BBQ... what does it mean to you? In my childhood years, BBQ was more of a verb than a noun. Dad would BBQ chicken, or maybe T-Bone Steaks on the weekend. However, when my husband and I moved to Kentucky early in our marriage, BBQ became a "thing". I must admit that I never did quite figure out what that "thing" was, but I know it's something traditional and not to be messed with.
Shortly after our move to Kentucky I happened to be chatting with a neighbor boy of about 10 years old and he mentioned that he "had BBQ last night". In my naive California way I asked, "BBQed what?". Perplexed he retorted, "What do you mean BBQed what? We had BBQ!" I never did figure out what "BBQ" was, but know it was indeed special.
Moving back to California our new San Diego home included a fabulous built in grill. Here we don't really BBQ, but I do grill 4-5 times a week. I grill everything from the traditional chicken, fish and steak to garlic bread and pizza and even fruit and veggies. I look upon my grill as my BFF. We have a wonderful relationship as long as I pay attention to her - meaning not forgetting that I have something cooking.
With this month's Food Photography Challenge for my photography group, The Inspired Plate, posted as BBQ, I must admit to being in a bit of a quandy. Should I go traditional with meat doused in a viniagery sauce (BBQ) or work on something a little more out there like our favorite grilled pizza?
Once again, Dad provided the answer. Nothing says summer quite like the rosy kissed cheeks of a tender, fuzzy peach, and with an occasional bag of the fragrant, sweet stone fruits appearing on my doorstep, I know Dad has been thinking of me.
Yesterday, such a bag appeared, and wending peaches into this month's Food Photography Challenge didn't prove to be a difficult decision. Photographing said BBQ, though, did prove to be quite a challenge.
Meat has always proved to be difficult for me to capture nicely. Frankly, I don't really think meat is "pretty", or even attractive. Sizzling away on the grill, meat is indeed mouthwatering, and a nice, juicy fillet topped with a pat of herb butter can even almost appear sexy. Pork tenderloin, however, just didn't bring out those feelings for me.
With a fabulous Peach BBQ sauce simmering away on my stove, aromas of bacon, chipotle and sweet peach filled every corner of the house. The pork slowly roasted over my low flame on the grill, and after a quick rest on the cutting board, the pork proved to be exceptionally tender and perfectly cooked.
Combining the steaming sauce and tender pork with a side of Aroz Verde, the plate actually held mouthwatering appeal. Shooting as the sun set into the ocean just a few miles behind me, the light brought out the colors of the sauce and the rice contrasted nicely with its green hue.
For more BBQ Food Photography, join my for a trip around our Inspired Plate Blog Circle. Next up? A fabulous photographer I had the pleasure of joining on a photo shoot a few weeks ago,
Laurie Vengoechea | Southern California Food Photographer