Heirloom Tomato Salad + Plate to Pixel Giveaway

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who entered the giveaway! We loved reading about your love of food! The giveaway has now closed and a winner has been selected.

-Adam and Jo


Today, I wanted to go a bit deeper than our average post because of a question Joanne asked me a few days ago. I promise I won’t go too deep 🙂

The question was surprisingly hard to answer. She asked, why do we love food so much?

I stumbled for a bit, because the cliché answers kept circling around in my head and I refuse to answer with one of those, I wanted to go deeper.

Before I could come up with something that made sense, she said that one of her main reasons was that food, natural food, inspires many of the colors that we use or see everyday. Nature is beautiful.

I had to agree and began to consider this being one of the main reasons I enjoy food photography. For me, the most inspiring photos are those where the food does all of the work for you, which happened to be the case with this post. The tomatoes seemed to be glowing. The colors were striking, yet natural. Isn’t nature amazing?

Here I am, taking a photo. I just noticed that my bare feet made it into the shot – Don’t judge.

We went to the store and found the most beautiful heirloom tomatoes. They were gorgeous. This was definitely a time when I was inspired by nature’s ability to create those colors.

More than that, though, when I was taking this photo I had to stop myself from eating one. Joanne would not have been pleased! See how juicy the tomatoes are? We always keep our tomatoes on our counter, not in the fridge, the texture and taste is so much better that way.

Here I am again. Sidenote: you can see our cat, Marmalade on her bed supervising (some may call this “sleeping”).

Joanne added torn mozzarella cheese, basil and course sea salt. Again, I had to control myself. She tears the cheese to create more texture on the plate and for your palate as well as the basil, to prevent bruising, it is rustic and simple.

Here is the recipe, just make sure your tomatoes are kept at room temperature and you go for the best.


Today we are also giving away a signed copy of a very special book that was written and photographed by a very special person. We were lucky enough to meet Helene Dujardin of Tartelette down at the Food Blog Forum in Orlando. We were also able to go to her workshop after FBF, where we learned so much about food styling and photography.

Helene truly is inspiring and brimming with passion for what she does. So much so, that we asked if she would mentor us in food photography. She kindly said yes and we have been continuing to learn from her since. We also purchased her book, Plate to Pixel, which is full of amazing tips and insight, it is as if she is next to you when you are taking a photograph. We fell in love with the book and decided to purchase another copy and asked if Helene is she would sign it for us to share with one of our readers in this giveaway.



This giveaway is now closed

Make sure you say hello to Helene over at her blog where you can enjoy beautiful photography and writings. You can also follow her on twitter.

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31 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Jenelle August 15, 2011, 4:12 am

    Was a winner announced? Did I miss it?

  • Beth August 9, 2011, 11:07 am

    I love the colors of food for the simple pleasure of what the food looks like when you pick fresh produce or fruit and display them for your guest.

  • Kathy August 8, 2011, 12:30 pm

    Your pictures are fantastic and I love the “high-tech” ways you get them Adam! And Joanne it’s true we “eat” with our eyes first and all your dishes I’m sure, taste as fantastic as they look! I love food to eat and create as it makes me happy when people are happy eating one of my “creations”. Keep those pictures happening and congratulations on your magazine as it’s nice not to have too much paper hanging around my house!


  • the wicked noodle August 2, 2011, 8:26 am

    Boy, could I use this book!! Although at this point my beloved camera has been lost (still crossing fingers it turns up). Time for a new camera and a *new book* to go with it 😉

    Hope you’re both well!


    Kristy (and ps. already follow you on Twitter but now I’m off to tweet!)

  • Ann from Sumptuous Spoonfuls August 2, 2011, 8:11 am

    Why do I love food? It is our most basic connection both to the earth and to each other. Through food we forge friendships, intimacy, and love. Food creates culture and community. To me, food is love.

  • Lady Locavore July 31, 2011, 3:30 pm

    I am inspired by this book to become a better photographer. I enjoy taking pictures of things I make, and also enjoy making it look as amazing as possible, with the use of natural light. This book will certainly help my blogging and spruce up my site. I love exploring food, and enjoy trying new and easy things. The quick and easy to make recipes are the ones everyone will do over and over again. I always say, “Hey, why didn’t I think of that?”

  • Denise July 31, 2011, 8:09 am

    I love food and cooking because it inspires me, satisfies me, calms me and because I believe it can be such a great part of life!

  • Amanda Thompson July 30, 2011, 2:22 pm

    I think Heirloom Tomatoes and Berries are some of the prettiest things Nature has created ~ I love all the colors and shapes, and of course, the tastes! Just looking at your salad makes me happy!

  • Diane July 30, 2011, 11:03 am

    That’s gorgeous. For me cooking and food are my main creative outlets. I spend a lot of time thinking about different recipes and how to tweak them. And yes, I think that how a dish looks is at least as important as how it tastes.
    I’ll be making this salad with dinner tomorrow.

  • Julien July 30, 2011, 2:56 am

    I spend more time thinking about food than I think about anything else. Even when I’m working on something, I find myself picturing the next meal I plan to put together. Then, when I make it, I can’t help but love how something can be aesthetically pleasing, physically satisfying, and seductive to the mouth and nose. Even better, one great dish can accomplish all of those things. Food makes life beautiful!

  • Lana July 29, 2011, 1:26 pm

    I love creating new and exciting dishes. Food makes me happy. Food photography is awesome. It gives you a chance to capture your own dishes. Btw, I made heirloom tomato salad with mozzarella balls yesterday. It was so yummy.

  • Shumaila July 29, 2011, 12:09 pm

    Food makes me a happier person to be with! If I stay hungry for too long I am irritable, cranky and what not. Give me food, my mood changes instantly! Plus, I think all the good things happen around food- conversations, bonding, laughter, stories! I think food is just great! I love food!

  • Pat R July 29, 2011, 11:59 am

    Since you eat first with your eyes, beautiful photos of food are a special delight, since you don’t gain any weight while enjoying the food!

  • Linda July 29, 2011, 1:06 am

    There are times when I only eat because I have to. But the kitchen is my sacred space, my happy place where Hubby sits down to the table and, from his perspective, “The food just magically appears”. What fascinates me is how all food begins as a seed or an ovum, and then POOF! the food magically grows into form, texture, color and flavor. And like how trees provide our oxygen, the food provides its life to sustain ours. And who could resist picking a fully ripe plum from its tree and have it burst with sweet juices in the mouth and all over the face. The milks, the cream and butter,…the cheeses. The nuts and olives! And don’t forget the sugars, salts, and spices, the coffee, tea, and chocolates.Food…is…good.


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