Lens and Larder – Food styling and Photography Retreat

Lens & Larder is a series of creative learning retreats organised my the amazing Cliodhna Prendergast from breaking eggs and Imen Mc Donnell from Modern Farmette.

Last November, I attended a Lens and Larder retreat in the depths of Connemara. A group of eleven of us were taught by the fabulous Andrea Gentl, Martin Hyers , Susan Spungen. I feel like the luckiest girl to have had the opportunity to spend time and learn from these guys.

The retreat took place in the beautiful Ballynahinch Castle and our days were spent building feasts, meeting local producers, learning about styling and light, and exploring the special Connemara coastline.

 

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A big highlight of the weekend was a massive colourful feast that was set out on a large table. We had the opportunity to capture it as a whole and to deconstruct it. We pulled out elements and put together our own setups, allowing us to get creative with these lady’s amazing food and props.

 

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Each activity within the course brought something new to learn and gave us the opportunity to test and push our ability to capture something special. It was a serious treat to have such an amazing set up and left me feeling inspired and refreshed.

 

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Saveur Magazine’s Best Food Blog Photographer 2015, Renée Kemps, will be the host for the next Lens and Larder workshop, which will take place at the beguiling Irish country estate, Ballyvolane House, April 26-29th, 2016.

 

I feel very excited for the next bunch of photographers who get to experience this special retreat and wish them the very best in what promises to be another exciting couple of days.

 

© 2016 Andrea Lucy | Food photographer & Food stylist | Ireland

Pudding Row | Food photographer & Food styling | Ireland

Pudding Row.

First off, I’d like to apologise for my lack of blogging of late, I realise it has been somewhat non-existent. However, I’ve been working on loads of fun and exciting projects in the West of Ireland and I cant wait to share them all with you…so here we go….

There is a new energy brewing in the West at the moment, it is something I have been feeling giddy about – Sligo truly is turning into a serious foodie hub. All the passionate people involved are putting their heart and soul into their businesses and are continuing to feed us meals that blow our socks off.

 

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At the end of the summer I had the pleasure of working with the new Pudding Row Cafe. Owner Dervla James along with her family have returned to her home village of Easkey (a surfing village 40 minutes from Sligo) to set up her dream cafe. Pudding Row is located above the local surf club and boasts views of Easkey Castle and the Atlantic Ocean. Prior to Dervla’s return to the northwest, she had been a long standing pioneer of the Dublin café culture scene. Dervla was one half of the renowned Pepper Pot Café at Powerscourt Town Centre in the heart of Dublin City. As a result, she brings a wealth of creative culinary experience to the beautiful village of Easkey.

From the moment I walked into Pudding Row I could tell this girl has a serious passion for food. Boxes of organic vegetables lined the back wall and the smell of baking was on point and delightful. I started taking photographs straight away with excitement.

As dishes came out of the kitchen and an array of artisan breads, pastries, bagels and cakes came out of the oven, I quickly got an insight into Pudding Row’s exciting menu. From smoked mackerel salads t0 victorian sponge cakes to delicious homemade lemonade, Pudding Row caters for all. Everything is made from scratch here and you can really feel this energy throughout the cafe. I was even lucky enough to have the mackerel salad for lunch and it comes highly recommended! Simply delicious.

 

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We had the pleasure of going down to the beach to capture and soak up the beautiful coast. Easkey has a lot to offer in terms of activities (surfing, kayaking, stand up paddling, hiking and fishing) and now if offers you a quality feed! I can’t wait to get a crew together and make a day trip out of it.

 

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A few weeks after visiting Dervla first, she called and asked me to come back to document and capture her baking process. I nearly dropped the phone with delight as I had been day dreaming about a flour explosion photoshoot.

 

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I drove out to Easkey wide eyed with excitement and found myself in the midst of baking madness. What goes on in the early hours at Pudding Row is unbelievable – cakes, breads, tarts and bagels continually fly out of the oven accompanied by heavenly smells.

Dervla shares her baking secrets by holding classes in her café so now everyone gets a chance to learn from the best! In the New Year I will definitely be attending one of these classes and I cannot wait!

 

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(For the Winter season Pudding Row is open Thursday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm. Follow the adventures of Pudding Row online at @PuddingRowSligo on Twitter and Instagram, and www.facebook.com/PuddingRowSligo or visit www.puddingrow.ie.