late summer magic




I’m thrilled to see this gallery of images posted by friend, Bangkok-based, County-born photographer Ian Taylor; we captured these a few weeks ago, fueled by iced tea and Waupoos apple, blueberry and strawberry Hand Pies. You don’t get to have 36,124 facebook friends like he does,  without being a fantastic shooter and vagabond. Thanks for that really fun day, Ian ! Come back soon !

Tomatoes were a definite theme that week…. if shooting with Ian (and Sage and Maeve) at Vicki’s Veggies wasn’t enough fun…just hours before, I had a grand time shooting in the balmy, open air with friend and another incredible photographer Johnny CY Lam.


He and Kate have just became Picton “townies”, moving from a serene, gardened farmhouse (where we shot near their exuberant tomato patch) 20 minutes outside of Picton’s town limits. That’s where we captured these painterly shots, hop-scotch to their busy packing/moving time. Thanks for making time for our shoot, Johnny!


For me, the alchemy that happens when creative energies combine has always been the thread of my food styling. “With appreciation” doesn’t begin to cover how it feels to keep company of farmers, photographers, veggie patches,  and smart pretty girls who twirl around and wait patiently to eat pies.  It’s all a version of “production services”, “food & prop stylist” , baker & cook….even “location scout”….that I get to do “wearing many hats” here in PEC .

Stay tuned…It’s been busy!! I’ll post images soon from a shoot I did recently with that master of studio lighting, Christopher Gentile…for client and neighbor, the Black River Cheese Company.

client Emerson Pringle Carpentry  photo Christopher Gentile
client Emerson Pringle Carpentry photo Christopher Gentile food stylist Ruth Gangbar

For those still interested there are still a few spots available for the FoodographyPEC food styling and photography workshop (I’m doing with Christopher), on Oct 4 at the historic Jackson’s Fall’s County Inn. Paul’s Wild Game Pie (with wine pairing by Long Dog Winery) and the Pink Lunch Pails’s desserts are on the menu….and HEY!!  we made it into Ricardo magazine’s  Premier issue, with a shout out on page 23 (Thanks Amy Rosen!). Register online here; it’s going to be the the last workshop in this format. Thanks to all that have attended and suported these creative sessions.

go blueberry

It’s pick-your-own berry time, so let’s get out there.  You might find your blueberry patch here. I’ll be picking here in Waupoos… while thinking about which of these recipes to make {again}. Yes, food stylists make the food we get to shoot, and these were some delicious!


untitled photographer   Jim Norton            food stylist    Ruth Gangbar client     Cottage Life Magazine



bluebam photo James Tse food stylist  Ruth Gangbar   client Liquid Nutrition
raspbphoto  James Tse     food stylist  Ruth Gangbar    client Food & Drink Magazine






…2 takes on the same simple but incredibly delicious Vanilla Cake with Summer Fruit . Make. this. cake.

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Blueberry Shortcake recipe here.

photo  John Cullen       food stylist  Ruth Gangbar

client   Chatelaine Magazine



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Planked Brie with Blueberry Chutney    recipe here.

photo  Clive Champion    food stylist  Ruth Gangbar

client  Foodland Ontario

Love this one, shot in a garden in Waupoos for a lovely cookbook written by Elizabeth Pulker.


photo Matt Long   food stylist  Ruth Gangbar

client  “Farm to Table  Breakfasts in Prince Edward County”


Food stylists’ job description sometimes involve foraging (for this sumac) ,recipe writing (see my recipe for these lamb kebabs with sumac as pictured, below), with a bit of sleuthing (for this cake). Lincoln  wanted to pair unusual food with their uniquely positioned product; it certainly made for impressive results, and one of my all-time favourite projects to date. Who knew premium cars could go with food?

With mid-Summer sumac ripening, I’m reminded it’s almost a year since we worked on these ads with Y & R and {uber} art director Pearce Cacalda for The Lincoln Motor Company, shot by incredible photographer Rob Fiocca.

Sometimes, you just need to know who to call, as in pastry chef/owners Jenny & Sandor Dosman. She crafts these beautiful “Kransenkage” cakes for Danish weddings from their Kokken Village Cafe/ bakery in St. Jacobs, Ont. , after taking two years to perfect the recipe and technique….so it was worth me driving to pick them up (and yes, we ate every delicious morsel). Crabapples, Sumac and wild grape garnishes? Foraged from my nearby sidreroads here in Prince Edward County.



Grilled Lamb Kebabs with Sumac

 Sumac is a key ingredient in this zesty spice blend with Middle eastern roots. Used here to marinate meat for grilling on skewers, it’s also delicious sprinkled on cooked vegetables, to season rice dishes, and as a savoury topping for flatbreads.


2 Tbsp                  toasted sesame seeds                                                      15 mL

1/4 cup                 ground dried sumac                                                           60 mL

2 Tbsp                  EACH  dried thyme, oregano and marjoram         30 mL

1 tsp                     coarse sea salt                                                                             5 mL


3 lb                        boneless leg of lamb                                                              1.5 kg

(or about 5 lbs/  2.25 kg bone-in leg of lamb, deboned)


3 Tbsp                  olive oil                                                                                         45 mL

1                           onion, finely grated

1                           lemon, juiced

3 cloves               garlic, finely minced

2  Tbsp                 za’atar                                                                                          30 mL

2 tsp                     ground cumin                                                                           10 mL

1 tsp                     coarse sea salt                                                                             5 mL

for Za’tar: Place sesame seeds in mortar and pestle (or food processor); coarsely grind. Add sumac, thyme, oregano, marjoram and sea salt; mix well.

Makes  2/3 cups/ 150 mL .Store in airtight  container, in cool dry place, for up to 6 months.

Trim off excess fat from lamb; cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces.

In large bowl, combine olive oil, onion, lemon juice, garlic, and za’atar.  Add lamb pieces and combine evenly; marinate overnight in refrigerator (or for at least 2 hours).

Place meat on skewers. Preheat charcoal grill or gas barbecue. Cook skewers for 5 minutes. Turn, cooking for about 4-5 minutes more until still slightly pink inside or to preferred doneness. Sprinkle with additional pinches of za’atar, and fresh mint; serve with grilled vegetables, saffron rice, yogurt with minted cucumber salad.

serves 6        prep time  10  minutes         cooking time   10 minutes

Tip: Ground dried sumac can be purchased from Middle Eastern food stores.


Shari’s Pick with Natasha Nicholson!

Thanks for posting these behind the scenes shots, Natasha! This image was for LCBO’s Shari’s Pick, featured in the current Fall issue of Food and Drink Magazine.


See Natasha Nicholson’s blog here to see more from our day together recently,  and for more of her amazing work on her website here.


That would be me, multi-tasking…

and the final image that was used…


Foodography Fall session! Oct 3

FoodographyPEC is being hosted by Waupoos Estates Winery, and will take over their Gazebo Restaurant for the day on Oct 3 .It’s a magical zone of Prince Edward County, especially in Fall when traffic subsides and farm stands are still oveflowing with goodness.

Visit our website for more details on the workshop  here.

With amazing natural lighting, we’ll gather with cameras and tripods to capture a delicious Fall harvest menu. Contact me if you’re interested to hear more about what our food styling, photography and design tips can offer you.

We hit the ground running at 9 am with coffee and warm muffins, some demos, and lots of assignments during the session where you’ll get direct feedback amidst a delicious day shared by a group of enthusiasts and pros in a dynamic,creative space (with lunch! and Winery tour!) See what we actually DO to make images like those used in our posters happen. Photographer extraordinaire Christopher Gentile and I shot this in my front yard one afternoon recently, and enjoyed eating and sharing the tarts. The food we shoot stands tall against the argument that I hear all the time…. that …..”it’s all fake, right?”  Not the way we do it!   Thanks Tim from Ton-up Creative for another great poster! { Click the poster image twice, to enlarge} See you in Waupoos ! or in April for our next workshop? Cheers, Ruth


Spring issue of Grapevine

Another issue of Grapevine Magazine has hit the newstands!  and is also available for free in many places here in Prince Edward County and area.

Check out the Spring 2013 issue here.

These images are from the Grapefruit story featured in this edition with recipes by Jennifer McLagen, available in the digital version you can download here.

Photo   Vince Noguchi Food Styling Ruth Gangbar    Props  Laura Branson

Grapefruit Cocktail

Pork Tenderloin with Grapefruit Glaze
Pork Tenderloin with Grapefruit Glaze
Grapefruit and Spinach Salad with Smoked Paprika Dressing
Grapefruit and Spinach Salad with Smoked Paprika Dressing