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Red hot

Monday, 23 February 2009

Colourful is a word that will, from now on, always be synonymous with salsa for me. So too tasty, quick and easy, spicy, hot, fresh, fruity, versatile and Andrew Mendes, if he wasn't already.

Andrew is an exceptional chef; I've witnessed his mastery on a weekly basis for the last few months, so I knew that his salsa recipes would be great. Little did I know that they would be magnificent. It takes a genius to blend as many flavours as he did and end up with a dish that has an overall taste and texture but at the same time still retains the many individual tastes within that. Andrew did that, dish after dish, over the two days we spent cooking and shooting.

He created a salsa for almost every occasion. Little plum tomatoes, fresh basil, finely chopped red onion and bacon served with a fresh sesame seed French loaf made an exquisite breakfast. Then there was a fresh summery salsa of roasted nuts, red onions, red peppers, jalapeno's and rocket leaves served in a bowl surrounded with cheesy nachos; an ideal dish to enjoy around a table of friends while playing a board game or just chatting, although the salsa is sure to shut even the most prolix person up for at least a moment or two. And for a touch of elegance Andrew braised chicken breasts in lime and lemon juice with salt and black pepper and served that with a boiled butternut, avo and sweet and sour jalapeno vinaigrette. 

All the different ingredients made a superb palette of colours, the presentation gave height and the light depth, ensuring that I was never without photographic inspiration. I've developed two of the three films I shot and I'm quite happy with the results; but somehow I think that the last roll will round things off nicely for me, in terms of variety that is. I collect it tomorrow. 

So what now? Once I get the last roll back, I'll start the tedious task of editing the photos, which I hope Cindy will help me with (She has a brilliant eye for what works and what doesn't).
Congruently I'll be working through the recipes and making my final adjustments to them before handing them over to Andrew for him to do his final edits. Then we'll start working on the presentation of the book, which recipes go where, which photos to use, side notes, etc. Oh, then there's still an article to write about Andrew and his salsa's as well as a photo shoot of himself. And much more I'm sure; but that's enough work to keep us going for quite a while yet.

Hasta la vista, muchachos!

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