So last week I was invited to head over to Lima restaurant in London for a mobile photo masterclass with David Griffen, a special one-off evening among other food bloggers/photographers.
LIMA is a gastronomic representation of Peruvian cuisine brought across the seas here to the streets of London, I was lucky enough to sit next to the Marketing manager for the restaurant, getting a low down on all the dishes we were going to experience that night. Whilst speaking to Gabriel on Lima’s philosophy on food and the ingredients used.
While sourcing the majority of our ingredients from the British Isles, Lima showcases Peru’s vast biodiversity by bringing some unique organic and wild produce from small growers based in Peru, specifically from the Andes and the Amazon. LIMA is the creation of world-renowned Peruvian chef, Virgilio Martinez and his partners, the Gonzalez brothers.
Virgilio and his team establish a strong connection between his base and foundation: Central Restaurante, and LIMA in London. This constant communication keeps LIMA in London vibrant, relevant and always at the forefront of innovation, showcasing Virgilio’s most recent creations.
We were luckly enough to sit down to a 5 course meal here at the restaurant whilst having the wonderful food photographer David Griffen talk us through some photography tips using your Iphone/mobile phones. So wanting to share my experience there here is how the evening went with some tips along the way…
To start the Pisco sour.. my new favourite drink
To start we had:
*SEA BREAM CEVICHE
Tiger´s milk. Ají limo pepper. Red onion. Cancha corn
A beautiful dish, simple and delicious. Scrambling to arrange on the table, I enjoy taking shots in context, so you have the bread and sauces for dipping in aswell as the first dish. It adds a story to the image. I mainly use Instagram, but Snapseed is another photo manipulation app you can use on you phone.
Here we were advised my David Griffen to use a light reflector (you can buy a small one and carry it around) it reflects light, bounces it back off the plate to minimise shadows. A great little tip. We were lucky with the area we were all seated to be lit by daylight overhead from the ceiling.
Hand dived scallops. rocoto ají pepper. Chia seed
Soft, silky dish, scallops being one of my favourite things, simply fresh with the hints of Peruvian peppers and spice.
Here I took the shot at an angle, getting a close up of the food aswell as the other plates around it. You can see the types of plates the food are presented on are just as important for getting a beautiful shot. So considering background, lighting and props are important.
The next dish :
Braised octopus. Organic white quinoa. Botija olive. Red shiso
The octopus was so tender, cooked to perfection a wondrous dish, beautifully presented on two toned plates with an amazing purple sauce. I went for a close up shot to do the plate some justice, I could probably have used a tripod ( David suggests using a cup or vase to balance you phone on to get no shake shots)
The next dish was:
Wild black quinoa. Huacatay herb. Cow´s milk. Ají panca
Another great tip from David is to use dulling spray on cutlery if including it in the shot to minimise reflections!
The final dish was dessert :
Here I used the Drama option on Snapseed to test out the effect. It’s difficult because at this time there was not much daylight to take the pictures which had everyone carrying their bowls around seeking some lighting to illuminate the picture and resorting to using flash which causes a washed out image.
A rich chocolate dish, I couldn’t finish all of it if I really wanted to, the cinnamon cream is underneath the mound of chocolate and the blue potato crisps add another dimension of texture.
A great evening, mixing with other food photographers and bloggers all with the interest of learning more skills while enjoying some quality food from this amazing restaurant. Having learnt so much from the people here about the food and the story of Lima that goes beyond, it’s an inspirational story. I would recommend to anyone to visit this restaurant!
To finish on a note that was left in my mind by David Griffen on the obstacle of low lighting photography in a restaurant ” Eat during the day and drink at night!” Pretty much sums it all up.
David Griffen: @DavidGriffen