite meat, dairy, chocolate and spirits suppliers.

Estrine spoke to Reuters about the popularity of pork belly, the challenges of small-scale farming in America and why Portland, Oregon, is one of his favorite foodie destinations.

Q: Which chefs surprised you?

A: "One of the great shoots was with (chef) Daniel Boulud and (farmer) Tim Stark. Tim is a big personality and Daniel is a master showman. He takes a tomato and a knife that looks like you could use it to kill a wild boar... and he just peels the skin off this tomato. The skin is coming off in this beautiful circle and they're just having a blast. Daniel likes to play with food and there's a picture of them with tomatoes over their eyes. You just leave them with a big smile on your face."

Q: Did you turn down any recipes selected by the chefs?   Continued...