Ingredients influence and guide the development of our cooking and MouCo cheeses were no exception. We included the Camembert in picnic baskets and paired the ColoRouge with musk melon and licorice. Robert, the cheese maker, really enjoyed our work with his cheese and eventually approached us to do a series of pictures for him. How could we say no? Last year we were sent a box of assorted cheeses: Camembert, ColoRouge, Blu. The task, to create dishes around each and photograph both the naked cheese and it's various extrapolations. What a pleasure. We were familiar with the cheeses and we had a few ideas to begin with. Take a fresh box of cheese, a new season and setting, (we had just relocated to Forest Hills) and we were able generate a series of shots which combined our newly felt freedom and the beauty of Robert's cheeses.
We submitted over forty pictures to be culled down to ten. It was exciting to see what pictures were chosen and hear the comments on why others were close and why a few just fell flat. That is learning. When the pictures were selected we sent them along and lost contact with MouCo for a bit. Until the summer when we received a shipment of cheese from Tomales Bay. They had included some of Robert's cheese and a post card with one of the pictures we had taken. What a rush. As soon as I saw the card I picked up the phone to call Robert and tell him how cool it was to see the pictures in action. Unfortunately he was out when I called and then I became caught up with other projects.
Happily, Robert did not forget about us. He dropped us an email wondering if we were interested in doing another round of photographs. Of course we were. Once again we were given the guidelines of being ourselves. That is a wonderful place to be. What is equally exciting is seeing how the cheeses had evolved in a year. The flavors were more focused, the rinds beautiful, the veining in the Blu more consistent and the cheeses seemed just tastier.
We set about the process of making cheese-centric dishes by first sitting and eating the cheese. With our full bellies we had a clearer picture of what we wanted to do. It was interesting to see our own evolution in this process. The food has more confidence and the pictures have a voice. To compare the two shoots is interesting. The first year shows freedom and a pleasure to be creating. The most recent pictures seem to explode with restrained enthusiasm. As I look at them the dishes want to jump off the plate to be eaten and shared. That is definitely progress.