The Forest Feast
Written by Redactie on Thursday 1 May 2014
The Forest Feast cookbook Erin Gleeson
It is not only a feast for your stomach, but also for your eyes. @theforestfeast is full of handwritten recipes!
A couple of years ago Erin Gleeson moved with her husband from New York City to Northern California. From working as a food photographer, shooting for magazines, top chefs and restaurants, to creating ‘photographic recipe illustrations’. From the buzzing city that never sleeps to the silent woods. Now, three years later, her dream came true: her cookbook ‘The Forest Feast’ is in stores now. We had the pleasure to ask her a couple of questions.
How do you get your hands on the ingredients you use? Do you only use fresh ingredients, grow your own food or get them from any other source?
‘I usually base my recipes on whatever comes in my CSA box each week. A CSA box is a delivered box of local, seasonal produce. Of course California offers perhaps more variety than other places year-round, so I feel lucky to have access to an amazing selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. I do not only eat seasonal produce, but I like to start with that in mind. If I need a tomato for a recipe in winter, I will buy one! There are also several fantastic year-round farmers markets near where I live.’
What is the difference between New York and the Bay Area if you look at food, culture and setting?
‘The abundance of year-round fresh produce in California is remarkable- even in winter we can get great avocados! This is reflected both in the grocery store and in restaurants. I think the restaurant scene in San Francisco is a bit more relaxed than in New York and perhaps draws more on fresh vegetables. Even though California is so diverse, there's nothing like New York when it comes to international influence on food and culture. When I moved to the woods, I was really drawn to the light here. There are these banks of fog that roll in, making it ideal for shooting outdoors- like a soft box in the sky. This has been a great inspiration for me! I now shoot entirely outdoors when at home.’
Do you have any exciting plans for the future that you can tell us about?
‘I am excited about a series of paper products based on the cookbook that will be coming out in 2015. We are working on designing journals, a calendar, notepads and placemats using my watercolors and photography. I also plan to continue sharing recipes on my blog, and of course, I would love to do another book!’
Do you have any advice for the food professional?
‘Whatever you are working on, I think as much as you can make it authentic to you, the better. Do not worry about what you think people want to see- create what makes you happy and your audience will find you.’
Erin made a 90-second trailer to give you a sneak preview of what the book is like. If you are interested in buying it, check your local bookstore or purchase it online.