Montclair, NJ Portrait Photographer Phil Cantor writes:

The Montclair Art Museum’s asked me to photograph local chef Ariane Duarte, the owner of Ariane Kitchen & Bar in Verona, New Jersey. The Culinary Institute of America graduate has competed on TV’s Top Chef, Iron Chef and Cook Your Ass Off. 

For the Museum, she prepared a demonstration meal for the MAM‘s fundraising gala and I was commissioned to photograph it. 

Photography, according to my mentor Arnold Newman, is 1% inspiration and 99% moving furniture. In the restaurant, I moved a dark wood table in front of the wall of white subway tiles and set my light to give a strong back light from the left side. I set up two cameras: one to give an overhead view looking straight down so you can see the ‘plating’ of the food, and the other for a front view to make the finished meal inviting and interesting.

Lacquered Duck Breast with Pomme Purée

I photographed the food as it was ready and when all was done…I got to eat it!!!

Porcini Soufflé                                                 Selection of French Cheeses

Ariane consults her favorite book by Julia Child