The Heart of Food Photography Class at MUMU Grill, Crows Nest

It has been seven months since I bought a DSLR and started this blog, and I’ve decided it’s high time I pulled my finger out and learned how to use this camera properly, i.e. graduating past ‘AUTO’.

It was fantastic timing then, when I read that Simon from The Heart of Food was holding a food photography class. Simon is a self-taught photographer, and his blog is full of stunning food porn. The class promised to teach us about photography basics, creatively and technically (including composition, aperture, rule-of-thirds, white balance, focus points etc), post-production, and tips & tricks for food photography.

To seal the deal, the class was held at a restaurant I’ve wanted to visit for a while now: MUMU Grill in Crows Nest, a sustainable restaurant that uses 100% grass fed beef, with all other ingredients being organic or sustainable. Included in the class cost ($90) was a set menu lunch which also served as our subjects to practice what we had learned.

Our group was a mix of bloggers (Melanie, Laura, Ayana, Gaby, and myself), food technology teachers, and other food lovers. It amused me that I felt so normal in a room of people madly clicking away at the plates of food, which really is an odd sight. Eating cold-but-meant-to-be-hot lunch and the ice-cream that melted into soup didn’t seem to bother anyone. After all, that’s just a side effect of food blogging! ;)

Wood-fired bread and dips

Olive selection

I’d only had a small breakfast earlier in the morning, and since I usually eat every 2-3 hours by the time lunch was served I was famished, worsened by the delicious scents filling the air. I’ve never struggled so hard to stick by the food blogging code, “don’t touch the food until many, many photos have been taken”.

Jamon Serrano

The food was worth the wait. We shared platters of fluffy, wood-fired bread and dips, fat green olives and meltingly soft Jamon Serrano. The Szechuan fried prawns were morish, but one of my favourite dishes was the duck and shitake mushroom empanadas with its flaky, buttery pastry; I may have eaten 2 or 3 of them.

Szechuan fried prawns

Duck and shitake mushroom empanadas

The organic chicken was well-cooked, with moist juicy meat, a crisp outer, and served with maple roasted sweet potato and spinach. The second main to share was a sirloin tagliatta. I like my steak medium-rare (but medium or rare is also nice) so I was happy to see the beef cooked pink. I’m also a fan of steak served sliced. It looks nice, it’s neat, easy to share, and you know it’s cooked the right amount! The duck fat roasted potatoes are probably the best potatoes I have ever eaten. How amazing are duck fat roast potatoes?! If you’ve never experienced this exceptional delight, I think you should try them ASAP.

Organic chicken with maple roasted sweet potato and spinach

Sirloin tagliatta with duck fat potatoes and greens

Cherry tomato salad

I could have happily devoured the dessert platter by myself, but alas, it was to be shared. It featured a hard-to-photograph brown sugar pavlova that reminded me of the Opera House, a spicy gingerbread and ricotta sandwich, a rich chocolate mole tart, hazelnut gelato, and a fruit platter. The gelato was melted by the time we ate, but it still tasted great – it would be perfect for an affogato. Hazelnut gelato, an espresso shot, maybe even some Frangelico… Delicious!

Gingerbread and ricotta sandwich with rhubarb

Brown sugar pavlova with pineapple and passionfruit

Fruit platter

Chocolate mole tart

The main lessons I wanted to get out of this class were: how to take photos in low lighting (the bane of my dining out existence), how to use aperture to make the background blurry, and composition and styling tips. Simon was a great teacher, he explained things well and was patient. I definitely learned a lot, and I now need to practice, practice, practice!

Simon has another class scheduled for 6 August, with spaces still available. Click here to find out more and book yourself a spot!

Simon demoing how to take pouring action shots

Simon Park, The Heart of Food

MUMU Grill

Contact details:
61 2 9460 6877
70 Alexander Street, Crows Nest
Opening hours:
Dinner 7 days 5.30-10.30pm, Lunch Wed-Sun 12-3pm

Mumu Grill on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Eating Out, Events, Modern Australian, Organic, Steakhouse

28 responses to “The Heart of Food Photography Class at MUMU Grill, Crows Nest

  1. Wow, great photos! And great idea. I’ve had my DSLR for a couple of years (and had a film one before that) and have still never done a class. It’s one of those things I’ve always meant to get around to but haven’t. This one sounds fantastic, and I know just the friend who would love it too.

  2. Oooh! I missed meeting you again! Was booked in but had to change dates because we had decided to go skiing instead! Love the look of the food and photos too. Duck fat potatoes… ? My Mum is vegetarian, yet she still can’t say no to duck fat spuds. Very special. I cannot wait!

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  4. Looks like you’re putting the tips to good use. Loving the compositions. So intimate! hehe

    Have fun practicing and further learning. Looks like you’re already off to a good start :)

  5. looks like an awesome class, stunning pics!! esp. love that last pic of the choc tart, absolutely gorgeous pic and looks soo scrummy!

  6. those Szechuan fried prawns look so delicious. it’s great that you’re venturing away from auto settings. i can’t believe how many people buy DSLRs and just use auto. it’s like buying a ferrari and only driving in suburban streets. glad you’re learning more about your camera :-)

  7. Looking good – wasn’t it great to learn all those tips and then get to put them into practice asap! I’m desperate to go out to dinner ASAP now and start using the camera, and seeing how it performs in low light – evil evil low light.

  8. Great photos! Sadly I missed the pouring shot demo :(

  9. fantastic photos! i hope you learnt alot from the class :)

  10. the food and the photos look exceptional. i really want to learn photography but i don’t even have a proper camera (yet),,,

  11. Lovely! Sounds like a good idea, just got a new camera for my birthday and I’m having some trouble figuring it out, lol! Your photos are superb, and everything looks so tempting!

  12. wow this food looks delicious, great pics!

  13. What a cool way to learn about food photography! Your photos are definitely making me hungry, that’s for sure. I love the one of jamon serrano! Plus, duck fat roasted potatoes?! That sounds majorly yummy.

  14. I went to one mid last year and picked up a few handy tips. The sirloin tagliatta looks scrumptious and the brown sugar pavlova has my name written all over it. This is my first visit here. Glad to have found you on Instagram and Twitter.

  15. Great photo’s! I’ve really started to get into food photography.. just at home though, I’m too conscious about doing it in restaurants! hehehe.. My husband bought me a DSLR for my birthday last year, I’ve been meaning to book myself into a course to get past the ‘Auto’ function as well. It seems like such a waste having such a good camera and not using it to its full potential. I’ll make myself do it before the year is out! :)

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  17. Pingback: The Heart of Food Photography class at MUMU Grill | Absolutely Ayana

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