Cooks On Camera
Hanging out with chefs sure is fun. I’ve known this since my high school and college days when I waited tables at several different Westchester County country clubs. Anyone who has worked in a restaurant knows that you come across a whole slew of interesting characters in this business, but I always found that the chefs had the best stories — and often seemed to be having the best time in the kitchen. I recall one chef who used to make me sing a silly little ditty (which he made up each afternoon) before he would allow me to pick up my surf and turf.
And I had just as much fun when we brought together five hot new chefs for a photo shoot for this month’s cover story (page 38). These chefs, many of whom have just recently brought their considerable culinary competence to the Valley, showed up at photographer Mike Polito’s Wappingers Falls studio at 9:30 a.m. — with a dish — and got right to work. First, they had their makeup professionally done, and then Mike lured them in front of the camera. Initially, most of these gastronomic geniuses — who are used to hanging out in the kitchen and letting their food speak for itself — were somewhat reserved. But as the day wore on, there was lots of joking, intense chatting about the state of the industry, and even juggling going on. Believe me, Top Chef has nothing on these guys. And Mike got some winning shots. But don’t take my word on how much fun the day was — check out our behind-the-scenes video on www.hvmag.com to learn what a professional photo shoot is really like. (Unfortunately, you don’t get to sample the food these top chefs brought with them. But trust me, from the ceviche to the scones, each dish was swoon-worthy in its own way.)
Of course, the photo shoot was helped along by the bottles of Hudson Valley wine that we broke open at midday. In this issue, we update you about the state of our local vineyards (page 48). It seems that 2007 was a very, very good year for grape growers in our region. We alert you to which wines should be on your hit list this summer, as well as everything you need to know about visiting the vineyards. Talk about fun!
Have a great summer.
Olivia J. Abel
Editor in Chief