Posts tagged food
A Real Appreciation of Food: Katie Quinn Davies

Wow. Not only does she cook amazing food.. but she takes the most beautiful, real, interesting photographs of food.

Katie originally studied graphic design where she lived at the time: Dublin, Ireland. Since then she has moved more specifically into photography and cooking, but her design-trained eye has clearly been utilized in all her work. Aside from working as a professional photographer, in Sydney, Australia, she also has a fabulous blog: What Katie Ate where she cooks, styles and photographs the recipes, as well as sharing and photographing great places she goes to eat.

I LOVE the fact that most of her photos have a slightly messy quality to them. It's perfectly described on her professional site: "Katie brings a natural, rustic and tactile quality to her photographic work, opting to present food and subjects in an honest and candid state." Today I am focusing on the food side of things, and you will see how she isn't afraid to take the food apart, take a chunk out of cake with a spoon, spill the soup onto the table a bit, creating not only a great visual composition, but also making it easy to imagine the delicious flavour and texture. Her props are so appropriate, diverse, and never standard. She isn't afraid to go very dark, or bring in a strong colour either! The way she lays out the type in her recipes is also very rustic, yet clean, and complements the images perfectly.

Her clients include Martha Stewart and Penguin which is no surprise. Ok enough gushing, here are some pics:

Hungry yet...? :)

Louise Fili Packaging

Today I'd like to share some great design with you: namely the packaging from Louise Fili design agency in New York. I stumbled apon this wonderful selection of work because one of my favourite designers, Jessica Hische, worked there from 2006 to 2009 and learnt a lot from her time there. The agency tends to focus on food packaging and restaurant branding.Louise's designs are inspired by art deco, old Italian film posters and packaging and often manages to look classic with a differentiating modern twist. She loves typography, hand-drawn lettering in particular and has lectured on the subject. Quite impressive if I do say so myself. So, without further ado, here's some of Louise Fili's packaging design...

I love the details, the illustrations.. the colour and the type. Inspiring :)

Review: {Birds Boutique Cafe}

This little gem  at 127 Bree Street in Cape Town is so artistic, alternative and cool! I went there with my darling friend Anka and we loved the birdcage display shelves/room divider; funky, black, plastic crates as chairs, white, ceramic swans hanging low as lights and bold, black birds printed on cream fabric curtains. Bright pink typography and design elements on cushions add warmth and funk to the clean interior and even the plates are either interesting shapes or covered with the signature birds.

I had a most delicious berry and almond tart although we had originally asked for the signature cherry and chocolate scones, they were finished that day. Overall it's a great place for anyone who likes great food and a different, funky environment and has an appreciation for design and the like. It aint cheap, but sometimes you need to spoil your inner creative.

Happiness at High Tea ala {Mount Nelson}

Recently, I had a truly luxurious, sinfully delicious, royal experience. Afternoon High Tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Gardens, Cape Town. I had heard all about it but nothing quite prepared me for the fabulous food, decor and ambiance that followed. My housemates decided to go in honour of our friend Rosi who was leaving South Africa to return to the States. What a lovely way to end an exchange trip! It was not cheap at R165 a head, but, we were greeted so warmly and treated like royalty, seated on gorgeous comfortable armchairs that seem to hug you as you sit down (though admittedly the gorgeous venue did intimidate me so that for the first half an hour I was perched on the edge of my seat.) I really felt like a lady! There's something wonderful about doing things the old fashioned way sometimes. About slowing down and taking things in without worrying about work or responsibilities. Every detail is carefully considered from the wallpaper and stunning chandeliers, to the perfectly positioned framed pictures depicting scenes of days long gone by. Our choice of tea (I went for a safe option- English Breakfast, though they had a huge list of white, black and herbal teas) arrived in see-through "cups" which you then drop into a see-through pot of piping hot water. This means you can decide on the strength of tea. There are brown and shite sugar cubes in a pretty white sugar bowl and I oohed at the quaintness of it and made a mental note to use sugar cubes in my home one day. The clean white china on the cleaner white table cloth was the perfect back-drop (yes, I admit.... I did spill tea all over this pristine setup later. Ahem.. moving on...)

The food. My God. The food. Laid out on a long table, on silver dishes at varying heights, it was an overwhelming selection of cakes, pastries, savouries and even the classic: cucumber sandwiches. One canape in particular kept us going back for more. A rich, yet strangely light, mushroom filled pastry pocket. I had 4. The salmon "eclairs" with slivers of salmon and cream cheese encased in choux pastry, also had me heading back to the table. The sweets were like mini works of art and I especially liked the mini lemon cakes and anything chocolate.

On the website they say, "New to the Windsor Table is a Gingerbread and Gianduja Cake; a Lemon Chiffon, Passion Fruit and White Chocolate Cake, and fresh from the oven savoury Empanadas with assorted fillings like Curried Mince, Lamb or Mushroom and Goats Cheese." HEAVEN.

And the bathroom!! Wow. Exquisite! Blue and white floral wallpaper, frosted decals on the mirrors, clean white towels, white orchids.. *sigh* Can I live here? Pleeease?

High Tea at Mount Nelson

{Eat here!} 'Voila'

Having visited the new improved, very stylish Cape Quarter, De Waterkant a few times, I have to say that my best experience has been at Voila, shop no.42: a pretty, eccentric, French themed cafe. The decor is fun, yet chic with pink and lime green pulled together with white as the main colours. They haven't been afraid to mix and match various textures and patterns, from wire "rocking chairs" to paisley multi-coloured wallpaper and woven texture on the ceiling.

These chairs are surprisingly comfortable!

The amazing selection of sweet treats is beautifully displayed as you enter the restaurant, adding to the temptation! They have something for everyone with divine, moist carrot cake placed on a clean white plate with sliced strawberries on the side, and a thoughtful dusting of icing sugar to finish it off... or simply a heart shaped shortbread biscuit to partner your delicious latte.

You can't really see it in this picture but the lights are frosted glass tea-cups--- awesome! As my friend Nick agrees....Note expression.

Some of the items on the menu are calling me back! e.g. Mon Cherie: Scrambled eggs with Home-made pesto, cherry tomatoes, spinach and feta. Served with your choice of health, white or buttermilk rye bread. Its not cheap but worth it for the awesome vibe and food. Go there on my recommendation and let me know what you think!

Bon appetit*

Pic sources:,,

Italiano è fantastico!

I don't think there are many people who can honestly say that they don't like Italian food. I mean come on!! Pizza.... Pasta.... GELATO! Henceforth... today's appreciation is for Italian food and packaging, sparked strangely enough on a little trip to my local Woolies Food where my design attuned eye spotted some lurvely olive oil packaging:

I really like the simplicity and use of type, and the choice of photo immediatley makes the consumer think of cobbled Italian streets with the smell of fresh napoletana bubbling on a stove nearby, basil, garlic and tomato mixed with the warm wafts of a nearby pizza oven. Mmmm.

Sorry where was I? Yes so Italian food packaging. So this little sighting made me think of some work done by united* last year that i found on Lovely Package. (, The designers really captured the hearty, full of life Italian culture through black and white photos of locals. The effect is clean and classy with a lot of feeling.

On their website united* says,

"this is more than just packaging, this is about how to create a total voice for a brand and bringing it to life."

Just gorgeous. Great use of type and every detail from the colour on the sides, down to the logo and studio shot food result in a really brilliant design. Packaging is one of my favourite areas in graphic design and can't you just see why here? Niiiice.

In terms of Italian food I know that I should be mentioning an actual Italiano chef but I have to say I think Jamie Oliver does it really well too. Plus I like the design of his website and books.

Here's a lil somefin somefin I found on his website that is soooo easy to make and looks really fancy.

c/o David Loftus

cheat’s home-made pappardelle with quick tomato sauce


• extra virgin olive oil • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced • ½–1 fresh red chilli, halved, deseeded and finely sliced • a small bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked • 1 x 400g can good-quality chopped tomatoes • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper • 250g fresh lasagne sheets • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

main courses | serves 2 Homemade pasta sauce is so easy, and you can sling it together in around the time it takes to open a jar and heat it up.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a good few lugs of olive oil. When the oil’s hot, add the garlic and chilli and fry until lightly coloured. Drop in most of the basil – stand back as it will crackle and spit in the oil – and then, after a few seconds, add the tomatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. You’ll end up with a chunky sauce – if you like it smoother, pass the sauce through a coarse sieve. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. On a lightly floured work surface, cut the lasagne sheets into strips with a knife or a pastry wheel. When the water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for a few minutes until just al dente. Drain the pasta strips in a colander, reserving a little of the cooking water. Stir the pasta into the warm sauce. If it’s a bit thick, add a few spoonfuls of the cooking water to loosen it up. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and the reserved basil leaves and serve immediately.


Enjoy! Over and out*