The last few weeks/month has been insanely manic for me, what with the release of my second book, doing publicity interviews and such for that, juggled in with travelling a lot for work to places like New Zealand (Emmm AHMaaaaazing!?!) and to a few other places around OZ to shoot various jobs. This has meant my blog got a little bit unloved for a while, but am back on track now so there will be a few things coming this week ~ including a great photo story where I got to shoot all the behind the scenes and experiences you can have at Jacob's Creek Winery in South Australia's Barossa region. More on that a little later on this week, plus I'll have a few holiday recipes next week. I wanted to kick off again however with a post I had hoped to get up a few weeks ago ~ but due to running around like a headless chicken for the past while (!), I am only getting round to it now. It's a really important post to me.
A few weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to throw a big launch party to celebrate the release of my second book: What Katie Ate at the Weekend. I never did one for my first book so I was really keen to celebrate the 2nd book with a big bash for friends and media. I did so along with the new production company I am working with ~ Plate Up Productions, which are a sister company to Rapid Films, based here in Sydney. They are an incredible company who produce high end TV commercials and videos and their new wing Plate Up - specialises in food advertising videos and TV show production. Without these guys, I wouldn't have been able to throw the party on such a scale and I really delighted to have had their unending support.
The night was an amazing success, about 100 people showed up to the party which was held at a super cool and eclectic venue here in Sydney's Waterloo, called Studio Neon. When I was checking out possible venues, the minute I walked into the place I knew immediately it was the perfect place for the launch, really edgy and trendy and totally funky. It reminded me a bit of something you’d find in NYC (my favourite place on the planet) so I felt really at home in the space and knew, with the styling I had in mind for the night, it would all come together brilliantly. A really nice juxtaposition of edgy and urban, meets vintage and WKA styling.
I was helped all along the way by Leoni Milano at Plate Up who was an incredible help, my assistant Lou Brassil and my good friend Andy Arnfield at The Gourmet Grocer Online (whom I have known now for years and who is one of my closest mates) and between the three of us we all managed to pull off a really unique and successful night.
I decided to cover an area of the studio with all the photos from my two books going from the first to the second, then we filled the area with old, vintage props, sumptuous flowers and literally hundreds of candles and some fairy lights. The place really looked incredibly pretty and sat brilliantly within the industrial, edgy feel of Studio Neon
The chefs at Studio Neon are incredible ~ all extremely experienced and most have Michelin stars under their belts. We chose a few recipes from book 2 and they effortlessly produced them on the night for all to enjoy. It was a really nice feeling to see all your recipes being produced en-mass for so many people in comparison to the smaller numbers I am used to cooking for.
I was totally bowled over at the support I received from so many food producers and suppliers in Sydney with whom I have had the pleasure to work with over the years working as a food photographer. They all supplied me which the most amazing array of meats, fish, wine, flowers, groceries, as well as a load of amazing products which we put into custom-printed gorgeous WKA printed canvas tote bags, these were given out to guests as they left the event and I received so many messages saying what an incredible selection of goodies they discovered in their bags when they got home.
One of the main reasons I wanted to write this post was to say a massive thank you to all these people - without whom, we could't have produced such a polished and high-end event. I am eternally grateful to them all for their involvement.
The goodie bags all lined up for guests to take on their way home..
My great mates Colin and Andy from The Gourmet Grocer Online.
Picking out a winner out from the hat, with Dave from Rapid Films to see who would win the KitchenAid Stand mixer...
All above photographs © Jack Friels
The people and companies I want to again hugely thank are:
Plate Up Productions without whom, I couldn't have thrown the party to the extent we did.
Gourmet Grocer Online who helped me source all the items for the goodie bags and donated a $400.00 gourmet hamper to giveaway on the night
Salvatore Ferragamo who amazingly dressed me for the night in a stunning dress and beautiful shoes.
The Artisan Press who kindly printed the most beautiful letter-pressed invites.
Potteround Floral Design massive thanks to Darren and the team at this local flower shop in my home suburb of Rozelle for supplying and arranging the stunning flowers on the night
Tscharke Wine who amazingly supplied us with some of the best wine I have had the pleasure to enjoy when I was down in the Barossa region recently. Eva and Damien thank you again, I was chuffed to be able to have the guests drink your incredible wines.
666 Pure Tasmanian Vodka for gifting us the cutest little baby vodka bottles for the bags and the vodka for the cocktails on the night.
Tetsuya’s who supplied me with a whole side of divine smoked trout to serve on my walnut bread canapés to all the guests
Maya Sunny Honey who gifted us 100 beautiful little bottles of their incredible honey for the goodie bags
Willie Smiths this is a company I worked with recently in Tassie and they kindly donated bottles of cider for the event.
Paddington Tea a small company here in Sydney who kindly supplied 100's of boxes of assorted teas for the bags
Hank’s Jam who also supplied an array of their relishes and jams for the bags
Herbie’s Spices we cooked my Smokey Beef Chilli with black beans for the event and Herbie's kindly suppled me with all the chillis for both the dish and for everyone to take home to use when making the chilli themselves.
Barossa Heritage Pork huge thanks again to my good friend Michael Wohldstadt in the Barossa, for shipping up a load of his incredible hams for the party.
Darling Street Meats THE best butcher in Sydney, cheers again Chris for kindly supplying me with all the beef for the night's food.
Claudio’s Seafoods at the Sydney Fish Markets, for amazingly supplying us with kilos of lobster and crab for my slider recipe which was part of the night's menu.
Harris Farm for supplying us with all the groceries for the menu. I was really thrilled to pair with these guys as I really support their 'Imperfect Fruits range' – a line of fresh, delicious fruit and veggies with minor imperfections, on sale for up to half the normal price. i think it's a brilliant idea as there is far too much waste in Australia when it comes to main-stream supermarkets discarding perfectly good fruit and veg just because they do not look perfect in appearance. You can read more about this project here.
Careme thank you so much for all the pastry you supplied for the dessert (which went down a storm!)
A Taste of Paris for suppling me with amazing bottles of their 'Milk Jam and Guerande Salted Butter' - basically a gobble-the-whole-lot-with-a-spoon-in-one-go creamy salted caramel.
GIR for shipping 100's or your colourful and extremely useful silicone spatulas, all the way for the US. These were adored my all the guests.
Aisle 6 Industries thanks to Shannon who hand silk screen printed all the actual goodie bags themselves. They looked amazing and I carry mine to the shops all the time now.
Olsson’s for gifting us with sublime truffle salt, in the dinkiest little bottles and hessian bags.
Brasserie Bread thank you for supplying all the gorgeous mini brioche buns for us to serve my sliders on.
Sweet Style thank you Leanne for supplying me with the bamboo plates and forks to serve the food on for the event.
KitchenAid thank you SO much for again super-kindly suppling me with a stand mixer to give away on the night. It's amazing to continue our relationship working together since the first book was released.
Just some of the items I was so kindly gifted on the night and for the goodie bags...
All of these suppliers were massively generous to us and some are quite small, young companies, I would ask readers of the blog to take the time to check out their sites and products, some of them may even make for nice Xmas pressies :)
A few more photos taken on the night by my friend Susan Pazazian...
Luckily too, I kept one of the goodie bags back to giveaway to a reader.
To win, leave a comment below telling me 'What would be the one, dream item you would wish to find in a goodie bag at a party?'
The most fun and interesting answer will get one of the WKA canvas bags with all of the above listed gifts in it. I'll pick a winner at the end of next week.
Lastly in regards to the workshop I will be holding in the new year.
This will take place on Saturday Feb 7th at a location to be confirmed in early Jan, in Sydney.
It will be a one day experience and will cover everything I would do on a regular food shoot.
You will get to see me part cooking (with the help of my assistant) and fully styling/plating 3 dishes. Then you will get to do the same, learn about propping the dishes with backdrops, ceramics and such, and then finally watch me shooting each dish and in turn you will all get to photograph each dish yourself with some guidance from myself.
You will walk away with 3 final shots and also enjoy a fun dinner at the end of it all.
The cost of AUD$850 plus G.S.T per person, with a limit of 12 people all up.
To book and secure a place, please note I require full payment up front (fully refundable should, on the off-chance the event be cancelled) please mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: "WKA 2015 Workshop", then I will respond and send payment details etc.
Thanks Katie x