Tuesday, August 9, 2011

103rd Race to Mackinac 2011

This year's Chicago Yacht Club's race to Mackinac Island captured by my iphone's Hipstamatic app.

July 15-18, I competed in the 103rd Race to Mackinac. Our S2/9.2, "Intuition",  finished 9th in it's division and weathered the horrific thunderstorm that swept through close to midnight July 17.  The sailboat "Wingnuts" capsized during the storm and 2 of it's crew lost their lives. It is the first time in the history of the race that anyone was killed sailing in the race.

Our boat had a crew of 6, with designated pairs rotating shifts. Two of the crew had competed in the race the past 3 years (finishing 2nd in their division the last 2 years).  For the rest of the crew it was the first time to compete in one of the most challenging and longest annual freshwater sailing races in the world.
Total elapsed time  72:56:17 
I'm already planning for next year's 104th challenge.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Racing the Queen's Cup, 2011

Now for something completely different.

We are sailors.  My husband, Mark, and I co-own a S2, 9.2 with several friends.  Mark and the crew have placed 2nd in their division in the Chicago Yacht Club's Race to Mackinac the past 2 years. This will be the first year I will be joining the crew.

The CYC Race to Mackinac is one of the most respected fresh water yacht races in the country. All sailboats, big & small may compete with an invitation from the race committee. Our boat, "Intuition", is in the small category and races in it's division with similar boats of size and sails.

In preparation for the Race to Mackinac we took on the Queen's Cup race on July 1, 2011. The race starts at the South Shore Yacht Club in Milwaukee, WI and ends in Muskegan, MI. Our elapsed finish time was 10 hours and 31 minutes. The beginning of the race was intense. One of the boats in our division demasted (exactly what it sounds like!) and we were pushing the hull speed of our boat by surfing off of 8 foot swells for the first third of the race. Well, here's a short clip of what you could see from our boat:

We will start the Race to Mackinac for our division on July 15. If you would like to share in the fun just check back here for a link to track the boats during the race. I will post that information as soon as the CYC  web site has it available.

Also, here's a bit of our new video endeavors, a rough cut right now but we hope to continue developing our video and editing capabilities.  We have also made investments in better sound equipment- the goal is to do all of these things AND sail the boat at the same time. Enjoy:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Steenbock's and Fountain Prairie

I had the opportunity to photograph some of Chef Michael Pruett's creations for Steenbock's on Orchard. Michael's passion is developing recipes in the "molecular gastronomy" tradition. New tastes, textures and visual surprises provided new opportunities for experimenting with lighting and camera angles.

Steenbock's focuses on sourcing foods from local farms and vendors and the menu reflects seasonally diverse fare based on availability of certain ingredients throughout the year. I wanted to document where the food comes from as well as the final dishes served at the restaurant. Michael invited me to join him for a morning at Fountain Prairie Farms while he inspected what the organic garden would offer him for the week's menu.

After touring the farm I took a little time with Michael in the restored barn to do a few film portraits. I found one last roll of Agfachrome 1000 for my Hasselblad 500C.  It felt amazing to hold the camera again and it was easy to remember how to load the 120 film back, even after 8 years of not using it. I love that camera and I will be making a point of bringing it to more of my projects.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bluephies Downtown Deli

  You can't help but get excited about the newest Food Fight, Inc. restaurant when you spend the day working with Bill Horzuesky, chef & owner of the original Bluephies on Monroe Street. Bill & his wife Melanie are thrilled to bring new options to the Bluephies Downtown Deli’s takeout style menu. Soft openings for the deli are scheduled for April 20-21.  

  We spent the day capturing fresh out of the oven quiches, and other baked goods but it was the packed & stacked paninis that really made the statement of what the new restaurant will be about. From the Madison.com web site: "We're looking forward to doing some fun food," said Horzuesky, noting that "99 percent of everything is going to be either eco-friendly or biodegradable for takeout." For the entire story and details on some of the new specialty sandwiches, please check out Madison.com

  For those of you who can't wait till the opening, here's a few selections from the new menu, enjoy! 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dining Guide, a sneak peak!


The 2011 Isthmus dining guide will be published soon. Can you name the restaurants that these favorite vegetarian dishes came from....


Bonus points for naming the dish correctly!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Papa Jimmy's

Friday was an amazing day of great Italian food from Papa Jimmy's Pizzeria. Papa Jimmy's has been a family owned business in Cottage Grove for 13 years. With the opening of his new restaurant and with the  help of Sarah Hurley of Weber Marketing Jimmy knew it was time to take the next step- great photography of his delicious food.

It can be difficult for any major restaurant chain to take the plunge into a full-on photography campaign so imagine the trust that Jimmy, a small independent restaurant acknowledged with this project. As a small business owner myself, I take great pride in helping businesses grow and succeed. The theme for the marketing campaign is, "warm and inviting". We took this same direction with the photography by working on wood surfaces, selective focus and lighting that felt intimate and pulled you in to almost taste the food. Tamara Kaufman made her magic happen with the food styling but also noted that Papa Jimmy's was using the best in fresh ingredients which helped make everything look mouth watering.

Saturday, February 5, 2011