One of my favorite presentations at IFBC was Todd Coleman’s. Todd is the Creative Director at Tasting Table and former executive food editor of Saveur magazine. Todd is a bit of a rebel, which is probably why I liked him so much! You know the type, go for it and beg for forgiveness later, but only if absolutely necessary. One of my bosses used that exact phase to describe both my strengths and weaknesses when asked for a pre-employment personal reference. Todd hasn’t really followed a traditional career path. I am not sure he even had a specific goal in mind when he entered the CIA. One thing is for sure, he has explored, touched, and mastered every aspect of food related creativity! Though he did not speak to it, I sensed a willingness to take risks, a strong sense of confidence and an innate ability to listen to your gut, without letting the “I can’t, I shouldn’t, what if, or but” get in the way! Though it may get you in a whole lot of trouble when you are younger, once that fearless determination is coupled with a little experience and knowledge – look out! Todd’s amazing career, as an editor, chef, producer, photographer, videographer and who knows what next is just such an example of someone who refused to follow the rules and created a few of his own along the way!
I’ve had a few photography classes, but I am still very much a beginner. Every class I’ve had has stressed the importance of natural light. So, imagine my shock (and delight) when Todd pulled a flashlight and a piece of foil out of his pocket! iPhone photo in a dark restaurant? No problem! Place the foil opposite the object and bounce the flashlight light off the foil! While this is an extremely simplified summary of his point, it’s still pretty accurate. My purse just got 10 pounds lighter and my restaurant companions just let out a big sigh of relief.
Todd presented many photos from his portfolio as well as a recent video filmed for Tasting Table. I did not take any photos during his presentation as I was engrossed in watching, listening and learning. He has a style all his own. Check his work out at Todd Coleman Photography. You will recognize many of the photos! A lot of the photos included in his presentation were taken at night with artificial light. This was really thrilling to me as I have been dreading the quickly approaching dark Seattle winter days. For plated food shots, Todd suggested dropping lights down to the level of the food, rather then lighting from above. I tried it with this burger. What do you think? Can you tell this was taken at 8pm with artificial light?
The turkey burger was inspired by the BBQ Turkey Sliders served at the Butterball presentation at the IFBC conference. The sliders make a great party appetizer and will probably make an appearance at our house on Super Bowl Sunday or New Year’s Eve! It took me a while to convince Dave to try a turkey burger and much to his surprise, he really liked it!
For the Turkey Burger
1 pound ground turkey, we used organic ground turkey
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup bbq sauce (plus 1/4 cup more for basting), we really like Organicville – no sugar or corn syrup
sliced cheese, we used organic white cheddar
bbq buns for burgers, or King’s Hawaiian Rolls, split, for sliders
Place the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Form the mixture into 12 small patties if making sliders, or 3-4 patties if making burgers.
Warm a grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Oil the skillet to prevent sticking. Cook the burgers until lightly browned on one side, flip, baste with bbq sauce. Repeat. Complete cooking until temperature on a meat thermometer reaches 165′ – the temperature required for thoroughly cooked poultry. Place a slice of cheese on each patty. While the meat rests, lightly toast the buns. To assemble, place a lettuce leaf on the bun, sliced tomatoes, and then the turkey patty. Enjoy!
Have a wonderful evening,