One day in June this summer, I was waiting for Kate Bourne from Tree of Hope in a cafe in Tonbridge. She wanted to see me because she was working on a project she thought was totally up my sleeve. Sipping on my coffee, while editing some photos in the busy cafe, little I knew about the cookbook we are releasing this week...
Kate is just the most positive and enthusiastic person I have ever met. She could have sold me a lot more I think, but when she explained me about her idea of putting together a high end local cookbook to raise money for Tree of Hope, she had me: I said 'Yes', right there and then.
The timing was super challenging because of the short deadline and the summer holidays, but I got cracking as soon as possible. I had my first photoshoot for the book on the 12th of July at the Small Holding thanks to the super supportive and amazing chef Willl Devlin and his brother.
Every photoshoot was different, but they were all super interesting in their own way. I got to meet amazing chefs I had never met before who talked me through the entire preparation of their dishes while I photographed the process like in Framptons and in The Warren.
In the Poet I got to photograph some artwork on a plate, which is just pure pleasure for any food photographer, I can assure you! Something totally different again, was the time I spent in the market gardens at Bore Place, photographing the unbelievable abundance of produce and at the best time of year for it. I couldn't believe my luck!
I also got to work with some old friends, like the afternoon I spent several hours photographing the Wholefood Wakeup berry cashew cake with Debbie. That was such good fun! With Bruce McMichael from the Lemon Grove, we pretended to be at a farmers market at his stall in his garden.
I then managed to get a ticket for one of the supper clubs at Ben Sulston's. This wasn't just a photoshoot, it was a fantastic evening with delicious food where I happened to be able to take good photos of to share the joy of such a supper club in the cookbook.
These are just a handful of all the photoshoots I did for the cookbook. I can’t mention them all here, but if you want to know more, read the book. Pick one up from your favourite contributor if you haven't already or order it online from the website of Tree of Hope. I hope will enjoy reading it and cooking from it just as much as I enjoyed photographing it!
Thank you to everyone involved for your support, all contributors for your time and enthusiasm. And dear cookbook team, Kate, Caroline, Harriet and Charlotte, it was an absolute pleasure to work with you.
Order from https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/shop