Earlier this week I had the pleasure of photographing a celebration of the food and wine of the Basque Region of Spain at an event that took place between Longview Gallery and Rogue 24 Restaurant in Washington, D.C. The job came to me several months ago through a referral from Suzi Molak of Longview through Man Lai the event planner in New York who was managing the event. I knew it had something to do with food and wine and Spain but I had no idea what a treat I would be in for until I arrived at Longview on Wednesday.
The whole gallery had been turned into an exhibit space that showcased the cuisine of the Basque Region of Spain. There were numerous tables set up with tasting stations for both the food and wine. The beginning of event was limited to people from the press to come sample the goods and then cross the alley behind the gallery to the very cool restaurant, Rogue 24, for a special meal prepared by Juan Mari Arzak, a famous Basque chef.
The preparation that went into each dish was amazing to watch. Chef Arzak cooked along with his team the most beautiful presentation of Basque dishes. I loved photographing the expressions of the guest's faces as they sampled each dish. Natasja Mallory, from the New York PR firm, Gregory White, who also helped organize this event, did a fantastic job being called upon at the last minute to translate for Chef Arzak as he described each dish in great detail.
After this three hour lunch everyone crossed the alley back to Longview where there was another cooking exhibition for a much larger crowd. The guest of honor for this gathering, along with Chef Arzak was Paxti Lopez, the President of the Basque Region.
Part of the fun of photographing events in this area is that you never what you might be called upon to document. This one was such a treat for me. Great job to Man-Lai and Natasja for all their hard work. The day was a huge success with a great turn out.