You'll find this kind of photography (realistic photos of food complete with splotches, scorch spots and side-drips) in many cookbooks very soon
You'll find this kind of photography (realistic photos of food complete with splotches, scorch spots and side-drips) in many cookbooks very soon

Gastronomy: Just leave the dirty dishes

 

John Walsh
Thursday 19 April 2012 19:46
Comments

Humankind, T S Eliot said, cannot bear very much reality. When it comes to food, we've grown to love a style of photography that bears little relation to the products of our humble kitchens. It's called gastroporn.

Seen through its lens, fruit and vegetables glow with colour and amplitude. Seafood dishes are riots of Mediterranean-sun splendour. Roast leg of lamb has the umbral patina of a Rembrandt portrait...

Well, you can forget all that stuff. A new tendency is in Cookstown, and it's realism. Down-to-earth recipes, unpretentious flavours, everyday ingredients, slam-it-together-and-serve-it-up cooking. To accompany this approach we have a different quality of photographs.

Check out, for instance, Joanna Weinberg's Cooking for Real Life, out next month. The photographs by Jill Mead show us our everyday supper as it is, rather than as we'd like it: putty-coloured pasta, sludge-hued chilli con carne, vomit-pigmented lamb stew. A subtle variant on this dismaying food palette is to photograph casserole pans with the splotches, scorch spots, skid-marks and side-drips that mark our sorry process and leave our cooking pot resembling a bombed-out latrine.

You'll find this kind of stuff in many cookbooks very soon. We must be grateful for such a bracing douche of realism, after all that foolish, mendacious beauty.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in