Last week I spent five days locked in a dark photo studio with dozens of chocolate truffles while styling the catalogue for See's Candies. For a bona fide sweet freak like me, this is a true test of will. It becomes a water water everywhere but not a drop to drink scenario because every piece of chocolate could potentially be the one true star super hero piece that's going to stand up like a champ under the lights. I have been the jerk who ate the hero before they call wrap only to have it called back to set. It's incredibly embarrasssing. "Love to help you out there super important client that's paying for this expensive day of photography, but I ate the product." Hazards of the trade I guess.
Working with all that chocolate reminded me of one of the very first Food Styling jobs I assisted on a thousand years ago. I was helping the talented Karen Gillingham on a Nestle's Chocolate shoot. Karen had to make these giant Nestle Logos entirely out of chocolate using these stiff custom made chocolate molds. It was a tricky business. Getting out all of the air bubbles, guarding against the unsightly whitish bloom that can occur on incorrectly handled chocolate, and popping the finished logo out in one piece was challenging. I knew nothing about food at the time, beyond the fact that I liked to eat it frequently and I was drawn to the aesthetics of baked goods. Karen generously taught me on the job. On that Nestle's gig she taught me how to thin chocolate with vegetable oil or shortening, how to guard against errant bubbles and fingerprints, and to always pay attention to the texture you were creating in liquid form that would harden into the final finished surface of your chocolate goods.
This is one of my favorite chocolate shots Renee and I have ever created together. These dreamy marshmallow moon pies were featured in this wild marshmallow cookbook we shot a while back. I love the peak on the lower pie and the way the chocolate ruffles down the sides. Thanks See's for reminding me of my chocolate memories and Karen for showing me the ropes.