Home Wine Kitchen

Last month I photographed Home Wine Kitchen in Maplewood for Sauce Magazine. Nestled in a strip of retail stores and restaurants Home Wine Kitchen has a rustic design (with some beautiful photography on the walls) and some amazing food. Chef Cassandra Vires (who was super cool to work with) changes her menu frequently with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients.

Home Wine Kitchen’s dishes feature new takes on old classics, like chicken and waffles and a very interesting Eggs Benedict. The space is small and homey, and reservations are suggested. Despite my dislike of getting up early for brunch, I’m going to have to take Dr. Fiance for at some point.

Feast Magazine Donuts and Coffee Shoot

Back in August I was assigned a coffee and donuts shoot by Feast Magazine. The brief was fairly straight forward: five local donut shots, five local coffee companies, five shots of coffee and donuts. This project turned out to be incredibly fun, both from the standpoint of dreaming up five different breakfast scenes for the donuts, and searching for the props to style each scene. Finding interesting coffee mugs on a limited budget is not an easy task, but in the end I found some really cool props to work with.

The exciting part about this particular shoot is that one of my images ended up being chosen for the cover of the October issue! I’ve shot a number of magazine covers for my corporate clients, but this is my first food assignment cover, and I’m pretty stoked that one of my images was chosen. Below are a few of the other pages in this month’s edition that feature my donut and coffee images.

You can find the latest issue of Feast Magazine at your local newstand, as well as bars and restaurants all over the city. If you don’t live in the St. Louis area, check out the digital version and the complete archives of Feast online on their website.

Feast Magazine and The Beauty of the Spork

Over the last few months I have continued to extend my editorial client list which now includes Feast Magazine, another excellent culinary publication here in St. Louis. My first project for Feast was for an article on Porters Fried Chicken for the September issue that hit the newstands a few days ago. Have you had Porter’s yet? It rocks. It rocks hard.

Don’t let the 90s-era website or the strip-mall store front scare you away, this chicken puts KFC (and just about every other chicken joint) to shame. The two piece special that comes with mashed potatoes, slaw and a roll comes in at a cool $3.59. Juicy and tender chicken with just the right combination of grease and crunchy deep fried goodness…YUM. I’ll be honest, I used this assignment as an excuse to have Porter’s for lunch two days in a row. Had to make sure that I had it covered, right? Hey, I’m dedicated. Sue me.

Best part of Porters? You get a spork! I’m so glad that in this day and age of fancified and overly produced fast food served with forks and such that the lowly spork is still in use in this country. I doubt those mashed potatoes would taste as good with a fork. Or a spoon for that matter. Just say spork a few times and I guarantee you’ll smile. Spork. Spoooooork.

You can find the latest issue of Feast Magazine at your local newstand, as well as bars and restaurants all over the city. If you don’t live in the St. Louis area, check out the digital version and the complete archives of Feast online on their website.

On Assignment: The Block in Webster Groves

I have been in St. Louis for just over a year now (where did the time go??) and while my navigational skills are getting better, I still have a lot to learn about the various neighborhoods in the area. I have enough trouble getting around these neighborhoods, let alone familiarizing myself with all of the restaurants in each. This is where my recent food photography assignments have come in handy: they force me out of my usual haunts and get me out into neighborhoods that I don’t normally get to, in this case, Webster Groves.

I photographed The Block in Webster Groves for Sauce Magazine on a hot and steamy Tuesday night in early August and despite the fact that it had only been open a matter of weeks, word was definitely out. As I photographed some of their amazing meat and fish dishes at a small table by the door people started to arrive in droves. By 5:30, the dining room was filled to capacity and the bar had standing room only, packed with people. I, for one, would happily wait in a line just for their milk chocolate ice cream with bacon and chocolate syrup. Yep, that’s right, chocolate and bacon. I realize that bacon has become perhaps a little too ubiquitous these days but still, it’s bacon. In this case, bacon on ice cream.

My shoot at The Block was pretty intense – there was another photographer there on an assignment from another magazine and as I mentioned, the place was slammed. I usually try to schedule my restaurant shoots for slow times, but it seems like there are no slow times at the Block. The owners and staff rocked it though, and were super helpful with me and the hungry patrons packing in the doors. I’m looking forward to going back on a night when I’m not working so I can enjoy the food even more! You can read the full review of The Block over at Sauce Magazine’s website.

You can find the latest issue at Sauce at your newstand in St. Louis. If you’re not in the St. Louis area you can also get a subscription on their website, either in hardcopy or electronic.

On Assignment: Dvin for Sauce Magazine

I recently had the pleasure of photographing Dvin restaurant in Webster Groves, St. Louis. Dvin is a tiny family restaurant run by the mother/daughter team: mom cooks and daughter serves. The interior really feels like you’re having dinner in a Ukranian grandmother’s living room filled with Eastern European tsotchkes and knick-knacks. The exterior windows are obscured with lace and houseplants giving the place a closed appearance even when it’s open. It was definitely a challenge to photograph but I had a blast doing it. Read the Sauce review of Dvin then get out there and support a great family restaurant.

You can find the latest issue at Sauce at your newstand in St. Louis. If you’re not in the St. Louis area you can also get a subscription on their website, either in hardcopy or electronic.

On Assignment: Sauce Magazine – July 2011

As I mentioned in my previous post, I did some work for Sauce Magazine, a culinary magazine here in St. Louis. While the majority of my work these days is corporate, I have been exploring food culture and photography over at my blog Shoot To Cook, and it is always exciting to get food assignments.

My assignments for the July Issue included The Boat House in Forest Park, a recipe ingredient’s shot, and the vegan banh mih at Sweet Art. If you haven’t been to Sweet Art you should totally check it out, and I have to say that the banh mi tastes just as good as it looks. I am a dedicated carnivore, but I have to admit that it is a fantastic sandwich and shouldn’t be missed.

You can find the latest issue at Sauce at your newstand in St. Louis. If you’re not in the St. Louis area you can also get a subscription on their website, either in hardcopy or electronic.

The Boat House for Sauce Magazine

In the world of corporate photography, the summer is always the slowest time of the year. In my experience Memorial Day sparks the time of the year when companies face the challenge of dealing with vacations. I think that in a lot of cases, one or more decision makers for any given project are out on vacation, so if plans haven’t been made well in advance, decisions like hiring photographers for projects tend to slow down until the end of August.

Despite this slow down I haven’t been idle. In addition to my usual clients I had the pleasure of working on a few assignments for one of my favorite local publications, Sauce Magazine. Not only an excellent culinary resource, Sauce also sources great images from our pool excellent local photographers. I’m excited to be a part of it. If you haven’t seen Sauce you should definitely hit up your news stand now to grab a copy. If you don’t happen to live in the area, not to worry it’s available in a digital format as well.

One of my assignments was to make some photographs of the beautiful Boat House in Forest Park.In Sauce Magazine’s Reader’s Choice issue that just came out, the Boat House was voted Best Place for Kids, but it’s a pretty great place for the adults too. The Boat House is an popular place to hang out in the evenings, have a drink and watch the sun set. If you’re so inclined you can also rent paddle boats and canoes to troll around the waterways of the park. It’s definitely a great place for dinner and drink year round. Here are a few outtakes from the shoot:


Forest Park Boathouse – Images by Jonathan Gayman

As an interesting side note, this is the first project I’ve worked on that I have been bitten by a dog! I was stationed out on the far shore across from the Boat House just after sunset to capture a long exposure night shot when all of a sudden, out of nowhere a tiny ball of fur came running out of the darkness. It was a ferocious and very determined teacup poodle trailing a leash. This little Napoleon apparently thought I was the paparazzi and before I could move he gave my ankle a good nip. Luckily for me, his bark was definitely worse than his bite and I was unharmed.

Fourth of July

Celebrating our second Independence Day in St. Louis was even more fun than last year’s. This year we threw a little barbecue in our new (and still mostly empty) loft studio then walked down to the Arch to watch the fireworks. Last year we stayed outside the crowd and watched from the north side of the arch at a bar while drinking some beers. This year we dove straight into the madness in front of the Arch with our cargo pants pockets stuffed with PBR. The view was definitely better from the front, no question. Here are a few shots from my vantage point just west of Memorial Drive. I particularly love the one in the middle, of the toddler trying to clamp his hands over his ears without letting go of his LED sparkly sword.

Photo by St. Louis Photographer Jonathan Gayman

Companion Bakery at Niche Food Blogger Event

I was recently invited to attend an event at Niche along with other local bloggers and food writers. Sponsored by Companion the event was hosted by Josh Allen of Companion and Chef Gerard Craft of Niche, a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2008 and a two-time James Beard Finalist. Companion’s bread is served in more than 100 local restaurants and grocery stores and has cafes in Clayton and Ladue. You can read a full description of the event on my food blog.

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Food Gallery

Jonathan is also a food photographer in St. Louis. He publishes a food blog called Shoot To Cook which features his recipes and experimentations in the kitchen. Check out his portfolio for some of his recent work as well as the samples below.

This is a gallery of some on his recent work.

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Got a food photography project that needs a photographer? Jonathan would love to be involved! If you’re interested in booking Jonathan for a job check out the contact page.