Ask food bloggers to bring something sweet to have with coffee and just look what you get: a mouthwatering array of beautifully baked and lovingly packaged treats. And they were just the icing on the cake during a day of food photography organised by the ever-helpful Maeve Desmond at Bord Bia.
Between finishing cottage painting and the forthcoming arrival of what has been nicknamed by a fellow blogger on Twitter as #cottagepie, ie baby #2, I hadn’t been too sure if I would be able to make it to Dublin. Fortunately, the Eight Degrees Brewing boys had to install a tap at O’Neill’s on Suffolk Street so I got a lift to the Bord Bia door, along with – because I didn’t have a chance to do any baking myself! – some bottles of Howling Gale Ale to pass around at lunchtime.
The morning belonged to cookbook author/photographer Donal Skehan, stylist extraordinaire Sharon Hearne-Smith and commercial photographer Jocasta Clarke who passed on some of the tricks of the photography and food styling trade.
After a superb lunch – thanks to the chefs at Bord Bia – we also had presentations from Damien Mulley on site optimisation while my fellow IFBA-er and cookbook editor Kristin Jensen gave us her top five tips for recipe writing (going live on the IFBA site on Monday).There was lots of scribbling in notebooks and digging cameras out of bags to grab shots of what was happening but, all the words of wisdom aside – and there were many of those – one of the major highlights of the day for me was catching up with old friends and meeting some new faces.
After the presentations ended, it was a slow move towards the door as people chatted, exclaimed over the packaging of the sweet treats – perfect for stashing in a handbag for homewards travels – and exchanged recommendations on where to pick up good props and cameras.
It’s always good to have an excuse to break bread – or brownies – together. Now, time to start going through those notes!