Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The TASTE story

Get ready for a big post, ladies and gentlemen.

Over the past year, my business has shifted its focus quite a bit. A lot of people have asked about the direction things have taken and I have done my best to explain what's been happening but, hey, I am a photographer, and I think images speak louder than words.
As a photographer, I tell stories. In fact, I think that being a storyteller is my primary job, above all else. And I am blessed to work with amazing people who have incredible stories to tell.

One of my clients is TASTE at the Seattle Art Museum.

When the museum was remodeled a few years ago, TASTE Restaurant opened on First Avenue, boasting a menu focused on seasonal, organic, and local ingredients. These days, you hear those terms a lot, but TASTE really walks their talk. In fact, 89% of their food is purchased from local businesses. All of the beef and many of their pork products come from Skagit River Ranch, one of only a few Washington farms providing organic, grass fed beef, pork, and chicken.
If you haven't had an opportunity to check out the restaurant, I highly recommend that you find the time. They have a GREAT happy hour, (and I would know!)

Over the past few months, I have photographed most of the restaurant's menu items, as well as a lot of their specialty cocktails. I had the opportunity to spend a day with the general manager, Danielle, and the chefs, Craig, Paul, Daniel, and Zack at Skagit River Ranch, touring the beautiful land, and chatting with the owners, George and Eiko. On another day, I accompanied Danielle, Craig, Paul, Daniel, and the new pastry chef, Lucy, while they foraged for mushrooms, (a beautiful and muddy adventure) and then spent yet another day with the chefs in the kitchen, watching as they incorporated the lovely chanterelles into some mouth-watering dishes for diners at the restaurant.

I have had long talks with Danielle about her food philosophy, and have witnessed her passion for supporting local farmers and bridging the gap between the food on the table and the farmer who grows it.
I feel like I know this business, and I like what they stand for. It has been my privilege and pleasure to work with them, and I look forward to documenting more of them in the future.

Hopefully, these photos will give you a little glimpse into the world of TASTE.
Enjoy!
(For news about TASTE, check out their blog.)

Fieldtrip to Skagit River Ranch:
















Mushroom foraging:









A Day in the Kitchen:








Taste Restaurant:







Cafe at the Olympic Sculpture Park:

Coffee stand at the Asian Art Museum:

One of TASTE's catered events in SAM:

25 comments:

Sharlane said...

Beautiful, as usual Clare! It is clear to see that this is a project close to your heart. Very beautiful!

Ali said...

beautiful images! I always wanted to be a mushroom forager :)

Shannon said...

Um....can I just say every single time I look at your pictures - EVERY SINGLE DAMNED TIME - my eyes well up with tears (in such a good way).

Jenny said...

I especially love the chantrelle mushroom sequence, from woods to table! Congratulations Clare, beautiful work!

Tom Savoie said...

Very exciting! You are absolutely correct. You are a storyteller. I'd love to have the opportunity to share a great dining experience at the restaurant with you, Joe, Jackie and I. Several great wines and a potpourri of wonderful dishes. Ooooooo--Yummy!

Samantha Hayes said...

You are a very gifted photographer....

Thank you for sharing your artistic ability.. You have a wonderful eye for capturing the unseen.

Tor Clausen said...

I love your work. More than just about any photographer I know, your work reminds me of my work. And I like how I shoot, thank you very much. It is consistently interesting to look at, and bright and colorful. Great work!

Edit 1 Media said...

Mmmm....looks yummy!! Beautiful images, Clare! :) It's cool to see the mushrooms go from the woods, to the kitchen, to the plate. Very cool!

Zuleika said...

I love your work Clare. You are phenomenal!!!!

Bridget Shee said...

The pictures are absolutely beautiful.

Travis said...

awesome stuff Clare - congratulations! TASTE is such a fantastic company, the pictures tell a wonderful picture

Sean Wheatley said...

lovely shots of the farm. I loves them chickens (our are laying lots!).

Anne Fitzgerald said...

I love your blog. Thank you for sending it.
I just recommended you to my friend Alyse. Your photos are beautiful. Thanks for doing your work.

auburn said...

Exquisite! There is such a sweet sensitivity that comes through in this story...

Rodge said...

I love to see the story of Danielle's place through your lens. It is a beautiful one.

Kerry said...

I love the cows and the chickens and the goats! Oh, and the dogs! The food looks tasty too! Great work!

Nikki said...

Clare, only you can manage to make farm animals look majestic. Once again, I love the cows.

Blair said...

I love the transition from the farm setting to the posh foodie experience. Awesome!

Angela said...

I love these types of posts from you. Lovely work and fascinating topic!

Liz Nedeff said...

Love your wonderful foodie and Northwestie photos - they make me homesick! You are such a fantastic photographer!

Joseph Patrick Gray Esq. said...

This is great, from field to museum cafe! As it should be, and beautifully shot as well.

BJ Duft said...

Now this is what I’m talking about with absolutely fantastic photos from Clare that make one feel as if you are walking right along with everyone on the farm or in the woods!
(Pigs, chickens and cows included, heh heh).

Clare – you really are a rare talent and I would love to do another shoot with you for our 2009 marketing/pr/web pieces!

Danielle Custer said...

Hey you – I LOVE the blog – so amazing and I loved how the story comes together – its SO what I was hoping for!

Susan Peters said...

Your work is gorgeous! That fabulous food is making me hungry right now.

Gina said...

I love the photos of TASTE, I know Danielle and all the
hard work her and her team have put into the restaurant. So glad they
hired you to capture such beautiful moments. The photos are stunning.