My new interview for Odessa News.
I’ve always admired by men who can and like to cook. I’m not talking about those who are forced to do this because he doesn’t have a family, or wife is away, or mother is ill. They follow the path of least resistance6 just fry potatoes, scrambled eggs, or take out of the freezer the dumplings.
I’ve met rally very few, who found in cuisine creation a real philosophy.
One of them is Aleksandr Slyadnev a food-photographer and a member of The Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers (UAPF) – is among 10 most interesting photographers of the planet according to authoritative 500px photo community and among 100 best food-photographers of the world according to The British Journal of Photography.
Aleksandr cooperates with many international companies and restaurants, shoots for food magazines, books and different publications. He has taken pictures of famous and world-known chefs and their dishes. His customers are popular Michelin-starred restaurants and restaurants with other prominent gastronomy awards.
Destiny was guessed in childhood
How has it all happened? What is a secret of such a success?
Alexander’s childhood is not very different from the typical conventional Odessa boy. From the age of six – School of Arts … But not the violin or piano, only drawing. Sasha is really like.
– As a child I drew. Friends went to judo or karate, swimming in the sea or playing childish games … No one forced me. I painted because it was getting me a real pleasure, – says Alexander.
Growing up, he came from the drawing. He received a Bachelor of Law, started looking for work. But when his hands got old camera “Zenit”, he realized that wants to connect his life with photography. First time he shooted everything: nature, wedding, girls, made photo sketches.
And then girls…
Some of my friends are surprised that I do not take pictures of girls. They saw something incredibly romantic that I was able to photo the ladies, and I voluntarily refused from this. Do not get me wrong: I love women and fascinated by food.
The rule of 10,000 hours, or philosophy of enthusiastic person
For some reason, I reminded a joke. Lady invited to dinner the eminent photographer in the hope of an exclusive photo shoot. Of course, he showed his latest works. “What a beautiful picture! – Exclaims the lady. – You probably have a very good camera. “Photographer was silent. At the end of the evening, he said: “Thank you for dinner. It was delicious. Perhaps you have a very good casseroles”.
– Really, no matter how good the equipment is, whoever you wanted to be – a doctor, a chef or a writer – it is necessary to forget about the laziness of the circumstances – and work. And study. Read books, attend workshops. Investing time and money in your future. That’s the whole secret. And do not forget about the rule of 10,000 hours. It is a time that you need to become a professional and truly succeed in some field. If you work forty hours a week for five years – you will reach that number. If you are not willing to work very hard – even not try.
In my case, the priority is always the pleasure of work and life. Next on the list is the experience, and only after that money. I’ve never done something that could bring me a tidy sum, but will not bring satisfaction. I love to cook and eat. The ability to take pictures of the dishes in the different corners of our immense world inspires me to work more and more. That’s why I became a food photographer. I like to work with dishes, arrange the composition and provoke the viewer the feeling of hunger. Therefore, always I warn that better to watch my photos when you are fed.
Who are from backstage
– Every creative person is trying to tell something the outside world. What do you want to say to those who read your blog, the photo, cooking your recipes?
One day I was sitting with a friend in one of the restaurants in Odessa. We really liked the food, and we wanted to meet with the chef to tell him “thank you.” But administrators said that the establishment of chefs or anyone of the staff can’t be at the hall. And I thought, “I eat a great meal, but do not know who cooked it to me: a man or a woman, what he looks like, that he cares about …”. And I wanted to know more about these people and show them to others. So it all started. Food’n’Chef. The main message is “There is always a story behind”. I shoot people, who are in shadow. It’s chefs. We have a breakfast or lunch or dinner in restaurant every day, and speak only with waiters. But not with someone who is responsible for food. In Food’n’Chef I show these people to the world. I travel the world and tell about best chefs and their dishes. Every story has interesting facts about chefs, their success and words about favorite dishes, its recipe. With the help of it, you can cook it at home. Now in my project there are about 150 chefs from all over the world, more then 20 with Michelin Stars and champions in different spheres of culinary. And more than 400 unique recipes.
Minced unicorn, please
Have you cooked everything personally?
I love to cook. I’m cooking myself a lot. Of course, for those recipes that I share for the project www.foodnchef.com. The truth is, I have a few recipes that I call “minced unicorn.” It’s impossible to cook at home. Here, for example, the lobster in the Swallow’s Nest from a Michelin-starred chef from Hong Kong. Swallow’s Nest is real bird’s nest, which is a delicacy in China. It’s impossible to find it here. Now I try to avoid these recipes and ask the chefs with whom I work, make simple dishes that can be cooked at home.
I see among your work a branch of tangerines. Is it a Christmas theme?
Picture was taken in Kuala Lumpur. This is actually a sweet paste. Something like our Odessa tsimes. It is the thinnest membrane that exactly reproduces tangerine crust.
There is a reason
I have not decided is it good or bad that the newspaper page could not show all that I wanted to write.
I think it is good. Since there is reason to talk about various topics: cities and countries are visited by Alexander, about the books he published and where he made workshops for beginner photographers and many other features of his activity …
Instead the champagne
Despite the fact that there is a traditional holiday drink as champagne, I offer surprise your friends and family with an unusual cocktail, which can easily be done at home. This is a recipe from the book “Christmas Whisky Cocktails” which I published together with the brand «Whisky Corner».