Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Burnt Truffle, Heswall.

I love the hospitality industry and I love working in restaurants. Especially the likes of Burnt Truffle in Heswall. You know all about it I'm sure, the second restaurant from Gary Usher and the team behind Sticky Walnut in Chester. As ever with these shoots, I can't claim a completely unbiased opinion (so feel free to ignore anything I say about the food). I'm there to do a job; to take photos.
Whilst I'm working, I'm not hungry, not in the slightest. I'm totally focussed, obsessed even, on getting the shots. Photos of the dishes from every conceivable angle I can think of. The natural lighting isn't quite as good as had anticipated at Burnt Truffle, the windows are smaller than at Sticky and the ceiling lights are making shadows. It all makes a difference. You can edit this in the post processing but it's never as good as the best lighting on the day. I worry and fuss about the smallest details. It's not like blogging where it doesn't really matter if you get the shot. Here I am determined to do the very best job I can do, being a perfectionist I suppose like the best chefs are. (Before anyone pulls me up on this, being a photographer is nowhere near as difficult or as hard work as being a Chef).
Gary is not happy with one of the dishes so takes it off the menu. I can tell it's really pissed him off. It'll return when they've got it right. The devil is in the detail. To care so much is to get things done properly, no cutting corners.
Below. To start. Great bread is always a good sign of a great restaurant.
It's only after a few hours of shooting can I relax and have lunch. Following the first shoot I eat. The Jacob's Ladder & Truffle Chips is wonderful, the meat unctuous and glossy with those perfect chips. A regular of Sticky Walnut on another table tells me that these chips are the best he's ever tasted.
I return for another session to photograph Gary, Emma and Wongo. I get some decent shots, they're like a little family, they even have a dog (well my dog; Sam on loan who has been waiting patiently outside on the terrace).
This time I cannot resist the Lamb's Tongue (even better than I remember it from Sticky Walnut) and The Duck Confit.
 If you're a fan of Sticky Walnut, you'll know exactly what you're getting with Burnt Truffle. Deceptively simple brilliant bistro food and just proper cooking. But if it is so simple, why doesn't everyone do it like this? Even just reading the menu, it's interesting, they never go for the obvious, I want to eat everything on it. Most menus look exactly the same these days. Not here. As I always say, there's nowhere quite like it in Manchester.
For my part I left there confident that I'd got my shots but a little downhearted that I can't work (and eat) there every week and sad that we've not got a Burnt Truffle where I live in Chorlton. Well not yet anyway.
More photos from the shoot here.

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