So, first I'll finish the story about the shoot and then I'll tell the story about the remodel.
When I pitched our house to Kim Sunee, the food editor, she of course asked me what we do for entertaining. So I plugged by great uncle about his progressive cuisine and she loved it. The story is going to be entitled "Nuevo Cubano" and it is going to come out in the Jan/Feb 2009 issue.
The shoot was two fold. One feature was our great, little house. And the second component was an entertaining/food story featuring my Uncle Roly's recipes. Chef Roly is now the executive chef of the Biltmore Hotel here in Coral Gables, where they have the most wonderful brunch you could ever eat! They also have the largest hotel pool in the United States.
Because of all the recipes that are going to be published, they all had to be photographed. This meant a LOT of cooking. So, Claire Perez arrived at our house first with a few cart loads of food. She used to work for Martha Stewart, and it really showed. She was a super chef. Luckily, she also loved our new kitchen.
This is what our kitchen looked like BEFORE the remodel:
...then during the remodel (isn't my hubby cute?!):
And FINALLY after way too much money and sweat and tears, this is what it looks like now, give or take a few accessories:
Claire covered out entire breakfast table with stuff from pots and pans, to ketchup and lemons. I don't think we'd ever had that much food in this kitchen ever. She ended up making a roast pork leg, black bean soup, vegetable paella, crab cakes, calamari duo, and a chocolate tres leches for dessert. My uncle's recipes are basically classic tradition things to which he gives a new twist. It was all super yummy and there was so much we couldn't eat it all--over several days.
If you really want to get a feel for what the shoot was like you can watch this video from another Cottage Living food shoot in California.
Heather Chadduck, the official stylist for Cottage Living magazine, was the next person I met. She came to our store first to see if there were more props or things she might want to use. She picked out various things for fresh flowers, a different set of dining room chairs, plates and serving platters for the food shots, and some other little accessories. This was all in addition to the TWELVE boxes they had previously shipped to our house. Which meant we had the Sun Room completely full of "stuff". They brought their own everything--from forks to napkins to glasses. They used these enormous tumblers for wine which I was horrified about, but they were a nice green tone which looked nice in the photos. She explained that they just never know what to expect when they arrive at someone's house so they have to be prepared with any possibility. I later learned a lot of the ceramic and glass items she had were samples she would return after featuring them in the magazine. I later offered to her to lend her merchandise from our store for future projects. I hope she remembers.
Kim Sunee, the food editor, and Ray Kachatorian, the photographer, and his assistant joined in on Wednesday morning. Ray had a humorous California attitude which I liked. He does major work for lots of magazines. Check out his stuff on his website. He seemed to like us and our house which was helpful in his desire to make us and our house look as good as possible.
More to come...