Thursday, April 26, 2012


2012 is a monumental year for one of my greatest passions - the art of Food Photography.  In a previous Anne Watson Photography blog post you saw that I was absolutely thrilled to see this artform being celebrated with the 2012 Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year contest.  Sponsored by Pink Lady Apples, this was the first-ever international competition celebrating Food Photography - and, just for the fun of it, I decided to spend an inspired January afternoon shooting photos of apples for my submission.

In the end, it turns out that the Pink Lady team and their panel of renowned judges received 3,160 submissions from over 60 countries around the globe - an incredible turnout and some seriously stiff competition! Needless to say, I didn't expect to hear a thing and had just had fun entering... so, when my email chimed on March 1st with the incredible news that my photograph had been selected as one of the 65 short-listed finalists who would have their art displayed in a public 5-day exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London, I was beyond excited and truly honored.

So, this week it was off to The Mall Galleries in London for the gallery reveal & awards reception on Tuesday, April 24th, 2012. The Taittinger Champagne flowed while the winners were announced - it was a magical evening. And although I didn't win a trophy, I still felt like a winner as it was such a huge honor to be considered amongst the finalists and to have the opportunity to meet such incredibly talented & inspiring people! I can hardly wait until next year's competition - another year to allow the creative Food Photography juices to flow!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Yes, I admit it - I am a Gourmet Food Truck-aholic. I am in awe of these guys & gals who manage to serve high-end restaurant-quality food out of a teeny-tiny kitchen-on-wheels outta' the side of a truck.  I have a hard enough time making toast in the morning and not burning it - so, these chefs' abilities never cease to amaze me.  

I am also a seafood-aholic.  So, naturally, one of my all-time favorite Gourmet Food Trucks is the SlapFish Truck.  (Some of you may recall a previous blog post I dedicated to them back in November:  Needless to say, when rumors started flying several months ago that these guys might be 'Going Brick & Mortar' (aka, opening up their own non-mobile restaurant) in OC, I was thrilled.  This week, the dream is a reality - SlapFish is opening their first location, a fast, casual, sustainable seafood restaurant, in Huntington Beach this Friday, April 20th. Yahoo!

Left: SlapFish Chef / Owner, Andrew Gruel; Right: Serving-up Mouth-Watering Creamy Clam Chowder
On Monday night, I had the special opportunity to attend a 'VIP Menu Tasting' at the new location - all I can say is, "WOW."  This is some seriously amazing cuisine.  I attended the event with my English husband, author Tim Watson, who grew up on the coast of England... he is a SERIOUS seafood connoisseur. If it's been swimming &/or attached to a rock in saltwater, my husband will be able to tell you what it is & whether it tastes good or not.  So, when even his mind was blown by how delicious everything coming out of the SlapFish kitchen was, I took that as an excellent sign.

Delicious, fresh local Carlsbad Oysters with SlapFish's amazing, uber-hot Red Habanero Hot Sauce - My husband, Tim Watson, went nuts for these & said they were some of the best oysters he's ever tasted in his life.
And, even if you're not a seafood fanatic, there are still plenty of items to keep you comin' back for more -- They have two non-seafood dishes on the menu: A Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese Sandwich AND a Double-Smoked Bacon and Brie Melt with Mango Mustard. (Mmmm... bacon.)  And, their desserts are fantastic -- provided by the always-amazing Brooke of Simply Sweet Cakery, her cakes & cookies are to-die-for.

Delicious desserts at SlapFish provided by Brooke of Simply Sweet Cakery.
So, below you can feast your eyes on a small sneak-peek through photos of the SlapFish restaurant menu - prepare to salivate. And, then prepare to attend the SlapFish Grand Opening when they open their doors to the public this Friday, April 20th (19696 Beach Blvd. in the Newland Center).

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Tower of Wasabi Tuna with Marinated Cabbage & Cucumber
Fresh, seasonal salads at SlapFish: Currently featuring a SoCo Farmers' Market Salad
Left: Michael Harris' 'Gambas a la Plancha'; Right: Lobster Lettuce Cups
Wild Pacific Albacore Tuna Melt with spinach, cucumber, tomato & creamy chipotle
Fresh, grilled-to-perfection Sea Bream
Chef/Owner Andrew Gruel at work in the Kitchen with his team
SlapFish Shrimp Cakes = Perfection.
Fish 'n' Chips, SlapFish Style

Sunday, April 15, 2012


1,139.  The number of photos I shot of some of the most beautiful cheeses I've ever seen, smelled & tasted in my life at on of OC's hottest new culinary boutiques, The Cheese Shop at the MIX.  (Launched by San Clemente cult-favorite, The Cellar.)

6:30am.  The photo shoot call-time.

30 types of cheese.

32 cheese-related products.

1 photographer in food photography heaven.

The Cheese Shop at The MIX in Costa Mesa, CA -- With Mascot, Clementine the Cow

Few jobs I've been hired to shoot in my career as a food photographer have been this fun for me. Those who know me know that I am a self-proclaimed cheese-aholic. So, the 3 hours I spent photographing this vast array of cheeses from around the globe for The Cheese Shop's soon-to-launch web site were pure pleasure for me - I felt like a grown-up kid in a grown-up candy shop.

My goal was to shoot these cheeses and showcase their simple, elegant beauty - their sexiness - their sensuality. I wanted to capture the uniqueness of each cheese and let the photos speak for themselves - no narration needed - natural light, minimal props. Pure, photographic, titillate-your-gustatory-senses "Cheese Porn."

Go ahead - indulge yourself. And then stop by The Cheese Shop at The OC Mart MIX in the SoCo Collection (3313 Hyland Avenue in Costa Mesa) to fulfill your wildest cheese fantasies.... ooh la la... and, bon appetit! 

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