Among other things, I am a professional food stylist. I have been doing this weird job for over 25 years.
What a food stylist does is make food look fantastic on camera or video. Yes, it is fakery. Yes, it is somewhat dishonest. Yes, it is great work if you can get it. It pays well and a stylist gets to use her knowledge of food preparation, her skills as an artist, and an understanding of photography. It is very challenging.
Meat and cheese lovers, rejoice! Schane Gross, owner of The Anchor, has opened her new venture, the Douglas Avenue Chop Shop, and it is marvelous.
The Chop Shop is an artisanal butcher shop that carries delicious meats, cheeses, house-made sausages, eggs, bread and specialty condiments, all sourced locally. Ms. Gross really cares about the quality of her products and it shows in everything The Chop Shop carries.
I am obsessed with kimchi. I think about the earthy, fermented, spicy pickle all the time. I know that some people find kimchi’s deep funkiness repellent, but I love it.
Kimchi is one of the most common Korean condiments and is made with vegetables, chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger and salt. It is lightly fermented, sort of like sauerkraut, and then eaten as a side dish or used as an ingredient in Korean cooking. The kimchi most of us are familiar with is made with Napa cabbage.
To me, there is nothing as sensually delightful as Asian grocery stores. They have their own character and are as organic and wild as Western groceries are sterile and packaged.
Asian groceries can smell funky, spicy, and a little fermented. Fruits of all sorts in varying stages of ripeness are jumbled all together, some softer and sweeter than others, some bruised, chosen for flavor instead of shelf life. Jars of salted pickles and preserves sometimes crystallize over their seals and add their perfume to the mix. It’s heady, for sure. Embrace the funk, and inhale deeply.
Thai Tradition is one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Wichita.
It is dark and pretty inside, with a romantic ambience that sets it apart from many other Thai establishments in town. The food is delicious and beautifully presented on nice china. I like to take out-of-town guests there to relax and chill out after a long day of travel or business work.