whole fish

The Perfect Meal


Last Sunday was one of those rare, perfect days.

It began with a long beautiful bike ride to the unusually “Sunday-quiet” downtown Portland with my husband, followed by a nice lunch.  Around 3 pm he went to play golf.  I could have relaxed but I was feeling super motivated to work on my food photography skills. 

I messaged a photographer friend, Moose, and she and I embarked on a journey of pure delight, and a little nerd-ism.  If you don’t know, I am an interior designer, stylist and a photographer.  If I can make my own title, I’d like to be called a Lifestyle Curator!  I imagine that definition to be something like “one who creates perfect settings filled with perfect activities to compile perfect days”!  (Definition is still a work in progress)

Anyway, I went to the market and purchased 2 whole trout, a rustic baguette from Grand Central Bakery and some seasonal veggies to toss into a farro salad.  I pulled out a bottle of a delicious tempranillo from Red Lily Vineyards in Applegate, Oregon, and…. Damn.   It was amazing!

We wanted to photograph the whole process and so we did!  I took 330 photos that afternoon.

We started by stuffing the center of the fish with lemons, fennel, shallots and garlic and then we cooked them to perfection in a cast iron skillet, over an open flame, in my lush jungle of a backyard.  It was magical.

I sautéed some garlic scapes and shallots, grilled some zucchini ribbons and tossed them into the farro with lemon and olive oil.

We tore off chunks of bread and smeared them with salted butter, dipped them in the grilled lemon and garlic juices left in the skillet with the fish, and sipped on the most perfectly paired wine you can imagine. 

This all took place after we stood on the table taking too many photos of the amazing feast and laughing about how nice it was to have an equally nerdy friend who was as excited about this as me.

Here are some of my favorite shots from that day!