Fairy Cakes.


Fairy Cakes.

Another portfolio image, tasty cupcakes.



I’ve been pretty absent from here recently, due to being busy and me frankly not doing anything exciting worth blogging about. But I did visit a food and lifestyle photographer who just so happened to do the course that I did at college and has now become a successful professional photographer. This sparked some much needed inspiration, and I’m currently feeling a tad deflated and toying with idea of leaving my current job due to not enough hours and constant misery.

By the by I’d set aside today as “Jess needs to shoot some new things for her food portfolio” I then drew up a shooting plan and shopping list which has helped me keep on track and have a good vision of what I wanted to achieve. I was also looking for new props and backgrounds and came across an ingenuous idea from one of the countless food blogs I was using, who simply suggested painting a piece of wood and hey presto, you have a colourful new background. We have some really old wooden garden furniture that has battled harsh weather conditions, so I decided to take the seat part off the rest of the chair and paint it. I got some lovely blue coloured tester paints and decided that sea green was the colour of choice.

I wanted to also shoot stuff that I haven’t before, but would be easy to prepare, style and overall look appealing enough to eat! So my subjects were; chicken curry, spaghetti bolognese, pizza and soup. Admittedly I do like cooking, I decided to get a ready made curry and soup and then made the pizza and spag bol fresh, just to save some time and precious day light. I shoot with a canon 5D with a 50mm 1.8 lens, which does me fine for the time being, but macro shots are obviously out of the question. I decided to also shoot with my iphone 5, so I have a copy of the subject on my phone along with my camera. The loftus lens pack on the hipstamatic iphone app, is fantastic for food photography. The great David Loftus himself is a world class food photographer (Who incidently liked a couple of my pictures on instagram last week!) and this app gives a feel of how he would shoot something, especially if there are bright colours and textures to the subject. Shooting conditions have been great today and I’m really pleased about my outcomes. After the weekend I have a couple of days off and I’m going to shoot some more portfolio stuff so I have a strong set of new work.

I’m going to post my images in a separate image post as they look odd in text posts…


Katz’s Deli.

This is where Harry met Sally and the Johnson family ate pastrami on rye…

In May 2012, we took a family trip to one of the most inspirational places on the planet, New York. New York really took us all for surprise, we were all overwhelmed with the culture, constant hustle and bustle and of course the food.

NY tumblr  (This was particularly scary for a dad with a fear of heights)

NY statue

It was coming to the end of the trip and my dad kept on mentioning a deli that he’d seen on Man V Food and decided it was must do whilst in the city. Admittedly, we found navigating round New York blimmin’ hard work. We were armed with no mobile internet, and the only way we could get around was using trusty maps and street signs. This proved to be harder than we thought, we became good at hovering outside of Starbucks with the hope of connecting to a WiFi connection, so we could finally get moving…

100_2821(Example of NY wanderers)

NY MAP(We studied this for hours…)

To this day, I’m afraid I couldn’t direct you on how to get there as we wandered streets and hopped on subways with the hope that a famous pastrami sandwich was just around the corner. Then finally we got off the subway and there it was, Katz’s. Now time to finally sample some of NY’s finest deli!


When we got there, were we all very excited about sampling some true deli meats and rather epic sandwiches and we were given a paper ticket. The ticket was like an admittance ticket, then we were shown to a table. The deli is divided into a quicker cafeteria service on the right and through the middle, then a waiter service is given on the right. We chose to have waiter service and a chap with a dashing blue blazer took our order.

waiter service only

The deli was busy, but not packed as we went about 3pm and we were lucky to enjoy the experience at a more leisurely pace. I’ve seen pictures and videos of the deli at full capacity and I would recommend that you got their at a decent time to avoid having to share table. The deli is much bigger than it looks from the outside, the dining area is huge and has a good friendly atmosphere.

The walls along the restaurant is fascinating, it is dedicated to famous people who have visted Katz’s over the years. My dad is a huge Soprano’s fan and it turns out we were sat next to a picture of the great Tony Soprano.

Tony soprano katz


Without hesitation, we all knew what we wanted. Me and my dad ordered the staple pastrami on rye bread, my mam isn’t a big meat lover so went for a tuna roll and my brother who was at the time one of the fussiest eaters on the planet and ordered some steak cut fries.

sandwhich kat

So here it is, the main event and God was it worth the hunt. The sandwhich was so fresh, the bread was nice and soft and the meat was just melt in the mouth. The meat itself is smoked for two days and seasoned with salt, pepper, coriander and paprika. Instantly the smokey flavours came through and the meat wasn’t too salty but was a perfect savoury sandwhich. I’m usually a big fan of putting tomato sauce on hot meat sandwiches, but was advised to try mustard instead. The mustard just lifted the flavour of the meat and just topped it off to make one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. The sandwhich came with pickles and a big portion of steak cut fries. If you are planning on visiting the deli I would advise not to eat for at least two days before cause the portion sizes are massive, especially for us British folk. This pastrami mountain is priced at $15.95 (£10.15) which is very reasonable for the amount and quality of food and I can guarantee you won’t need to eat for a good while after! There is a small concession stand at the front of the deli, selling shirts, hats, aprons for a reasonable price and I couldn’t resist buying a Katz’s deli shirt!

Overall, we had a fantastic experience at Katz’s. The food and the service was great and would recommend anyone thinking about going, to just go. You won’t regret it!

dad katz( The owner Alan Dell was more than happy to pose for pictures with customers and was constantly making sure that you were having the best possible time)

Even though we had a hard time finding the place, the website has the full address and contact details;

205 East Houston Street (corner of Ludlow St)
New York City, 10002

And the nearest Subways

F to Second Avenue Station

Click on the picture below to follow to Katz’s deli!