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Eats & Arts: Sabine Schmitz talks Food Photography
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Eats & Arts: Sabine Schmitz talks Food Photography

Meet Sabine Schmitz, the master mind behind Eats & Arts, Australia's food photography site.

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An experienced and award-winning art-director by trade, Sabine Schmitz has set her eyes onto food-photography and developed a keen interest in styling since she moved to the beautiful beaches of her new home-town Sydney 8 years ago. Sabine works as Creative Director (Section.d Vienna, Maxima Magazine, ACP Magazines, Gourmet Traveller WINE, Bauer Media) for national and international magazines and she is the founder of Eats&Arts.

Here is a candid interview with Sabine by FDL:

Most incredible taste?
Due to my work with food, I am exposed to so many memorable taste-experiences. But whenever I taste an unusual com- bination of flavours for the first time - salted caramel, pork in chocolate-sauce, ripe mangoes with chilli, potatoes baked in edible clay, white fish with smoked paprika - I am surprised every time. The juxtaposition enhances the original flavour, gives your tastbuds a new sensation and your brain has to re-evaluate everything it has experienced before.

Something you always have in your fridge?
Simply - but an absolute necessity and life-saver - full cream milk for a strong coffee in the morning to get me kick-started. As a treat my husband makes it every morning and brings it to me so I can enjoy it in bed.

The perfect taste?
A perfect taste is all about balance - not only with food but also in the world of wine (which I have learned to thoroughly enjoy in my role as the creative director of the Australian Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine). No component of a dish or wine should be overpowering - detecting subtle and surpising flavours is the big pleasure of eating and drinking.

Which is your favorite food subject?
Fresh ingredients. Most produce is available and in season all year which makes it possible to create photo-shoots with fresh ingredients, and nothing looks better than fresh herbs, seafood, fruits and vegetables. In general I prefer the fuss-free and easy-to-follow approach. A recipe shouldn’t be complicated, the photo has to show what is in the dish and it has to be mouth-wateringly delicious. The daylight-photography, which is used in Australia from January to December, brings out the freshness even more. There’s just nothing artificial about these photos.

A food anecdote?
Into every photo-shoot goes a lot of preparation - creating the recipe (we only use original recipes), testing the recipe before the shoot to be sure it works on the day, shopping for the photo-shoot, developing a styling-idea and sourcing the photo- props to create the look of the photo, shooting the recipes in the photo-studio and then - the best part - taking the food home and having a dinner-party with friends. As the food is fresh and doesn’t get any chemical treatment, unlike in the old days, it’s delicious and the most sought after dinner-party in town.

The most appetizing photo you've ever created?
That’s a very difficult one, as I love them all. The photos are all the result of the know-how and experience of extremely talented people, who are the best in their fields. But when I go through the online-portfolio the stories with a lot of herbs and fresh ingredients never fail to catch my eye.

The dish to die for?
Anything with vinegar: tomato-salad, my mother’s potato gulasch (that’s my favourite Austrian dish), my husband’s chicken stew, ice-cream with balsamico ... you name them. If there would be something like dark chocolate with vinegar - that would be perfection!

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