This past year was a very exciting year for Ben as he had the opportunity to shoot several cookbooks. These books are not small projects. It’s easy to pick up a cookbook and take for granted how much work goes into the production of them- from the writing and editing, to the layout and design, to the styling of props, and the creation of the food, not to mention the lighting and capturing of each image- it’s meticulous work. Ben’s been fortunate to work on these projects with a strong team of artists, editors, creative directors, and wanted to celebrate the success of one these books by giving back by way of food on plate. We hosted a cocktail party at the studio, and Ben created a menu with 8, yes 8 different small plates for everyone to try. The mushroom flatbread was such a hit that we figured, if it’s good enough for our party, we think it might be good enough for yours.
The final item on the top 10 is the microplane. The microplane is the utensil that will make a fine lemon zest for a blueberry cobbler, fresh nutmeg for any baking or alfredo sauce, and make the quickest, lightest pile of fresh parmesan that you’ve ever seen. A block of fresh parmesan is a staple in our refrigerator, and we like cheese, so needless to say we utilize ours quite often. To demonstrate the usage of the microplane we took spring’s finest, most elusive treasure the morel mushroom and tried to do it justice. If you’re not familiar with this fungi you should be. They’re only around for a short time- actually you have minimal time to scavenge these, and the elements have to be just right- just enough rain and warmth from the sun before they sprout. You have to get to them before grass creates a camouflage that will make it impossible to find. We were blessed with a small bounty of these beauties from a colleague of mine, Kim Folsom. We cannot and will not reveal the location of her source- we’ve seen them sold for up to $20 a pound, so you can understand the confidentiality. With that said- we didn’t go too crazy with this already amazing mushroom, but we did spruce it up a bit. Here’s our tribute to those who introduced the morel to us, who have shared their morels with us, and to the morel itself.