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Posts Tagged ‘Kenwood’

I have just returned from a great new experience! I was working on a tv cookery program with Emirati Chef, Chef Khulood Atiq for Abu Dhabi TV. As I work mainly on stills and tv comercials it was great to see how a tv program is put together. Our set was modern and clean, white and turquoise with accents of red props including red Kenwood machines which I was of course pleased to see.

I was in charge of setting the themed table on set as each episode has a different them and styling the dishes for the close up shots.

The control room was upstairs where the director David Coyle from the UK would switch from camera 2 to camera 3, back to close ups on camera 1 etc. I however spent most of my time in either the props room or in the back kitchen which got fairly chaotic on a daily basis!

This is where we prepped all the ingredients and made some of the dishes ahead of time. ”Here’s one I made earlier!!”

I have been trying to get more knowledge of Emirati food and it is surprisingly hard to find this information so I was grateful to Chef Khulood who works as a Emirati Food Consultant for TDIC (Tourism Development & Investment Company) who taught me so much. She cooked everything from Semach Al Hasho, stuffed fish to Sagaw, sago. We also diversified into Emirati sushi made with rocca and spiced hammour and Emirati pizza. I have learned that saffron, cardamom powder, sugar, flour and ghee are key ingredients in Emirati cuisine.

Chef Khulood

I have to say a huge thank you to Executive Producer-Charbel who did everything from buying props to washing the dead goat in the shower! Script Writer and ingredients coordinator Susie who taught me Arabic everyday and Assistant Executive Producer-Jaad who spent most of his time in the supermarket but kept us all entertained, all from Firehorse in Lebanon.

And yes, the last episode was cooking a whole goat in true Emirati style! It was the first time I had seen one being prepared for cooking and now I can definitely say I have styled a baby goat. Always a winner on the CV!!!!

Watch Sarareed with Chef Khulood on Abu Dhabi Emirates channel everyday throughout Ramadan at 3pm.

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Kenwood have a hi-tech kitchen set up in a shop! The Jashamal store in Festival City to be precise. I was invited to a delicious Christmas lunch there last week It was a Cook & Coffee, Kenwood have been doing these events for a few years, starting in Paris in 2009, then Hong Kong and Shang Hai and now in Dubai. It is a great way to demonstrate their machines to the public in an interactive way (so you don’t have to read the whole manual!!). And as I got to eat the food it was the right kind of interactive for me!!

Now I don’t have to be persuaded as to how great the Cooking Chef is, I have had my own private lesson thanks to Sue Poynter from Kenwood where we made bread dough and cake frosting as well as pasta! Amazing, all with one  machine that chops, grinds, slices, mixes, heats, pulse stirs, whisks, steams, basically you name it,  the Cooking Chef pretty much does all it bar the washing up! (and there isn’t even much of that as you are using the same bowl!)

We were very lucky to have  Chef Dima cooking for us. She made Christmas lunch look a doddle as she sliced potatoes and butternut squash for dauphinoise, grated cheese, chopped peppers for the Mediterranean foccacia and pepper stuffing and made gingerbread cookie dough. She was so full of handy cooking tips too! Check out more on her blog, Dima’s Kitchen.

Dimas tips:

  • When cooking with olive oil, it has a low smoking point so when you add it to the pan you don’t want to hear a sizzle as that means that it is already oxidizing and you will lose the flavour.
  • Flavour your pots and pans with oil, salt, pepper and herbs before you start cooking.
  • Dry your own rosemary, buy it fresh, wash it thoroughly then leave the whole plant to dry in the sun. This has much more flavour than shop bought dried rosemary.
  • Roll cookie dough in sheets of baking paper so as to not add too much flour which would make your cookies too dry.

Then we got a chance to decorate our own cookies. I loved this bit of course……

And just as tummies were beginning to rumble we were all treated to a delicious lunch of maple brine turkey with cranberry relish, a winter bake of vegetables and walnuts and Mediterranean stuffing. I have to say it might have been the most succulent turkey I’ve ever had! Sorry mum!!

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Last week we were at Palmonade, a kitchen showroom on the Beach Road for four days to shoot a Kenwood campaign. This time we were specifically shooting images for the Indian market which meant both the food and the wardrobe had a strong Indian influence. The photographer was Daryl Patni, the agency TMH and the crew and models from Bareface. Both Angie, the wardrobe stylist and I threw ourselves into it spending hours at a time down at Mina Bazaar, myself looking for pots, pans and rolling pins etc and Angie picking out the loveliest saris,(on one of the shoot days we actually counted her saying the word ”sari” 15 times in three minutes! Just a little obsessed!!!)

I had treated myself to two new cookbooks for this shoot, one for its incredible information on Indian spices, THE INDIAN KITCHEN by Monisha Bharadwaj and one on its fantastic propping, EAST INDIAN COOKBOOK by Manju Malhi mixing both Indian antique with modern western tableware. I was able to achieve something similar by buying props in Karama, Mina Bazaar, Zara Home  and Tavola.

We shot 4 to 5 machines a day over the three days with the last day concentrating on the the Kitchen Machine and the  Kitchen Chef with Chef Osama, who brought down lovely Arabic pastries from his own baker. The three new machines featured were the …..

HB 890 KMIX Triblade 5 in 1


This hand blender  comes with the the triblade, the soup XL and a durable metal balloon whisk as well as a chopping blade and shredding disk with the 1 litre food processor and is available in white, cream, black, silver and red. We shot the red model so we coupled it with a lovely green coriander chutney amongst other dishes.

The BL 480


This blender has three speeds and crushes ice, has a grating mill and a grinding mill. Ideal for those spices needed to make curries!

The BL718


This slick blender is a little more hardcore being more powerful with five variable speeds and metal body. It is the first Kenwood blender to have a thermal shock resistant glass jug which means both hot and cold liquids can be blended. I very much liked the weight of this machine!

Some styling tips when doing curries:

1. keep bowls small to make and curries more attractive by having a smaller mass of sauce as it is often brown in colour.

2. use ready made curry sauces (to save time but adjust colours if needed) and cook vegetables and meat separately and mix together  last minute to keep ingredients defined in the sauce.

3. think outside the box! I didn’t have any saffron to garnish my mango lassi so i cut very thin slithers of beetroot  to place on top. it worked a treat!

Here are some behind the scenes shots of this very fun shoot…..

A massive thank you to Rehana from Kenwood for being such a cool client, Zahra and Darine from TMH  and to Palmonade for letting us totally take over again! And a little special thank you to Ant for keeping my work space so tidy and functioning!!!

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This week we did a three day shoot for DeLonghi. DeLonghi are an Italian, family owned and run company in Traviso near Venice. Interestingly the company started out repairing and then making oil-filled radiators. Now they make everything from electric ovens to ice-cream makers. There are over 20 categories of coffee machines and we shot a selection of these. The images were clean, sleek and sophisticated, some shots were with models and some were straight forward still lifes but the heroes each time were the espresso, cappuccino and the caffe latte.

The espresso is a concentrated coffee brewed by hot water being forced at pressure through coffee grounds. Espresso often has a thicker consistency than coffee brewed using other methods. And the stronger the brew the more crema (foam) you get. It has been recorded that the espresso was invented as far back as 1884.

The cappuccino is a coffee made from espresso, hot milk and steamed milk froth. The name comes from the Capuchin friars, referring to the colour of their habits. It is a morning drink and rarely drunk after 11am.

The caffe latte is similar to a cappuccino but with more milk and less milk foam. It was actually invented in California and not in Europe although similar breakfast drinks did exist. If you ask for a latte in Italy you are likely to get a glass of milk.

A caffe latte differs from a latte macchiato in that in a latte macchiato, espresso is added to milk, rather than the reverse.

The location of the shoot took place at the Hacker showroom on Sheik Zayed Road. Hacker is another family owned company this time from Germany. They make beautiful high-end kitchens. Their kitchens range from 60,000 to 2 million dirhams and feature sensomatic drawers and magic cupboards where the inside shelves gently pop up and become extra work surfaces. Genius!

Behind the scenes:

Food styling tip:

To create longer lasting foam slowly heat some full fat milk in a sauce pan and add clear washing up liquid. Whisk the warm milk with an electric hand whisk. For close-up shots it is always better to use the real thing and a coffee machine is required for this.

A huge thanks to Rihana from Kenwood, Zahra and Darine from TMH, photographer Richard Allenby-Pratt, Samir and Scott from Hacker and the Bareface team, producers Neha and Wafa, wardrobe-Angie, hair and make up-Kat, booker-Leila and our lovely models.

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