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


In addition to a fabulous Foodography workshop on March 8 at Huff Estates Winery, the week also included this astounding bit of press in The Times here in PEC (one of my favourite newspapers! from Wellington, Ontario!), written by food friend and localista Theresa Durning. Thanks again T ! We’re thrilled.

Top it off with another generous slice of limelight in the current Spring issue of  LCBO Food & Drink magazine! WOW!! ; my gratitude abounds.

Click on the image below a bunch of times to enlarge, and read the Trendspotting story about our FoodographyPEC food styling and photography workshops.  Judging from the response we’re getting, this team is onto something!  Like our facebook page here, and watch us grow.Special thanks to photographer Christopher Gentile, proving himself to be “the light wizard” and an in-cred-ible pro to work with;  Tim Snyder…appreciate your levity and constant design saavy.


bunkie joy, and news

You might have noticed there’s alot of buzz on this blog about food styling photography workshops lately.

Thank you (if you’ve been watching and reading about it here)…I’ve appreciated having a place to share updates and announcements with you.

With warmer days not too far away, I’m migrating most postings about Food●ographyPEC to our facebook page. Uber-photographer Christopher Gentile has been right onboard with posting delicious images (and details) of what foodphotos we’ve been creating together; we’re poised to announce some really fun additions to the workshop itinerary for 2013. So like us here on facebook to see regular updates & news,our photo gallery…. hear about some of our incredible clients and friends.

Meanwhile, I’ll be posting random rantings about food, off-grid cabins, and wonderful things close to my home near the Black River here in Prince Edward County. Travels beyond? sure hope so…and after all, Toronto is home too !

Today’s inspiration came from finishing up a recipe writing gig (HAIL to CHEESE!) , and seeing the Potomic Cabin featured on  Tiny House Swoon ….check it out!!….with images that inspired me to hike through the snow to visit my own little sleeping gem, the Black River Bunkie, also made of reclaimed materials and cute as a button.

These pictures are from a feature story about winter, my picnic and my bunkie… in Cottage Life Magazine (photogDerek Shapton). It even made the cover of the Winter Issue 2008 !



Are you looking for a cozy, funky place to retreat to this summer? Contact me….I’m looking to hire someone inclined to help with the garden and to rent the Bunkie for the season.It’s a cozy place for a writer or artist to hang out, and only a short walk from Vicki’s Veggies.

Stay warm ! Spring is coming…and it’s almost time for Picton’s very own “Seedy Saturday”on Sat Feb 23 ! where we shake off winter, mingle with friends, and get seedy. I, unfortunately, will be in Toronto…stuffing my face with Dim Sum and getting ready to take on a busy week of food styling there.