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Memorable photography experience for The Ravenous Chef

I recently zipped down into Miami for a quick photo shoot with Chef and Pastry Chef from The Ravenous Chef.  I had no doubt that I was going to get great photos from them. They’re full of personality, they brought props and we had a great big space to work in. Win win win. But I was touched when I received the following email from from Chef Plasencia a few days later:

Morning Libby. Just wanted to thank you not only for some great pics but for an even better experience. I've never felt so comfortable in front of a camera! Who knew that it all it would take was to find a badass Nebraska chic living in South Florida. Looking forward to seeing the pics and MANY future endeavors -R  

Eat. Drink. Repeat.

The Ravenous Chef portrait food photography libby vision miami

The Ravenous Chef portrait food photography libby vision miami

 

This testimonial to me was everything. Yeah, it’s cool to get paid to make pictures. That feeling never wears off. But it’s way cooler to create something awesome for someone, to create an experience they never thought they were going to have, to be comfortable in front of the camera. Way cooler than getting paid.

 

Now onto The Ravenous Chef. Headed by Chief Culinary Officer Chef Plasencia who worked at Town Kitchen & Bar, Jake’s, The Gastropub at Jake’s, Baptist Health South Florida, The Shore Club, Por Fin and The Biltmore Hotel among others. One of his burgers was even listed on Burger Beast’s Top 25 Burgers in Miami and South Florida (serve with a slab of guava!)

 

The Ravenous Chef portrait food photography libby vision south florida

 

 

So go visit them. Hire them. Taste their amazing food.

 

 

District Table and Bar in Flamingo Magazine

District TAble and Bar South Florida ood Photography

 

Run run run to your nearest Publix, newsstand, Whole Foods, bookstore, Target and pick up this summer’s issue of Flamingo Magazine. Flip to page 97 and drool along with me as we read all about Jason Stocks’ and his blockbuster restaurant District Table and Bar. And see some images that I’m super excited to share. I’ve wanted to work with Flamingo for months – so I’m beyond thrilled to share this spread.

District Table and Bar South Florida Flamingo Magazinee Food Photography Libby Vision

 

 

I first met Jason a few years ago – after a few hours of learning about his seasonal, farm-to-table philosophy and partnership with Kai Kai Farm, I turned to him and asked “where were you when I lived here in 2005?” I was upset that this amazing restaurant, literally down the street from where I’d lived in the long year I’d spent on the Treasure Coast hadn’t existed then. He cracked a rare smile and responded “...in culinary school?”

 

I drag my husband up here pretty regularly which says a lot because we’re crossing into another county to eat his food. He’s also undergoing a massive renovation in the coming months and moving down the street, which is super exciting for everyone.

 

There’s not too much in the article that I want to add to except that YOU NEED TO VISIT. And invite me along for dinner when you go because I truly love this restaurant.

 

 

 

Also, his adorable son is more proficient slicing meat than I am, which I witnessed at a Pig Roast at Kai Kai Farm not too long ago. He’s a good guy, that Jason Stocks. And an amazing chef.

District Table and Bar South Florida Flamingo Magazinee Food Photography Libby Vision

 

District Table and Bar South Florida Flamingo Magazinee Food Photography Libby Vision

 

District Table and Bar: 900 SE Indian Street

Stuart FL, 34990

www.districttableandbar.com

Nettle Pesto Pasta

Nettle Pesto Pasta recipe food photography Libby Vision South Florida

 

I’m not sure what exactly drew me to the nettles. Perhaps it was the color- a deep, almost blue tint to the green.

More likely it was the nettles themselves. The stingers. How you can literally see the little daggers coming off the leaves. I guess I like a little danger with my cooking.

So when I saw the nettles packaged in sealed plastic bags at the Swank Market (as if they were dangerous animals!) I knew I had to do something with them.

I thought about tea and I thought about juicing. In the end, I elected to make a pesto. Nettle Pesto Pasta, to be more

precise.

Nettle Pesto Pasta recipe food photography Libby Vision South Florida

 

Nettle Pesto Pasta preparation

 

But first, I had to figure out how to treat them. With scissors, I carefully snipped the leaves from the stems. Then I plunged them into boiling water for about 3 minutes and let them drip, eventually ringing the water from them. You need to wear gloves while working with nettles. Despite everything, I got stung on my thumb and it took dousing it with lavender essential oil to take away the pain.

 

After that, I was still suspicious as to whether the nettles would sting me. I mean, you could still SEE them. But they were fine. I made a quick pesto in my food processor by throwing in a handful of walnuts, olive oil, garlic cloves, copious amounts of salt,  a squeezed lemon, and a handful of spinach as the nettles wilted more than I expected.

Nettle Pesto Pasta recipe food photography Libby Vision South Florida

 

 

Pesto to me is deeply personal. It’s a taste thing. Like garlic? Go heavy. Like salt? Ditto. Make it according to your tastes. Use whatever nuts you have. Toast them. Or not. I made mine dairy free as I’m not eating dairy these days but it sure is good with a bit or high-quality Parmesan-Regiano.

That night, I made up two different pans of pasta – a light gluten-free corn pasta and my favorite homemade Mama Gizzi freshly made pasta for Adam. I folded the pesto into the warm pasta slowly and served it up. My meat-loving man even forgot there was no meat, that’s how good Nettle Pesto Pasta was.

Nettle Pesto Pasta recipe food photography Libby Vision South Florida

 

Nettle Pesto Pasta recipe

 

1 bunch of nettles

1/3 cup of olive oil or to taste

1/2 cup of walnuts, pine nuts or nuts of your choice, to taste

1 lemon, juiced

4  peeled garlic cloves

1/2 tsp. sea salt

 

 

While wearing gloves, snip off leaves from nettles. Plunge into boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Let dry in colander for a few minutes, then wring extra water from nettles. Add nettles and remaining food to food processor and pulse until combined. Adjust taste.

Serve with pasta or crackers.

 

Tapas and Wine Crawl - South Beach style

 

Another Friday, another tapas and wine crawl with Mariya the Sommelier and her crew from Pernod-Ricard and Campo Viejo.

Except this one happened to take place on Cinco de Mayo so it was a little bit of extra fun!

We started at Bodega for tacos (Al Pastor was the crowd favorite) and a listen to a mariachi band which put us in a good mood for the rest of the evening’s crawl (I mean, it’s Cinco de Mayo.) The club at Bodega was accessed by entering through a Port-a-Potty door, spilling into a lively club scene. Even if we weren’t drinking (much) tequila, we were happy by then.

pernod ricard wine crawl event photography libby vision

Bodega on Cinco de Mayo Miami

pernod ricard wine crawl event photography libby vision

From Bodega, we walked over to Yuca for wine (A Campo Viejo Rioja) and more food. Think plump calamari and bacon-wrapped dates and warm polenta balls.

But we didn’t linger too long as Meat Market was calling our name. We settled into a long, beautiful table next to a pond in the setting sun. As the bustle of Lincoln Road converged around us, the world seemed to melt away. Nothing else existed but the peppery conversation, the smoky meat, the warm, opening wine – a 2011 Ysios Rioja. While we enjoyed a bright and flavorful tuna tartare , ribs and other treats from Meat Market – the wine and the smoky meat were paired together for the guests in the crowning duo.

 

pernod ricard wine crawl event photography libby vision

pernod ricard wine crawl event photography libby vision

 

Finally, after the sun set, we somehow rose from the comfortable table and continued our trek over to Juvia and up to the roof. I gasped when we stepped onto the roof.

“It’s so romantic!” I cried.

And it was. Though we had been standing in that same spot a mere few hours earlier, at night with the twinkle of candles and the cityscape of Miami glittering below our feet, Juvia was transformed.

A DJ spinned softly in the corner and it was cool without being too pretentious. The living wall of plants merged with the chic tables. I was enthralled.

We rounded out the night and our wine crawl with one more glass of wine - a Brancott "Chosen Rows" Sauvignon Blanc and a few more bites of food – chicken skewers, small tacos and strawberry shortcake and a few more conversations before, regrettably, spilling out into the street below.

Miami called.

pernod ricard wine crawl event photography libby vision

pernod ricard wine crawl event photography libby vision

pernod ricard wine crawl event photography libby vision

romantic rooftop miami dinner

Coastal Cuisines for my favorite magazine

palm beach illustrated coastal cuisines food photography libby vision

 

Palm Beach Illustrated – another of my favorite magazines – just published Coastal Cuisines in May’s gorgeous magazine. Such a delight to partner with some of my favorite chefs including Jordan Lerman from Jardin, Christie Tenaud of the Blue at the Boca Resort and my dear, dear BFF for life Aaron Black from PB Catch. I also got to meet Sean Brasel from Meat Market, Joe Peebles of the Alchemist Gastropub and Matt Sadowski, the new chef at Ironwood Steak and Seafood in Palm Beach Gardens – both delightful gents that I look forward to working with in the future.

 

palm beach illustrated coastal cuisines food photography libby vision

 

It’s always interesting to see how these come together. When you’re in it, they can feel chaotic and not exactly cohesive and then you open up the magazine, see Coastal Cuisines and a feeling of “oh yeah, that’s exactly how it was going the entire time!” rushes over you and this beautiful narrative presents.

 

palm beach illustrated coastal cuisines food photography libby vision

 

From a propping angle, I’m geeking out over my Sheldon Ceramics baby blue plates in the opening spread I purchased for this shoot. Truth be told, I’ve been wanting to own some Sheldon plates for about two years so I’m grateful for the chance excuse to buy them. They’re COMPLETELY flat and have zero hue to them. This opening shot with the guys from the Alchemist was so incredible – the guys brought their own fishing nets and buoys and oyster knives. It really helped make the shot so awesome.

Hope you guys like it too! Great! Now I’m craving lobstah!

Atlantic Ave Beverage photos for a brand new start

Atlantic-Ave-Cocktail_Chili Cocktail-Libby-Vision-food-photography-South-Florida

Bob Higginbotham from Atlantic Ave Beverage and I met quite a few years ago. Okay three, but it feels like I’ve known him a lifetime. He was working with an Italian restaurant in West Palm Beach and I was just starting LibbyVision and he took a chance on me and I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity. Okay, honestly I’m always grateful for the opportunities to work with everyone.

What I remember most about that first photo shoot was walking out of the kitchen carefully carrying a beautiful plate that completely fell over as soon as I put it down. Classic.

Now Bob is going off and starting his own business – Atlantic Ave Beverage – a brilliant consulting company. And I got to take his images for his new web site.

Atlantic-Ave-Cocktail_Chili Cocktail-Libby-Vision-food-photography-South-Florida

 

Atlantic-Ave-Cocktail_Chili Cocktail-Libby-Vision-food-photography-South-Florida

 

Atlantic-Ave-Cocktail_Chili Cocktail-Libby-Vision-food-photography-South-Florida

 

In addition to the usual suspects of portraits and some killer beverage shots, we also did some quintessential Delray Beach photos to give a little bit of atmosphere for his web site, which I absolutely cannot wait to see. I am not a patient person. But I’m working on it…

 

Downtown_delray_scenes_Libby-Vision-South-Florida

Downtown_delray_scenes_Libby-Vision-South-Florida

 

Downtown_delray_scenes_Libby-Vision-South-Florida

 

 

 

Downtown_delray_scenes_Libby-Vision-South-Florida

Downtown_delray_scenes_Libby-Vision-South-Florida