stephmodo: Food Styling + Photography with Aran Goyoaga in France: Part 1

Food Styling + Photography with Aran Goyoaga in France: Part 1

• 04 October 2012

Truly, France is a beautiful country, no matter the region; but, this part of the Dordogne (or Périgord as the locals say) is particularly spectacular.  The limestone cliffs, lush foliage, beautiful cows, multiple chateau, and a darn good patisserie all come together to create the perfect place for a workshop in the Valley of the Five Chateau (or Vallée des Cinq Chateaux).  

I am grateful for the opportunity to have hosted a workshop with the hugely talented Aran Goyoaga, who is an incredible inspiration to those who love creating and enjoying food.  Putting this workshop together was such an enjoyable experience and I relished in the chance to meet some incredible women.  Isn't it wonderful how the internet connects us all and allows us the opportunity to meet people we wouldn't otherwise know in our day-to-day lives?  This aspect of blogging is what keeps me going through life's challenges.  

Over the course of the next week, I look forward to sharing many more images with you from our time together in France...

Guests settled into the manoir on Sunday evening and awoke the next morning ready to enjoy a gourmet breakfast before meeting Aran.  After learning a little about each other, we set off for the manoir's Moroccan-inspired kitchen (a homage to our lovely hostess' roots) to begin the process of preparing, styling and photographing food in a natural setting.  Lots of fun was had as our guests milled about making recipes from Aran's new cookbook (which is exquisite by the way) and her delicious archives.  I still can't believe how many cooks we had in the kitchen that day!  

The view from the manoir was all the inspiration we needed to jumpstart the morning (the tiny town set into the cliff is La Roque-Gageac).  Although bright and sunny the previous day, clouds covered the valley Monday morning, creating the ideal backdrop for photographing.  

"Students" paired off to work with each other--this duo found a quiet spot just outside the kitchen.

A view of the beautiful window where they photographed...

Access to a beautiful garden, complete with herbs and flowers of all kinds, was a wonderful perk.  Anyone who is familiar with Aran's style knows that she enjoys using both when styling.  Ouafaa, the manoir's proprietress, has put so much love into the grounds over the years and we were grateful for the opportunity to use it during the workshop.

Later on in the day we set off to shoot at a chateau down the road...I have many pictures to share with you so stay tuned tomorrow morning!

Aprons provided by The Apron Society and Sew a Fine Seam


  1. Steph,
    Thank you for sharing your time in France. I so want to come one of these times. Maybe next time?

  2. Lovely photos. What a wonderful opportunity! This all reminds me of a book by Julia Stuart called "The Matchmaker of Perigord". A quirky, fun book about the region if you've never read it! Thank you for sharing.

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  5. Love love love!!! What was I so intently saying to Cecilie????? Oh, no, wait, I know!!!! Probably .... are you using that cutting board? I still can't believe we were in amongst all of that beauty.

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