A former pastry chef with a Masters in History, Helene moved from France to the U.S. in 1998 with a suitcase and the family’s old film camera. Photography resurfaced years later, when she quit her restaurant position and started her award-winning blog Tartelette. Knowing that food had to look as good on screen as it did in real life, she dedicated herself to the art of food photography and styling. Her photography is a blend of her passion for seasonal fresh ingredients as well as her love of travel and interest in people. Helene currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina. Read through to one of her favorite recipes below.
As a full-time food photographer and stylist I didn’t always have the time and the means to get all the props and tools I needed. Thanks to Etsy, though, the problem has been solved. I love Etsy for so many reasons: the high quality of products one can find, the artistry, the ease of shopping — but first and foremost, the sense of community. I know that I can contact a seller directly and talk about custom pieces, different colors, or new items to anticipate. I am always amazed at the talents I find and am very satisfied with the work I’ve commissioned. It makes the whole experience of shopping on Etsy authentic — which is a huge selling point for me! This collection of my favorite items comprises everything from edibles to linens to props and utensils.
I grew up in the Provence region of France, caught between the wild fields of lavender and salt quarries of Camargue — two items I can’t do without in my baking or cooking. I’d never thought that getting my happy intake of either spice would ever be as easy as a few clicks on the keyboard.
I don’t know what’s with glasses at my house, but they vanish as fast as socks in the dryer. I’m always on the lookout for new replacements, and since I will most likely use them as props for pictures, different and fun pieces always catch my eye. The kid in me would love to have a set of 12 of these tumblers by Stepanka Ceramics and invite my best friends for an indoor picnic on a rainy day. Instant mood lifter!
I have a weird addiction for aprons — either for me or to give to friends — and the collections on Etsy are completely irresistible. The designs are so varied that I can find an apron for everyone! My current favorite is the Filagree Meadow Apron by Atomic Aprons.
[Antique replica porcelain milk bottle by Alyssa Ettinger; Blue stoneware clay bowl by Pat Parker Stoneware Pottery; Vintage scale from Behind The Screen Door; Milk glass lattice pedestal from High Street Market]
I’m always looking for fun, interesting and affordable pieces for my shoots, either for my own use or for a specific client and nothing — nothing! — beats Etsy in that department. I can get lost just browsing into the wee hours of the night. Here are a few of my favorites at the moment.
I can safely say that I want one of everything that Asya of Gleena makes. Not only is she a gifted artist and an impeccable seller, but she is also one of the kindest people I know. I am proud to own several of her pieces and talk her up anytime I can. Everyone marvels at her porcelain plate settings every time I take them out.
Now, I’d like to share a recipe from my blog, Tartelette:
1 pound asparagus
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grounded black pepper
2 large eggs
3 spoonfuls pesto (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash the asparagus. Break the bottom stems off and discard. Toss the asparagus spears and tomatoes in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, then place them on a parchment paper or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables for 12-14 minutes, or until tender and cooked through.
Meanwhile, fry the two eggs in the remaining oil, seasoning them with salt and pepper to taste. Place an egg with each portion of the cooked vegetables and top with a dab of pesto if desired.
Do you have a favorite food blog? Share it in the comments below.