The Jealous Crumpet

A sweet little blog


Hideous Photos from a Professional Food Photographer

This past weekend I got the opportunity to go to the International Associate of Culinary Professional’s (IACP) annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky. (I drank SO much bourbon!). The conference is a great opportunity for people in all sectors of the culinary field to come together, learn some things, network, meet your culinary idols and of course, eat lots of amazing food. Oh yeah, and the bourbon. IMG_5695Of course, being at a conference with some of the world’s top food photographers/stylists/writers I wanted to be able to put a good foot forward and have some nice images of the conference, but this was not to be the case. I’m not really the most responsible of adults and last year I broke the camera on my phone. I’m not really sure how it happened, but I have a general idea. My husband couldn’t believe that such an expensive phone could break so easily, but when I went to pull my phone out of my purse and accidentally flung it 9 feet across the parking lot he pondered no more.

I did not want to lug my real camera to the conference and the selfie mode of my phone still works, so I just figured I could take lots of selfies to illustrate my experience.  This let to a whole slew of really shitty photographs. I’ve been following the other conference attendee’s beautiful imagery and I’ve got to say it is pretty humbling to present you with this ugly pics.  Enjoy!  4Yikes! That’s super rough. It is seriously hard to take a photo of food when you:

A. Can’t see the image on the screen

B. Can’t zoom in

C. And are shooting with a 1.2 mp camera that does terrible in low light and is clearly meant for portrait mode. 5These were the very best images. Yes, seriously. There are actually images much worse than this crap. 8These are not as bad, to be clear they are not good, but not as bad. You should have seen the confused looks while I was trying to take a photo with my phone facing the wrong way, while hanging over the top and putting fun shadows all over the place. IMG_5667People would ask why I did and when I said I was a food photographer the response was ‘Oh wow.. really?’

The conference itself was excellent. I saw a free friends, met a lot of new people and learned a lot. It was my first trip to Louisville and I throughly enjoyed it.  My husband and I are already making plans to revisit.  I especially want to visit Dinosaur World and the Patton Museum. They weren’t in Louisville city limits, but not far from it.  Also the KFC Museum, how can that be anything less than awesome.

The other awesome thing about the conference was the swag! I’m actually not a huge fan of swag, but there was some primo stuff a this thing. Such as packages of California figs and fig BBQ sauce.IMG_5721I also picked up a potato doll called a Spuddy Buddy! Hilarious! Also, sad that I have the fashion sense of a potato.

I picked it up from my friend’s children, but then I realized the Spud and I had the same shoes! I might keep him now. I mean we have the same shoes! IMG_5737I also got an Anolon frying pan, a yogurt carrier, a cute back of chips, a nice wine opener.. There were also lots of snacks.  My favorite were the kiwi berries, which are essentially mini hairless kiwis. 6I enjoyed the Hillshire small plates while watching Knocked Up at midnight.  I party hard. IMG_5841  I stayed at two different hotels over the 4 days there, and they were great, but my view was less than picturesque. IMG_5879It could be a postcard couldn’t it! Who needs a mountain view when you have a construction site or parking garage?IMG_5664They did make my towel into a swan, so that made up for the view.. a bit.

IMG_5735IMG_5704My husband didn’t get to come with me, so I spent much of the weekend sending him photos of the fun times I was having.  On Saturday I was looking so pulled together with my scarf, make-up and Starbucks so I sent him a photo of it.

When he saw the photo he said it didn’t look a thing like me. Jeez! Why do I even bother. Later that night I sent a ‘regular’ photo with Spuddy Buddies on my head.

On the last day of the conference I went to The Palace for an awards ceremony. Swank!Untitled-1 copyIt was really nice and I got to finally hang out with some friends I’d been missing for most of the conference. IMG_5804Then I packed up all my stuff, grabbed a banana for a road snack and too one last shitty photo of myself before heading back to Alabama. I hope you enjoyed the noisy, blurry, badly cropped awful images. IMG_5878


Old Wise Man Bourbon Cocktail

Old Wise Man Bourbon CocktailHere’s another exceptional cocktail from Chef Ryan Stone at The Bottle in Huntsville. I am a huge fan of bourbon cocktails, so I definitely recommend this libation. Make sure you also check out Chef Ryan’s Lily, My Love Gin Cocktail.

Old Wise Man

Recipe by Ryan Stone

2oz Sage-infused Old Forester Bourbon

0.5oz Peach Syrup

0.5oz Fresh Lemon Juice

2 dashes Peach Bitters

2 blackberries

In a mixing tin, add blackberries, peach syrup, and lemon juice. Muddle gently for 10 seconds. Add sage-infused Old Forester and peach bitters into the mixing tin, add ice to about the 3/4’s full line, and shake vigorously. Strain twice over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a speared blackberry and a sage leaf.



Bacon (yes, bacon) Old Fashioned

Bacon Old FashionI have been completely remiss in blogging the last two weeks, but I refuse to let another non-blogging day go by.

Recently I had the pleasure to photograph (and sample) several amazing drinks and dishes at local restaurant, Below the Radar.  The restaurant is currently about to start brewing beer on their premises, which is very exciting for the hop heads of Huntsville, Alabama.

Craft Beer at Below the Radar

Craft Beer at Below the Radar

They also rolled out their spring menu, and North Alabama folk, it is great so go today.  All of the food was excellent, but the tofu stir-fry dish was amazing.  Even the most die-hard carnivore will love it.


Left-The amazing Tofu Stir-Fry Right-The same dish an embarrassingly short time later

But the star of the show was the Bacon Old-Fashioned created by Bar Manager Chase Shelton.  Chase was kind enough to share his recipe with me.  Untitled-2

The Bacon Old-Fashioned 
Recipe by Chase Shelton
Bacon bourbon:
Find the smokiest bacon you can find….I prefer Benton’s or Nueske’s, both of which can be ordered online. Well worth the investment!
-Take the slab bacon and cut it into half inch cubes
-Render all the fat from the bacon in a skillet
-Drain fat into a large jar or other glass container that requires a lid
(the amount will have to be trial and error. I used about two pounds and produced about a cup of fat. Depending on the cut and fattyness of the bacon, results may vary)
-once the bacon fat is in the jar add a liter bottle of your favorite bourbon (we used pritchard’s Tennessee whiskey)
-Whisk the fat and bourbon together and place lid on container
-place the container in the refrigerator and allow to set overnight
-the next day, the fat will have rose to the top and the liquor will be on the bottom
-with a large spoon or spatula, cut around the fat and scoop it out
-strain liquor through 2 coffee filters to remove any excess particles. Once it looks clear again your ready to enjoy
Maple Simple Syrup 
-take grade (a or b) maple syrup and mix 1:1 with boiling water. I use kirklands maple syrup from Costco
Bacon old fashioned
2oz bacon bourbon
3/4oz maple simple syrup
2 dashes angostura bitters
Splash soda
Garnish with a piece of the rendered bacon and an orange twist
Note: cut orange twist wide and long so that you can squeeze the essential oils over the glass once complete.
If you would like to get more recipes pick up a copy of Huntsville Event magazine or visit their website.

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Naughty Arnold Palmer

DSC_01391I’m not the biggest golf fan.  I’m not sure why, but I think it might go back to my first golf experience, which was in 5th grade.  We were allowed to choose an elective class, and I wasn’t particularly athletic so when I saw golf as on option I thought, “sure, walk around, hit a little, white ball, walk some more, that sounds like the sport for me.”  I signed up and was actually looking forward to it.  On the first week we went over the rules, which, at time, seemed endless complicated and boring.  I kept thinking how much better things would be the second week when we got to actually golf.  I was wrong.  I hated it.  I couldn’t hold the clubs correctly, swinging over and over was really hard and I couldn’t even hit the ball, let alone make it go where I wanted it to.  I begged the teacher to let me into other class.  She finally caved and I spent the rest of the semester reading books to first graders.  Not much better, but slightly.

Though I still haven’t embraced the sport of golf, I can at the very least get behind the lemony, tea drink with the namesake of legendary golfer Arnold Palmer.

So here’s the story, Arnold Palmer (7 time Major Champion Winner) was at a California restaurant and ordered an ice tea and a lemonade.  Palmer mixed the two drinks together and started to enjoy.  A woman at an adjacent table (who may have been a stalker, but at the very least was a blatant eavesdropper) noticed the golfer mixing his drink and said “I want a Palmer” and that was it.  Shortly after restaurants and golf courses started serving the Arnold Palmer giving the world an alcohol-free alternative to the Shirley Temple.DSC_0165I really love Arnold Palmers, but I also really love alcohol (on occasion, I’m not a lush), so combining the two could only make a drink exponentially better.  A typical Adult Arnold Palmer is simply ice tea, lemonade, and a shot of vodka, but personally I think that is a lazy route.  Instead here is an excellent recipe, from New York City chef Elijah Belanger, for an alcoholic version of an Arnold Palmer using bourbon.  And it is dangerously yummy.DSC_0157

Several friends and I were tasked with taste-testing this drink and let me say it made for a very fun evening.  Be Responsible: Don’t Drink and Drive.   

Spiked Bourbon Arnold Palmer 

by Elijah Belanger

2 oz.  Bourbon

Juice from 1 Medium Lemon

4 sprigs of Fresh Mint

1 oz. Brown Sugar Simple Syrup (Boil Equal Parts sugar and water)

7 oz. Iced Tea (Typically Use English Breakfast Tea)

Sliced Lemons for Garnish

Muddle mint with  lemon juice in a mixing glass.Add bourbon, brown sugar simple syrup, and ice tea to mixing glass and shake with ice. Pour into mason jar (for that quaint summery feel).  Garnish with mint sprig and lemon wheels.DSC_0147