The Next Giveaway: Let’s Cooking

“Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.” – Craig Claiborne

Lets Cooking Cover

I can’t believe we are already into the second week of the new year. Not only has this week gone by with the frenetic energy of first love, but with it has come the 2014 event season. It might sound premature, but in looking ahead I see about 40 event on the calendar this year already. In fact, I had to go old school yesterday and buy an agenda, the Google calendar on my phone just isn’t going to cut it. While I scramble to shoehorn double-booked events, I’d love to start the year off with something a little more celebratory. I want to give you something.

While the Burgoo, Food For Comfort Cookbook giveaway didn’t draw the number of entries I would have hoped for, I am at it again. If you’ve been following along, you might recall that I had a second cookbook release this fall for a project that was shot almost two years ago. Let’s Cooking is a collection of Japanese-style home cooking recipes, which I can tell you are much simpler to prepare than they look. Let’s Cooking is a bit of a how to manual going beyond what most of us recognize as our Japanese fan favourites. Apparently Japanese food is more than just Sushi!

Since getting a test copy of the book last year, we have tried a number of dishes including what has become an easy favourite, the Okonomiyaki which invites infinite variations depending on what we have in the fridge, or what might have been left over from last night’s BBQ. From rice and noodles to elegant and whimsical Kanten Let’s Cooking is a primer for a style of cooking and food that couldn’t be more different than the food many of us grew up with but has become a staple for many of us on the West Coast.

So warm up what ever camera you have close and share your food experiences with me for a chance to win a signed copy of Hana Dethlefsen’s Let’s Cooking.

What I would like to see:

Your original work featuring food, cooking, or the social nature of a shared dinner table. I would like to see your photo with a short caption describing it’s creation and something about why it is significant to you. Top photos will be shared on this blog with credit and attribution with the winner being selected mid February. Please include your watermark if possible. Due to the constraints of international shipping the winner will be selected from North American-based entries.

I am excited to see and share your quality images, but most of all I want to see something beyond a glossy magazine style photo. That said, if your photo shares a story and is evocative and engaging I am not concerned if it was shot with your iPhone, compact or Pro DSLR. I care less about your technique of capture and more about the evocative nature of the content. Show us food that makes us hungry, show us a scene we’d be eager to be a part of.

I don’t want to see your whole portfolio, entries are limited to three images at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi at 1024 pixels on the long side.

What I don’t want to see:

Previously published photos will not be considered nor will photos submitted under false pretenses; I want to see your work, not the work of others with your name on it. Any work I deem in violation of copyright will be disqualified immediately and will be shared with the creating photographer where identifiable.

The Fine Print:

I reserve the right to change or alter contest terms based on the number and quality of entries. If I only receive one entry, I won’t be sending out the cookbook, but rather trying again in a couple of months.  I am the sole judge and jury and I can be whimsical and subjective. Contest closes on February 15, 2014

Submit your images to me at

Food - Let's Cooking Cookbook 2011
Food – Let’s Cooking Cookbook 2011

Hana Dethlefsen FEEDback Project Participate Gallery-4



Project Update: Let’s Cooking Cookbook

“Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.” ~Marcel Boulestin

Lets Cooking Cover

It’s fair to admit that there are times when even I, a great observer of the world, can not see the forest for the trees. I say this with my tongue in my cheek as I’ve come out of my busiest event season, maybe ever, and into the quiet season. This transition can be difficult, it can feel like a sudden and unexpected train stop. This is the time of year when some of us have to dig deep for the discipline to make our soft deadlines, to make the necessary software updates, to review the year past and start planning for the year ahead. It is a time for housekeeping and review, and if you feel stuck at home while others are away on assignment, it can be difficult to swap the camera for the computer.

But it turns out Autumn 2013 has been pretty good, and has offered a lot more than simply hunkering down with new external drives, and software updates. The first great thing to arrive this fall was Burgoo’s Food For Comfort Cookbook, which I had in hand at the end of October after waiting ‘patiently’ for months. It is important to consider how long the process for these type of projects can take, especially if you might be used to seeing your work in print or online, a few days or hours after shooting it.

On the heals of Food for Comfort, Hana Dethlefsen’s Let’s Cooking: Japanese Cooking at Home Vol. 1 was the next great thing to land in my expectant hands. And if the Burgoo project felt protracted, Let’s Cooking took waiting patiently to a whole new level. In fairness Let’s Cooking was a very different type of project. It is a small book filled with big ideas financed by good will pot luck dinners. The principal photography was produced two years ago with the idea that if circumstances worked out, there would be a book somewhere down the road. Circumstances worked out and after a very successful summer crowd funding campaign an initial print run of 500 copies was produced with plans in the works for 500 more in the new year.

Hana describes Japanese food as more than just sushi, or chicken karage, and while these are popular, it is the shared meal that is most significant to Japanese food. It is the mixture of colour, texture and flavour that makes Japanese food delicious, healthy and beautiful. While Let’s Cooking isn’t available in wide release, if you are interested please get in touch with Hana through her website: Let’s Cooking.

I have an extra copy which I hope to be able to giveaway in the new year with a contest similar to this month’s Food For Comfort giveaway.

Hana Dethlefsen FEEDback Project

Hana Dethlefsen FEEDback Project

Hana Dethlefsen FEEDback Project

Hana Dethlefsen FEEDback Project

Project Update: Let’s Cooking

What must be close to two years ago, I contributed several days of photography, totaling more than 2000 images shot over six or seven individual shoots for Hana Dethlefsen’s ‘Let’s Cooking’ cookbook project. Hana’s book is now on Indiegogo where she’s seeking crowd funding to finance a limited publication run.

The project can be found here: Let’s Cooking on Indiegogo

But check out what Hana, and others, have to say about her book:

Here are a couple of images featured in the book; a $25 contribution gets you your own copy, plus all the great photos seen inside! <wink, wink, nudge, nudge>

Hana Dethlefsen FEEDback Project

Hana Dethlefsen FEEDback Project

Today’s Archive Images: Let’s Cooking, the FEEDBack Project

ParticipATE Pantry-4

My friend Hana is now in possession of a few test prints of her cook book ‘Let’s Cooking’ featuring photos by me! I can’t wait to see my copy.  In preparing for an upcoming project I have been looking through older food related work and pouring over my favourite cook books with a renewed attention to styling, lighting and content. Food & Drink are right up there with those things I consider to be the best things in life. Photographing food poses unique challenges and when done right it is an exercise of passion, of love and of respect. I believe that the preparation of food can be a great gift to a loved one, and failing ability to serve a favourite friend a plate of something made by hand, hopefully a photo, as carefully crafted as any plate of food, will suffice. Unless you’re really hungry then a photo is a poor substitute for your favourite bowl of noodles.

These are a couple of my favourite images from the ‘Let’s Cooking’ project, about which you can read more here:

Hana Dethlefsen FEEDback Project

Hana Dethlefsen FEEDback Project