When it comes to food, you’d be hard pressed to find a denser concentration of foodies, food lovers, food consumers, food preppers and food producers than you’ll find right here, in the County. If you know me, and many of you do, you know I can’t resist being involved where there’s an opportunity to put all of my favourite things together for a day. Photography, food, wine and eating is what I’m talking about and Food•ography PEC was the venue that put it all together.
Food•ography- PEC, for those of you who don’t know, is a magical thing. Conceived by food stylist and cook extraordinaire Ruth Gangbar and brought to food-ition with the expert help of County kid and photographer Chris Gentile and the graphic design genius of Tim Snyder, Food•ographyPEC is a lot of delicious fun. I was invited to be a part of it at Huff Estates Winery on March 8.
Essentially, it’s designed to be a real, honest-to-goodness, commercial photo shoot with real food, real wine, a real photographer, a real food stylist, a real chef, sometimes a real sommelier, a real graphic designer, sets, props, professional equipment and real people who yearn to learn and to share their experience while experiencing something new. Coincidentally, Food•ographyPEC was in its incubation phase while I was quietly lamenting the waning of the dynamic that had been “The Creative Rural Community” in The County.
The County’s Creative Rural Community had been forged by our former EDO and his enthusiasm for economic potential of agriculture, heritage, history and art. The creativity of that group of enthusiasts hadn’t fallen by the wayside but, the collective energy, the brainstorming/ barnstorming/networking gatherings and the connectivity didn’t seem as accessible or as readily enjoyable after Dan Taylor set his sights on Peterborough. Even though I don’t “play well with others” and often “run with scissors” I missed the Creative Rural Community of PEC, the pep-rally enthusiasm, the youthful energy and the camaraderie of those quirky, sometimes boisterous and always delicious gatherings. I missed the occasions to celebrate the innovators who can only be found in a small, agri-artistic haven like Prince Edward County. You know, the farmers, the foodies, the artists, the promoters, the enjoyers and the mentors all in the same room or the barn or a hall, everyone talking and laughing about their best efforts and how to combine their individual talents with those of the other participants. From the beginning I was overwhelmed by the unlikely partnerships that developed at the Creative Minds get-togethers.
And, now the County has got Food•ographyPEC. A quirky, unlikely group of people who are invested in the County’s potential to generate joy and interest in “process, product, person and place”. Food•ography- PEC is a condensed course in the professional side of food and beverage styling, photographing and then, there’s the enjoying part.
Food•ographyPEC is an occasion. It’s an event. It’s a peek at the complicated structure behind the beauty of glossy food and beverage advertising in the media. It’s a day of learning from the best and most creative in the field. Food•ographyPEC doesn’t replace those creative get togethers, but it does demonstrate there were people who were listening. Food•ographyPEC is the very next step along the way. It’s the “what happens now”. The next Food•ographyPEC occasion is on July 11, at From the Farm Cooking School. All of my favourite things will be happening there—food, wine and photography. The very next step.