When we launched WH? magazine in April of 2013, our goal was to share our passion for photography and food through beautiful images, insider tips and collaborating with great writers and food professionals. In the past few months we've taken a long look at that intent.
In order to move forward, we have taken a few steps backward and refocused on the basics by simplifying our design and letting the photography speak for itself. We will continue to grow our online content including more insight on how we create photo magic at our studio. We also pledge to keep our content fresh with recipes that are easy to make at home.
We've had a particularly brutal winter this year, even for Chicago standards, so our summer issue was especially fun to put together. We were able to dig into all the pleasures of BBQ, festivals, picnics and grilling just a little bit ahead of Mother Nature's schedule.
Soon we will make our way, once again, to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, where we're thrilled to help sponsor the Pork & Co. Industry Nights event with chef Justin Brunson of Rappahannock River Oysters, Buffalo Trace and Old Major in Denver. Stop by and say hello!
Each issue of WH comes out at slightly different times so we can come up with fresh stories that are in tune with the exact season.
This has been the hardest issue we’ve had to produce. Selecting content was difficult because winter isn’t over and spring hasn’t quite settled in. Plus, spring vegetables aren’t out yet, so we rolled with contrasts of the season.
Once the leaves start falling and the weather gets cold, I start gearing up for the holidays–all of the festive food, the comfort of family and all the unexpected surprises that come with the season.
As a kid, holiday surprises came wrapped as gifts, but now I see them as sharing fun and funny moments. That’s why I am particularly excited by humorist David Sedaris’s tale, The Cow and the Turkey. It’s a quirky tale that challenges the Thanksgiving turkey. Plus, we took a creative leap and illustrated his story with photographs and recipes for holiday leftovers from some great chefs.
I have the best job on earth. And it just keeps getting more interesting and exciting every year. Pushing the boundaries of food photography is a thrilling challenge. And that is what’s important about this issue––capturing food related “experiences” to bring an increased dimension to our stories.
Food doesn’t spend its life sitting on a plate. At some point it was growing, blooming, mooing, clucking, snorting, buzzing or whatever comes naturally. That’s a fascinating connection I continually appreciate.
Spring is the season of renewal. It’s that time of year when the sun shines longer each day, the grass grows just a little bit greener, and the earth begins to soften in the rain, shooting up new life.
As we embrace the growth we see outside, we also look to how we’ve grown inside—as a magazine, and as a team. When we launched Who’s Hungry?™ one year ago, we had a few exceptional staff members and a simple goal of bridging the worlds of food and photography. Since then, the magazine has evolved in ways we never could have predicted. Not only is it a deeply satisfying creative project, but it’s also been an opportunity to connect with and learn from some of the most interesting and knowledgeable professionals throughout the culinary world.
These are the last days of winter. Most days the skies are grey and every time it warms up, before you know it, it’s frigid again. Cabin fever creeps up on us and we feel trapped indoors. As we wait out the next couple of months for spring, it’s the perfect time to turn “cooped up” into “cozying up” with enjoyable simple things like playing Yahtzee or cooking for others.
Or, invite a fun, creative group of people over for a potluck supper, as we did in our story “Snow Day Supper. Pot Lucky.” We invited a delicious mix of chefs, TV personalities, artists, professionals and a former politician and gave them a Lodge Dutch Oven to fill and sat back and watched a magical evening unfold.
A bit of indulgence seems to be part of the holidays. Naughty little food treats mysteriously appear all over the studio and seem to disappear just as inexplicably. I can’t resist giving into my kids this time of year with a nonessential gift or two.
When entertaining friends and family it’s all about sharing little luxuries that meld with the season. On the top of my list is the decadent combination of oysters and champagne. In “The Oyster’s Allure” we celebrate the beauty of briny oysters and explain how to pair them with champagne.
Fall is a time for change. With the weather transforming all around me, the change I like best is cozying up and relaxing after a fun-filled summer. I also enjoy that it feels new each autumn when the kids go back to school and we change the way we cook and entertain.
Something new I’m particularly excited about is the addition of Dannielle Kyrillos to our Who’s Hungry? family. Dannielle, a Top Chef Just Desserts series judge and a regular on NBC’s “Today”, will be sharing some of her favorite finds in each issue. In this issue she provides us five comforting dishes by chefs such as Marcus Samuelsson and John Bess.
I live and work by the philosophy that simple is better. My approach to photography is to keep my images clean, natural and uncomplicated. My philosophy for eating and cooking isn’t any different.
Take, for example, this issue’s cover shot. To me, the best burger is thick, cooked on a charcoal grill and adorned by simple additions: cheese, ketchup, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and a swipe of mayonnaise. The purity of ingredients is why late summer is my favorite season.
Summer is simplicity. It’s the season when Mother Nature makes us grateful for the smallest of gifts, like a warm breeze or a bite of juicy strawberry. It turns us all into kids again, giddy at the thought of a day outside.
That enthusiasm runs through all the stories in this second issue. I am honored to publish a personal essay from Sara Moulton, former Gourmet Magazine executive chef and Food Network host, about idyllic summers spent at her family’s Massachusetts country home. It’s the perfect story to take with you to the beach or the lake, where you can stare out at the water and enjoy its calming effects.
This magazine has been a dream of mine for a long time. Its purpose is to bridge the worlds of food and photography, to blend my passion for both and share that enthusiasm with a wider audience. Together, the images and stories represent my reflections on a food-focused life.
Culinary culture is always present in my studio, even when the cameras are put away. From discussions around the lunch table to visits from chefs and farmers, I’m always curious about the stories other people tell through food.
Each story in this magazine has been a personal opportunity for me. It’s a chance to take new, beautiful photography, and a chance to learn about people and places that fascinate me, from mustard plants in Napa Valley to mushroom foragers in Chicago.