Tag Archives: food

The Chef’s Table

If you’ve seen my Instagram feed, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of food — Eating it, cooking it, photographing it. Whatever.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that I took to my assignment to photograph Theo Friedman, a recent Tufts graduate who’s been making a name for himself with various pop-up dinners around town, with much enthusiasm.

Theo had graduated just a few days before I stopped by his apartment two blocks off campus in Somerville, and had unfortunately packed up most of his things. That didn’t stop him from whipping up a small plate for me to photograph for a profile the Tufts College of Arts and Sciences was writing about him. Theo doesn’t have any formal training in the culinary arts, but his creativity was on full display with notes for the tasting menu from his most recent pop-up taped to his walls.

It was a delight to pick his brain a little bit while he was working to see if I couldn’t leave with a few tricks for myself.

05/20/2015- Somerville, Mass. - Theo Friedman, A15, poses for a portrait in his apartment kitchen on May 20, 2015. As an undergraduate, Friedman would prepare a variety of dinners for his friends and other guests. (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

05/20/2015- Somerville, Mass. – Theo Friedman, A15, poses for a portrait in his apartment kitchen on May 20, 2015. As an undergraduate, Friedman would prepare a variety of dinners for his friends and other guests. (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

05/20/2015- Somerville, Mass. - Theo Friedman, A15, prepares a beet salad in his apartment kitchen on May 20, 2015. As an undergraduate, Friedman would prepare a variety of dinners for his friends and other guests. (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

05/20/2015- Somerville, Mass. – Theo Friedman, A15, prepares a beet salad in his apartment kitchen on May 20, 2015.
(Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

05/20/2015- Somerville, Mass. - Theo Friedman, A15, prepares a beet salad in his apartment kitchen on May 20, 2015. As an undergraduate, Friedman would prepare a variety of dinners for his friends and other guests. (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

05/20/2015- Somerville, Mass. - Sample menus from a prior dinner party hang on the wall in the kitchen of Theo Friedman, A15, on May 20, 2015. As an undergraduate, Friedman would prepare a variety of dinners for his friends and other guests. (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

05/20/2015- Somerville, Mass. - Theo Friedman, A15, prepares a beet salad in his apartment kitchen on May 20, 2015. As an undergraduate, Friedman would prepare a variety of dinners for his friends and other guests. (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

05/20/2015- Somerville, Mass. - Theo Friedman, A15, prepares a beet salad in his apartment kitchen on May 20, 2015. As an undergraduate, Friedman would prepare a variety of dinners for his friends and other guests. (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

Pound for Pounds

01/26/2014 -- BOSTON, Mass. -- Chef Michael Leviton, owner of Boston-area restaurants Area Four, A4 Pizza and Lumiere, works through a clean and jerk during his workout at InnerCity Weightlifting as his trainer Joe Sierra observes on Jan. 25, 2014. Leviton used to mentor Sierra, and continued the relationship through InnerCity. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 — BOSTON, Mass. — Chef Michael Leviton, owner of Boston-area restaurants Area Four, A4 Pizza and Lumiere, works through a clean and jerk during his workout at InnerCity Weightlifting as his trainer Joe Sierra observes on Jan. 25, 2014. Leviton used to mentor Sierra, and continued the relationship through InnerCity. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

The Area Four restaurant has a special place in my heart.

Not only do they make what I think is the best pizza in town, but it also happens to be the spot where my girlfriend, Samantha, and I were first introduced to each other. You can imagine how excited I was when I got the call from the Wall Street Journal back in January to photograph another “What’s Your Workout” piece on the chef and owner Michael Leviton.

My assignment was to photograph the chef at InnerCity Weightlifting, where he works out on weekends with his trainer Joe. InnerCity is an organization that gets urban youth off the streets and into the gym, and Mike has been involved with the team there since hearing founder Jon Feinman speak at a forum in 2012. They’ve got a great story themselves, as well.

01/26/2014 -- BOSTON, Mass. -- Chef Michael Leviton, owner of Boston-area restaurants Area Four, A4 Pizza and Lumiere, does a weighted pull up during his workout at InnerCity Weightlifting on Jan. 25, 2014. Leviton used to mentor his current trainer Joe Sierra, and continued the relationship through InnerCity. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 -- BOSTON, Mass. -- Chef Michael Leviton, owner of Boston-area restaurants Area Four, A4 Pizza and Lumiere, works out at InnerCity Weightlifting with his trainer Joe Sierra on Jan. 25, 2014. Leviton used to mentor Sierra, and continued the relationship through InnerCity.  (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 — BOSTON, Mass. — Chef Michael Leviton, owner of Boston-area restaurants Area Four, A4 Pizza and Lumiere, works out at InnerCity Weightlifting with his trainer Joe Sierra on Jan. 25, 2014. Leviton used to mentor Sierra, and continued the relationship through InnerCity. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

After Mike’s CrossFit-style circuit, we moved on to my favorite part of any workout — the post-lift meal at Area Four in Cambridge. The pizza here is easily my favorite in the area, so spending some time with the chef and his team in the kitchen and getting to know him, his wife, Karyn, and their kids was a treat. They loved the story about me and Sam, too!

01/26/2014 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Chef Michael Leviton prepares a pizza with his children Sam Leviton, 4, and Isadora Goldman-Leviton, 11, at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 — CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Chef Michael Leviton prepares a pizza with his children Sam Leviton, 4, and Isadora Goldman-Leviton, 11, at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Chef Michael Leviton prepares a pizza at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck.  (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 — CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Chef Michael Leviton prepares a pizza at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Isadora Goldman-Leviton, 11, serves herself a slice of the pizza she prepared with her father, Chef Michael Leviton at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 — CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Isadora Goldman-Leviton, 11, serves herself a slice of the pizza she prepared with her father, Chef Michael Leviton at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 -- CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Chef Michael Leviton poses for a portrait at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

01/26/2014 — CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Chef Michael Leviton poses for a portrait at his restaurant Area Four in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Jan. 25, 2014. Area Four started out as a pizza and coffee shop concept, and has since expanded into a second pizza-only location and a food truck. (Kelvin Ma for the Wall Street Journal)

Be sure to check out the article while it’s still in front of the paywall.

Many thanks to my assigning editor Kate Lord, who has since jumped into the freelance ranks. Look her up!

The Jasmine

The Herald recently sent me over to Hawthorne Bar — a relatively new joint in the basement of the Hotel Commonwealth — to photograph one of their cocktails, The Jasmine. Whereas the bulk of my food photography has been primarily plates, the addition of drinks has been a relatively new development. It must be a circumstance of me being back in Boston, which apparently has been making a resurgence as a cocktails type of town.

Well, I’m more than happy to help perpetuate that reputation, with my wallet, liver and my camera.

The Jasmine
•1 1/2 oz. of Beefeater Gin
•3/4 oz. of Curacao
•1/4 oz. of lemon juice
•Barspoon of Campari

Boston, Mass. -- The Jasmine, from Hawthorne Bar

4/8/2012 -- BOSTON -- The Jasmine, from Hawthorne Bar.

Boston, Mass. -- The Jasmine, from Hawthorne Bar, which consists of 1 1/2 oz. of Beefeater Gin, 3/4 oz. of Curacao, 1/4 oz. of lemon juice and a barspoon of campari, photographed on April 8, 2012. Herald Photo by KELVIN MA. (Kelvin Ma)

4/8/2012 -- BOSTON -- The Jasmine, from Hawthorne Bar.

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