Chef Katie Button’s Spanish cookbook photo shoot
In a rental home nestled atop Town Mountain road in Asheville, chef Katie Button and her team began the photo shoot for her upcoming cookbook. Photographer Evan Sung and designer Kira Corbin lent their expertise to the project, making Katie’s cuisine look its best for the cookbook pages. Felix Meana selected wine and beverage pairings for many of the dishes, helping readers and home cooks visualize the entire meal.
Cúrate chef de cuisine Frank Muller and Nightbell pastry chef Carmen Vaquera help to prep the dishes for the shoot. Carmen, a former Cúrate line cook, enjoyed the brief foray back to Spanish cuisine.
Slated for a fall 2017 release from Flatiron Books, the cookbook will feature classic and inventive Spanish dishes. Some will be familiar favorites to Cúrate guests, like the berenjenas a la taberna- fried eggplant drizzled in local honey.
The restaurant recipes have been revamped for home cooks, a process Katie began in earnest last September. Some dishes stray from Cúrate’s tapas format, like slow-cooked paella and homemade blood sausage. At 125 recipes, the book will be full of amazing images and tips for making the dishes at home.
The amazing view of the Blue Ridge mountains keeps the team focused not on replicating a Spanish experience, but fusing Asheville with Katie’s cuisine. Kira’s props and settings evoke a more rustic, natural yet upscale meal accessible to all with a little effort. Staub cookware provided stunning pots and pans, and San Pellegrino sent Katie a fantastic knife roll made from distressed Bergamo leather.
One evening, Katie cooked a chicken paella outside for family and friends. Evan photographed the guests and chefs soaking in the beauty of their surroundings, passing a porron, and enjoying the meal.
On the final day of the shoot, Katie was assisted by Julie Jensen, a local business owner. This collaboration was part of an auction package that benefited Asheville’s MANNA Food Bank.
One unexpected highlight of the week was a visit from a bear, who Katie spotted in the garage while taking a telephone call. The black bear was equipped with a tracking collar and ambled on its way, apparently also enjoying the beautiful setting.
A few days later, a lynx family came to visit. Kira spotted this small but majestic creature and alerted Carmen and Evan, who was able to take a picture of the chance encounter.
The photo shoot was a lot of work, but some amazing photos were the result. The team worked to create what will surely be a stunning cookbook, full of instructions and images to help home cooks create Spanish feasts.