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Spirits in a Bottle

It's no secret I love photographing food. It's tasty, doesn't talk back and pretty much cooperates with whatever crazy "pose" I have in mind (most of the time).

I created these images for New Orleans Weddings Magazine's Fall 2016 edition as part of a collaboration with Chef Leon West of Messina's Catering. The issue had a fairytale wedding theme and this particular editorial was inspired by the Grimm's fairytale classic "The Spirit in the Bottle."

To be honest there's a lot of smoke and mirrors in this shoot - literally. I photographed each pairing on a mirror (which is a huge challenge, let me tell you) and used incense and fans to create the smoke effects. All told the shoot itself extended the better part of a day, but it was worth every second.

Bon appétit y'all!

First up: Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Ale paired with BBQ Pulled Pork

Lazy Magnolia’s Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale is a dark mahogany beer made with whole roasted pecans (so very Southern!), giving this Mississippi brew a nutty flavor profile. Chef Leon topped BBQ pulled pork with pineapple slaw and served it on a house made sweet potato biscuit. And yes, it's every bit as delicious as it looks.

Next on the menu: A Rougaroux® Praline Rum Old Fashioned paired with Roasted Duck Breast

A Rougaroux® Praline Rum Old Fashioned pairs perfectly with Chef West’s roasted duck breast served atop a gouda cheese and bacon grit cake. Chef topped this small bite with a praline sauce and orange garnish.

For those of you not familiar with the legend of the Rougaroux®, you can read the story here and you'll learn why there are 13 pennies in this photo and in the name of the rum too. ;)

And next: Oryza® Vodka Bloody Mary paired with Chef’s “Dirty” Oyster

Chef mixed up a Bloody Mary with locally produced Oryza® vodka from the Donner-Peltier Distillery (sadly now closed), and paired it with his “Dirty” Oyster - a crispy, fried oyster served on the half shell on a bed of dirty rice (YASSSS!) and topped with hollandaise sauce. Try it for brunch, or, anytime really. It's NOLA. We don't judge.

To finish: Landry Vineyards Chardonnay paired with Baked Stuffed Shrimp

This buttery, smooth white wine hails from Landry Vineyards in West Monroe, Louisiana. This wine has a bright, vibrant flavor with the sweet essence of honey, apple, and pear. It pairs perfectly with Chef's butterflied shrimp stuffed with Louisiana Blue Crab dressing that were baked til golden (and melt in your mouth).

Just one last question: Are you hungry yet? (And speak up! I can't hear much over my tummy growling.) ;)

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