This is an event that is part of Good Food Month: an evening with Anna Phillips and Syd Pemberton talking about the process of putting together cookbooks, dealing with publishers, food styling, and the recent history of the art of cookbooks.
Syd and Anna are very funny, knowledgable ladies who have worked in the food industry for many years, and who have written a seafood cookbook together. Syd has numerous other publications to her name (and is apparently collecting some royalties from them). She also runs market tours and cooking classes. Anna has a background in home economics and works (among other things) as a food stylist for books, magazines and advertising (the can of baby beets below is one of hers).
It was a really entertaining evening, topped off with tastings of their food creations. The vintage pineapple stabbed with cubed cheese and cabanossi was a huge hit. I personally loved the prawn salad, which was made with farmed Thailand prawns. Anna is an advocate of these prawns, having seen the process involved in their farming. They look and taste amazing (I haven’t coloured any of these photos – they really are that bright).
It was interesting hearing their stories of photo shoots and how they believe that the food you see on the front of a box (such as cake mix) should be the same as what you make – no touching up or ‘faking’. Although the story behind that chocolate drink advert with floating marshmallows attached with skewers and blu-tack will have me searching out that box at the supermarket…