Great Reads

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Welcome to the Artful Gourmet Great Reads – a section of my site dedicated to my favorite cookbooks, cookbook authors, websites, and other great stories and books related to food, cooking, recipes, travel, styling, photography, design and lifestyle. I’ll be updating this list monthly so check back for more of my favorite picks and recommendations for a great read!

Published Articles and Photography in Downtown Magazine New York

These are a few articles and photography I have published in Downtown Magazine New York from 2011 to 2013 on some of the best Mexican, Seafood and Outdoor dining restaurants in the city.

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Chinese New Year Downtown Magazine

Food Photography for Gary Null Whole Foods Vegan Cookbook – 2012

Gary Null Vegan Cookbook

Yay! The time has finally arrived – the cookbook I shot and styled for Gary Null Power Foods arrived on my doorstep yesterday, HOT off the press!

I styled and shot this cookbook last August-September and it was a 6-week process with plenty of long days and nights, cooking, styling and shooting, with lots of laughter and intensity, for Gary Null’s new cookbook titled Anti-Arthritis, Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: Healing through Natural Foods. The cookbook has over 270 recipes that are Vegan, Vegetarian and Raw Food based with the premise of promoting a healthy diet and preventing and reversing arthritis, diabetes, cancer and inflammation through healthy eating and power foods.

I worked with Gary and his editorial team throughout the process to interpret the recipes into appealing, fresh and healthy imagery for the book. I also collaborated side by side with two amazing Chefs; Wes Wobles and William Shear, day and night (literally!) to turn the recipes into beautifully plated works of art which were styled meticulously in the kitchen and by myself on set to create the perfect final shot.

I’m very proud to have been the stylist and photographer on this awesome project and part of this dynamic project team that made the cookbook come to life in such a short time – it turned out beautifully with full color photos, a clean design and a comprehensive healthy eating program that might turn any meat-loving carnivore into a Vegan or Vegetarian just yet! The recipes are simple and easy to prepare with raw ingredients like grains, fruits, vegetables and non-meat proteins flavored with plenty of fresh herbs and seasonings. There are recipes for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, Salads, Soups and Desserts plus plenty of sauces and dips along with healthy appetizers. Gary also explains the nutritional aspects to a Vegan and Vegetarian Raw food diet with an eating plan spelled out and easy to follow.

Light, healthy and fresh is the name of the game in this awesome cookbook, and it’s arrived just in time for Spring to lighten up your diet!


>>Purchase a copy of the book online

>>View gallery of some of my fav photos I shot for the book

Kudos to the Cookbook Team!
Kudos to the Cookbook Team!
Kind Testimonial from Gary Null
Kind Testimonial from Gary Null


Published! Food Writing for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America


I am proud to say I am officially published in the new book titled Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, 2nd Edition, edited by Andrew F. Smith. I studied Professional Food Writing with Andy, and I have to say everything I learned about food writing, I learned from him. As a food writer and culinary historian, this is the latest of Andy’s books that he edited including 3 volumes of anything and everything you’ve ever wanted to know and learn about food and drink in America, covering the significant events, inventions, and social movements that have shaped the way Americans view, prepare, and consume food and drink. There’s over 1400 entries in the 3-volume set on food subjects including food science and nutrition, molecular gastronomy, genetically-modified foods, food controversies, regional foods, the volatile nature of food prices, and food traditions of major American cities.

I wrote an entry on Scottish-American food in America which was a really interesting topic to study and write about. Who knew that Tabasco, McDonald’s, McIntosh Apples, and Kentucky Fried Chicken were all discovered by Scottish immigrants to America to become such iconic American food brands? I researched the history of culture and foods of Scotland and how they made their way to American soil and infiltrated our cuisine with popular Scottish dishes such as Sausage Rolls and Scotch Eggs, Beef Stew and Fish Chowder, egg dishes such as Omelets, Souffles and Casseroles. The early Scottish settlers lived on farms so many of their American dishes were centered around roasted and braised meats and game introducing BBQ Pork dishes, Pot Roast, Meatloaf, Angus Steak, Game Pies and Sausages. Many of them settled in New England and the Northeast so many of their dishes included seafood and smoked fish, making chowders and bisques popular in those areas. They also cooked with plenty of vegetables, making hearty dishes with potatoes, bacon and onions, and also introduced plenty of grains to the Scottish-American diet including oats and porridge, cornbread and scones. Dairy and cheese are prominent in most of their dishes, and they love to use whiskey and  bourbon in much of their cooking and introduced popular cocktails to America such as the Hot Toddy, Mint Julep and Hot Buttered Rum.

This amazing reference manual has 3 books included and retails for about $387, which is worth it for the wealth of knowledge you’ll gain from it.

Purchase the book set online


Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook

Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook
Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook

Enjoy the foods you love and still lose weight! I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE comfort food. It’s the stuff I grew up on in my Mom’s and Grandmother’s kitchens. Ham and Cheese Omelettes, Clam Chowder, Macaroni and Cheese, Pot Roast, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Sloppy Joes, Roasted Chicken, Pot Pies, Beef Minestrone Soup, Pepper Steak, Chocolate Cupcakes, Blueberry Cheesecake, Chunky Pecan Bars, and the list goes on. This cookbook is filled with tons of great recipes for lightened up comfort food and also includes an easy-to-follow diet plan to lose weight while still enjoying the comfort foods you love. They break down each meal into an allowed calorie count and organize the recipes in each category by calories so you can pick and choose anything you want as long as you stick to the allowance. You’re allowed three meals a day plus two snacks to total 1,400 calories (350 for breakfast/450 for lunch/500 for dinner/Two 50-calorie snacks). Who says you have to sacrifice taste to be skinny? Now this is my kind of diet!

Packed with 430+ full color photos, recipes and diet and nutrition tips, you’ll enjoy delectable main dishes, snacks, desserts and more, all guaranteed by registered dietitians to help you shed pounds and still eat great. Quick calorie counts and nutrition facts for every dish make picking healthy choices easy. Each book includes exclusive access to on-line weight-loss tools and a free 1-year subscription to Healthy Cooking magazine ($23.94 value), plus a simple-to-follow, budget-friendly meal plan and do-it-yourself planning worksheets. Softcover, 322 pages, color photos. 8″ x 9″.

Get the cookbook online

Check out the diet plan and recipes on Taste of Home Online


La Tartine Gourmande, Bea Peltre
La Tartine Gourmande, Bea Peltre

If you haven’t seen the food blog or heard about the author Beatrice Peltre – Chef, Writer, Recipe Developer and Photographer, then you absolutely need to continue reading on! I recently purchased a copy of her new cookbook La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life, which is a delicious, full-color cookbook filled with beautiful, fresh, simple recipes and gorgeous food photography. She has been such an inspiration to me as a Chef, food writer and photographer, and I’ve been following her site for a few years now — I was so excited when her new cookbook came out that I wanted to do a review and giveaway to share her fabulous recipes and photos with my readers.

The cookbook is full of amazing recipes made with whole, fresh ingredients based on French-based techniques. The recipes are beautifully simple and easy enough to make at home or for entertaining friends and family. The book is written in an honest and down-to-earth voice, with stories and recipes based on Bea’s French background and other places she has lived or traveled to such as Denmark, New Zealand and Boston. Bea brings a creative twist to everyday recipes and uses only the freshest ingredients and gluten-free whole grains such as millet, quinoa, buckwheat, and nut flours. She shares stories of cooking with her daughter (Lulu) and takes you inside her kitchen with tales of culinary delight.

Her inspiring recipes are full of bright flavors and colorful fruits and vegetables and tantalizing baked goods. Organized by Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner and Desserts,  she offers menus within each category for different occasions: The Picnic, Casual Lunch with Friends, The Party with Small Bites, Sophisticated and Elegant Dinners, etc. You’ll find mouthwatering recipes such as Cherry Tomato Tartlets Tatin, Saffron-flavored Crab and Watercress Souffle, and Tagliatelle with Zucchini, Lime and Parmesan. Her gorgeous desserts include Chocolate and Plum Almond Cake with Cinnamon and Apple and Pear Verrines with Millet Crumble and Vanilla Custard and many more luscious creations.

For more great recipes and inspiration, visit Bea’s website La Tartine Gourmande

Click here to order your copy of Bea’s Cookbook La Tartine Gourmande


Herbivoracious, Michael Natkin
Herbivoracious, Michael Natkin

I recently had an opportunity to meet an amazing author/chef/blogger/photographer at a recent book launch party at Candle 79Michael Natkin. If you haven’t checked out Michael’s award-winning vegetarian blog, Herbivoracious, then you absolutely must. His creative vegetarian dishes are colorful, fresh and vibrant, and he recently published his first cookbook named after his blog. I had the opportunity to meet Michael at the party and get a signed copy of his cookbook which I absolutely adore!

The cookbook is full of 150 recipes and global dishes that he has created based on inspiration from his travels around the world: Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia are some of the main areas of influence on his cooking, which has led to his unique dishes full of taste, texture, aroma and gorgeous presentation. Appetizers and Small Plates, Soups and Salads, Sandwiches and Tacos, Pasta and Noodle DIshes, Side Veggie Dishes and Desserts are all colorfully presented in this beautiful cookbook.

Whether you are an omnivore, herbivore, vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian (or just love fresh veggies, salads and healthy recipes) – I know you’ll love this cookbook as much as I do!

Get more great recipes from Herbivoracious

Herbivoracious is also available in an enhanced e-book edition, with 25 videos featuring Natkin touring ethnic markets, introducing ingredients and showing how to choose them, and preparing recipes from the book. The e-book will also offer social media functionality for sharing recipes, photos, and video on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.

Click here to download a press release.


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