Category Archives: Food

Tomato Pollock

Tomato Pudding

“It doesn’t make much difference how the paint is put on as long as something has been said. Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement.”

- Jackson Pollock

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My New Favorite Beer Bottle


“This is my simple religion.  There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.  Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

- Dalai Lama

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Cheesecake at Bellagio

Cheesecake at the Bellagio

“Las Vegas:  all the amenities of modern society in a habitat unfit to grow a tomato.”

- Jason Love

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An Art of Observation


“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

-Elliott Erwitt

(recipe on C’est La Vegan)

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By: Li-Young Lee

In sixth grade Mrs. Walker
slapped the back of my head
and made me stand in the corner
for not knowing the difference
between persimmon and precision.
How to choose
persimmons. This is precision.
Ripe ones are soft and brown-spotted.
Sniff the bottoms. The sweet one
will be fragrant. How to eat:
put the knife away, lay down newspaper.
Peel the skin tenderly, not to tear the meat.
Chew the skin, suck it,
and swallow. Now, eat
the meat of the fruit,
so sweet,
all of it, to the heart.
Donna undresses, her stomach is white.
In the yard, dewy and shivering
with crickets, we lie naked,
face-up, face-down.
I teach her Chinese.
Crickets: chiu chiu. Dew: I’ve forgotten.
Naked:   I’ve forgotten.
Ni, wo:   you and me.
I part her legs,
remember to tell her
she is beautiful as the moon.
Other words
that got me into trouble were
fight and fright, wren and yarn.
Fight was what I did when I was frightened,
Fright was what I felt when I was fighting.
Wrens are small, plain birds,
yarn is what one knits with.
Wrens are soft as yarn.
My mother made birds out of yarn.
I loved to watch her tie the stuff;
a bird, a rabbit, a wee man.
Mrs. Walker brought a persimmon to class
and cut it up
so everyone could taste
a Chinese apple. Knowing
it wasn’t ripe or sweet, I didn’t eat
but watched the other faces.
My mother said every persimmon has a sun
inside, something golden, glowing,
warm as my face.
Once, in the cellar, I found two wrapped in newspaper,
forgotten and not yet ripe.
I took them and set both on my bedroom windowsill,
where each morning a cardinal
sang, The sun, the sun.
Finally understanding
he was going blind,
my father sat up all one night
waiting for a song, a ghost.
I gave him the persimmons,
swelled, heavy as sadness,
and sweet as love.
This year, in the muddy lighting
of my parents’ cellar, I rummage, looking
for something I lost.
My father sits on the tired, wooden stairs,
black cane between his knees,
hand over hand, gripping the handle.
He’s so happy that I’ve come home.
I ask how his eyes are, a stupid question.
All gone, he answers.
Under some blankets, I find a box.
Inside the box I find three scrolls.
I sit beside him and untie
three paintings by my father:
Hibiscus leaf and a white flower.
Two cats preening.
Two persimmons, so full they want to drop from the cloth.
He raises both hands to touch the cloth,
asks, Which is this?
This is persimmons, Father.
Oh, the feel of the wolftail on the silk,
the strength, the tense
precision in the wrist.
I painted them hundreds of times
eyes closed. These I painted blind.
Some things never leave a person:
scent of the hair of one you love,
the texture of persimmons,
in your palm, the ripe weight.
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Oscar Party

Ryan's Mushroom Poppers

Every year, Kim and I host an Oscar party where we entertain our friends with themed-dishes based on that year’s best picture nominees.  Given that the Academy changed the number of nominees from 5 to 10 this year meant that the gauntlet was kind of thrown down for us yesterday.   We managed to pull it off though, and I’d like to think we came up some good ones, that didn’t taste too bad either.

Like the above, named after the best picture winner The Hurt Locker, we present The Herb Popper.  The recipe is up on Kim’s blog.

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Happy Blog-a-versary, C’est La Vegan!


Today marks the one-year anniversary of my wife’s food blog, C’est La Vegan.  Before she started the blog, I don’t think I’d ever really taken any photos of food, so it’s been a real challenge as Kim’s personal photographer to learn how to do justice to her amazing cooking and baking.  Even though I still kind of feel like I’m making it all up as I go along, I’m proud of many of the images we’ve been able to achieve over the last year and am certainly looking forward to taking some more.

I think the very act of taking so many photos, as well as having to pay such close attention to each detail, has really made me a better photographer overall.  Plus, helping Kim with her blog is what inspired me to start my own as well, an outlet I’m incredibly grateful for.  So happy birthday, C’est La Vegan, and here’s to many more years (and photos) to come!

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The Baking Soda Galaxy


“In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.”

- Carl Sagan

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Homemade Sushi


I love how clean and composed this pic is as you would never guess the conditions it was taken under.  If only you could see Kim and I hovering over our coffee table in the dark except for the lone light of the China bulb, which Kim was holding, as I painfully tried to get the damn rolls in focus without blocking the light.  Truly there must be an easier way to photograph food!  But in the end, I was proud of the pics we achieved (the rest of which you can view on Kim’s blog), not to mention the tasty rolls we made.  And by we made, I mean that Kim made and I ate.

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Romanesco Broccoli


I saw this thing at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market on Sunday and just had to buy one to bring home and photograph.  It’s called Romanesco Broccoli, or Italian Cauliflower to the layman, and it’s like something from another world.  We did try roasting it today with some salt and olive oil, and I can say honestly that this stange plant tastes great!  Here’s a link for my wife’s recipe

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