The First 20 Chefs

As 2014 was winding down I looked through the chef shoots to see how far this project of mine has come since 2011, then decided this post was a must.  I've told the backstory so many times to so many people its almost second nature to recite it when someone asks "how'd you come up with this idea?". The project was the idea pitched to me by a friend who sadly passed away at the end of 2009.  The idea was to take pictures of what chefs kept in their fridge at home and make a coffee table book out of it. From there it grew slowly to what it is today and the showcase of the chefs, their families, friends, and what they like to cook in their time away from the restaurant life.  Although the project has gained most of its momentum over the last year and half, I'm truly grateful to every single who has been a part of this journey and the chefs who allow me in their homes to be showcased.  I've met some amazing people so far because of this project.

When I first started this project I didn't know how it would be received. Coming into someone's home is a very personal thing, much less doing it with a camera. Second issue was approaching the chefs. Walking in during service and asking for a chef to pitch them a project seemed somewhat selfish of me, and honestly I didn't know how the response was going to be.  So for a couple of years the project was put on hold because of many things, but mainly the fear of rejection and a whole lot of procrastination.  In early 2013, my studio mate finally managed to get me off my ass and in the swing of the project by having me shoot a friend of hers who was a chef. After Tyler's shoot another photographer friend, Margaret, reached out to me about her brother Gabriel who is a local chef in town. To this day Gabe's shoot is the most popular shoot I've done and the one I get asked about the most.

I also get asked what my long term goal with this project is.  From the beginning my intentions was to do these shoots and eventually turn the pictures into a coffee table book for foodies and friends to enjoy.  Not necessarily a cookbook, but just a peek into the chefs lives and what they do at home on their time off away from the restaurant life.  The goal is still there and I'm working toward it one shoot at a time.

So now I want to thank everyone who has encouraged and has been a part of this little project of mine.  Thanks to the chefs, their families and friends, the fans, Amber, Margaret, and  definitely the fans who reach out and express how much they like seeing the posts.  Looking forward to the next 20, and ultimately a book to make my friends idea of a book a reality.

Ben

Shoot My Chef | The First 20