Around the World in 12 Dinner Parties was shot at Hipcooks Portland: Lissa flew into town for just one week, and we shot the entire book on location at the studio in 6 days. Since I like every recipe to have a photograph, that was about 200 shots. The food we shoot at Hipcooks is all “real,” all cooked-to-order, no trick ingredients. Food stylists: ourselves! I would run to the kitchen to coordinate with the team (Suzana & Bonny and a handful of saintly Hipcooks Assistants,) as Lissa would struggle to light our tiny workspace in the Hipcooks retail area.
Monika: Can you believe we shot that book in ONE WEEK only at Hipcooks Portland! Wow, that was an amazing, hectic time. But we sure ate well. My favorite part was coordinating my outfits and the soundtrack to match the shoot that day.
Lissa: My favorite part was not having any props, Monika.
It’s true! Our “props” were a small selection of kitchen stuff that friends and family had brought over. Thank Gawd for our neighbor, Ink & Peat, who kindly let us borrow chic plates and fun background textures so we had a little something to work with.
Monika to Lissa: We’ve come a long way, baby!
Lissa (laughs): It’s true! It was lucky when we found the old blue door in your basement. It stood in as a dining table in the New Orleans Chapter. Those flowers were gorgeous!
We continued to use the “New Orleans” flowers to cast dappled-light on other shots: here you can just make out the dessert from the Thailand Chapter, with my lunch on the side.
Monika: I’ll caption these 2 shots as “2 Sleepless Ladies on the Last Day of Shooting, Spanikopita still in the oven.”
At the time of this posting, Monika & Lissa are deep into production on the second Hipcooks Cookbooks: A Sip & a Nibble. We happily report that our schedule is much more civilized. (But not by much, since we’re both crazy perfectionists.)
I love working with Lissa — I’m grateful to have found such a fantastic collaborator.