Hidden Kitchens for Feast Magazine

Back in July, I undertook a daunting project for Feast magazine: documenting Mexican tiendas (grocery stores) and the taquerias that reside there. Why was it daunting? Well, these tiendas were located all over the metro area, and I discovered that while everyone was incredible to work with, there was significant language barrier to deal with. I found that it was tough to schedule appointments over the phone, so I had to do at least one, and in some cases several in-person visits to set up the photo shoots. It should be noted though, the fact that there isn’t a whole lot of English being spoken at these joints is a plus rather than a negative: rather, it speaks to the authenticity of the food that is prepared and served at these tiendas. In this day of Chi Chis, Taco Hell and all of the other chain restaurants, real Mexican food is savory, refreshing and simply amazing.

And lets be honest, I had a shot list, so I knew where to go. The writer, Andrew Veety had to locate the best tiendas and determine which ones had the best food. Although actually now that I think about it, taste-testing at these places isn’t such bad a deal either. Props to Andrew for some great writing.

Tearsheet from the July 2012 issue of Feast magazine. Photography by Jonathan Gayman. Click to enlarge.

From the article:

Often hidden in plain sight, small family-run tiendas provide a connection to home for the Hispanic populations of St. Louis with a selection of kitchen staples, baked goods, produce, cuts of meat, and sometimes a taqueria with a menu of traditional Central and South American dishes and street food.

You can read the full article on Hidden Kitchens at Feast’s website or pick up a hardcopy at your local grocery store and newstands in St. Louis.

Tearsheet from the July 2012 issue of Feast magazine. Photography by Jonathan Gayman. Click to enlarge.

Tearsheet from the July 2012 issue of Feast magazine. Photography by Jonathan Gayman. Click to enlarge

As a side note, it is worth mentioning the excitement that I get from seeing my work in the final layouts in a magazine. You work so hard on these photo shoots, then dump a big ole pile of carefully edited images on the art director, and then hold your breath until you see it in print. A big shout out to Lisa over at Feast for making my work look good.

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2 comments

  • amv August 4, 2012  

    I really loved this project dude. Wonderful photos.

  • Jonathan August 4, 2012  

    Thanks man! It was a great project to work on! Let’s do some more!

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