513{eats} ~ It’s Been A Wonderful Ride ~ So Far

This particular entity – 513{eats} – started as a fledgling of what I envisioned my professional life to look like…down the road. From the inception, I wanted to create something of meaning and value for not only myself, but for the people whose food, businesses, and lives would be shared withing the pages of what I would visually craft.
Admittedly, a little unconventional of a manner to create marketable work, but I’ve never loved ‘conventional,’ plus, with this approach, I have crossed paths and collaborated with new colleagues, creatives, and most of all, new friends who have enriched my life in the most wonderful of ways. I have been humbled ten times over and will forever be grateful for the many who opened their doors and their hearts along the way.

To date, who knew where this adventure would have ever lead. I certainly could not have predicted the last almost 3 years. Because of this ‘project’ so many new, exciting doors have opened, most of which, were among my original goals upon creating 513{eats}, and others that I had never even considered. Proof that following your vision, creating from your authentic voice, trusting your intuitions, surrounding yourself with supportive & creative people, recognizing doors of opportunity while remaining focused (amongst all the noise) on your goals, continuously working on your craft, and simply doing what you love – will lead you on a fruitful journey in the directions of your dreams.

While I’m presently not intending on producing a follow up full edition magazine (never say never), I am in the planning stages of some new and exciting works highlighting our areas chefs, growers, artisans, and makers via 513{eats}. Where I will take it from there, remains an open door, but rest assured, wherever it leads, it will be a visual feast.

It’s hardly the end, just a moment to reflect, invite new directions for the future of 513{eats}, and to share some gratitude for the past…as described below.

513{eats} – the little ‘one year project’ that I started back in late 2011, now with almost three years of photographing, designing, creating, and producing 6 magazine issues & 2 calendarshas been a wonderful ride; but, this part of the journey has naturally run its course.
The original project was truly a ‘it takes a village’ endeavor, and I am forever grateful to all of the talented people who came along this ride with me.
I want to take a moment and most especially thank both chef and food writer, Ilene Ross, and set production stylist, Nora Martini, whom both said ‘yes’ when I asked them to join me on this unknown adventure at the very beginning.
Ilene Ross, who penned most of the stories that accompanied my imagery, whose time, dedication and support has been immense, I am truly grateful; as well as Nora’s gorgeous styling which elevated so many of the shoots.
Along the way, I was also incredibly lucky to have many other artists collaborate and contribute to this endeavor, notably, media designer, Eric Hintz, who created beautiful footage from many of the shoots as well as crafting marketable videos for many of our Queen City restaurants, growers, makers & visiting culinary events, and, long time friend graphic illustrator & designer, Lisa Ballard (whom I was incredibly happy to re-unite with) who lent her skills and original designs to the magazines and calendars.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, how could I not think of and thank all of the chefs/cooks/bakers/farmers/growers/makers/artisans who gave their time, kitchens, talents, food and of themselves to be featured in the issues themselves.
Of course, without all of you, there would have been nothing to fill the pages with. Thank you for creating breathtaking dishes, growing beautiful seasonal produce, ethically raising animals, and crafting artisinal foods – all of which provided the stunning subjects of my photography. It was truly a pleasure and an honor to share your stories, your foods, your kitchens, homes, businesses and a little insight into your lives in a way that is not traditionally done editorially ~ meaning many pages, many images;)

Being fortunate to do that thing that you love, that drives you, that you a have a burning need to do, that others give you the opportunity, the creative room, and, most importantly, the trust to do…is magical.

Much love and here’s to the next chapter of 513{eats},



Meet Me in Cincinnati ~ via Edible Columbus’ June Summer 2014 Issue

It’s been an exciting past couple of months with lots going on behind the scenes. I’m finally able to start sharing some of what I’ve been working on, one of which is contributing to our regions edible Columbus June Issue for their column ‘Worth the Trip’ and a story called ‘Meet Me in Cincinnati,’ sharing just a handful of suggestions on how you might spend your day visiting and eating your way through our Queen City. French Crust Cafe, Pho Lang Thang, Madisono’s Gelato, Findlay Market, Carriage House Farm, Salazar, and The Anchor OTR, are only some of the destinations you will find highlighted in the issue, which you can read by clicking on the cover image below. ~Gina

You’ll also find an even sweeter treat at the end of the story, Chef Derek dos Anjos’ recipe for Pan Seared Diver Scallops with Roasted Sweet Summer Corn, Peas, Miso Butter, Bacon & Roasted Onions.

The Bloom Forum Online Workshop | FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY NARRATIVES

I’m happy to offer my latest workshop ~ FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY NARRATIVES with Natural light, Simple Styling & Storytelling through The Bloom Forum’s two week online course which runs from July 28th – August 11th. Active Seats are $200 and Silent Seats are $150. You must be a member of The Bloom Forum to participate in this online workshop. You can hop over to The Bloom Forum Website to BECOME A MEMBER and then register for the workshop HERE.

This workshop is all about making beautiful images of food using natural light, simple styling as well as telling a story around it. Seeking the one perfect image is wonderful, but, for me – it’s the story that pulls me in deeper, makes me want to keep coming back for more, and keeps me loving what I do simply because each story is inherently unique. In our time together, I will share with you what I have learned and what I know about making beautiful and engaging images of food by using solid techniques and almost more importantly, a creative eye & heart through descriptions, visual examples, demonstrations, shooting assignments and individual critiques.

This is for food bloggers, recipe developers, food writers, hobbyists, amateurs, or anyone wanting to learn to improve the quality of their images and/or how to approach, style and make beautiful images of food using natural light in the simplest of settings. I create many of my food images/stories in the dining room of my own home or by a single window in my studio with the simplest of props, natural styling, and basic equipment, and you can too. My goal is to share with you my approach along with the components of creating beautiful photographs of food that you can take with you, continue to practice with and use to create enticing images to grab your reader’s/client’s attention on your own websites, blogs or personal projects.

Topics covered will include:
The Story/Your Style: The thought process behind a food shoot – storyboards/purpose/theme/color palette/mood and your style of storytelling.
Styling: Choosing backgrounds, props and styling simply (and the importance of not over-styling).
Light: How to see and find light as well as understanding the differences in the qualities of light. Different directions of lighting your food. How to manipulate light with simple and affordable materials.
ISO/Aperture/Shutter Speed: How your manual settings play an important role in the artistic choices you make in creating an image as well as understanding when and why to make certain choices.
The Art of Composition Camera Angles Post Processing: I’ll walk you through some of my basic editing via video.
Final Presentation: How I marry imagery and design for interest and impact for strong storytelling.

Students will receive:
Demo video of me working through a food shoot
Post processing video
Assignments and individual critiques
The full downloadable pdf of this workshop

Q&A: All students (including silent participants) will be able to participate in an open Q & A session. I’m here to share with you and you’re here because you want to learn, so don’t be shy. Ask away, I’ll do my very best to answer anything and everything to the best of my ability.

**After the workshop, active participants are encouraged to put their skills to use with a final assignment of photographing and creating a magazine style spread of their own Food Narrative for a final critique.

PREREQUISITES: To enroll in this digital natural light food photography workshop, you do not need to have the latest or most expensive camera/lenses/equipment, but you’ll get the most out of this workshop if you have a DSLR, tripod, and at least a 50mm lens. Regardless of your camera, you need to have a basic understanding of your camera’s functions as well as being comfortable with shooting in manual mode. This is not a beginning photography class.

You can hop over to The Bloom Forum Website to BECOME A MEMBER and then register for the workshop HERE. ~Gina

513{eats} visits Deeper Roots Coffee

One of my favorite features about our 513{eats} magazines were the stories shared about our city and her food. New discoveries, hidden gems, road trips, serendipitous visits. Though the magazine is on hiatus, there are past stories still to be posted in the upcoming months, now, via the blog. Today’s post is about a little visit with Les Stoneham, Ryan Doan, Greg York, Courtney Robinson, and Adam Shaw of Deeper Roots Coffee from earlier this year. ~ Gina

Story written by Ilene Ross
Photography by Gina Weathersby

A recent USA TODAY story states that approximately 83 percent of Americans – the world’s largest consumers of the beverage – start their day with at least one cup of coffee. Talk to just about anyone and you’ll almost always hear the same thing; we can’t seem to make a move in the morning without our jolt of java.
Deeper Roots Coffee proves that our morning cup of Joe can do so much more than jump-start the day. Their ethically sourced and crafted coffees begin with a relationship with the growers themselves. This began with the founding of Deeper Roots Development, a non-profit organization working to improve communities of small coffee farmers in Guatemala on ways to improve their product and quality of life. Find out more here.

Les Stoneham, owner of Deeper Roots, enjoys a cup of coffee out of his favorite mug from a town in Guatemala called San Antonio Palopó. The glaze on the mug is Majolica, usually restricted to five colors: cobalt blue, antimony yellow, iron red, copper green, and manganese purple, set on a white tin enamel. .

Much like wine tasting, cupping is the process coffee purveyors go through to systematically “discover” qualities of individual sample lots of coffee brought in from farmers and importers. Also similar to wine are the sought after flavor categories like bouquet (aromatics), acidity (brightness), body, and balance. For every one coffee selected about twenty samples can be tasted. Open cuppings are on Tuesdays at 2pm.

Please meet Spike and Paris, their two resident alpacas.

{We’d like you to meet} Bob Schwartz by Guest Blogger Sharon Rudd

I loved the interviews that ran in the 513{eats} magazines giving us a little more insight into the personalities who make up our Queen City and make it that much more interesting.
We held on to this one for almost a year. It’s time to share it, don’t you think? ~Gina

intro written by Ilene Ross
interview by Sharon Rudd
photos by Bob Schwartz

Bob Schwartz is the face behind the ridiculously popular “5chw4r7z, the ethos of downtown.” The blog is no-nonsense, gets right to the point, and is always filled with Bob’s beautiful imagery. We asked Sharon Rudd, author of the blog “Eggplant to Go” to have a conversation with Bob to give us some insight into Bob’s love affair with the Queen City, as well as some of his and wife Erin Marie’s favorite places to eat, and she graciously agreed. ~Ilene Ross

Photographer and blogger-about-town Bob Schwartz chronicles the evolution of Cincinnati, often through the lens of food. A fan of cycling, architecture, twitter, sports, the streetcar, coffee, beer, and a good cigar, the multi-faceted creator of the blog 5chw4r7z shares how he fell in love with his adopted hometown, some favorite haunts, and a recipe for a really cool dinner party.

You’re a big supporter of Cincinnati, but not a native. What brought you here?
In 2004 I was downsized out of a job in Youngstown, Ohio. My wife Erin Marie and I decided right away I wasn’t applying for any jobs there. We really wanted to move to Cleveland or Columbus, but half the IT jobs in the state of Ohio were in Cincinnati at that time and we ended up here.

How long did it take you to fall in love with the Queen City and what were some milestones in that courtship?
A couple months maybe. One night really sticks in my mind. On the walk home from dinner, we ran into someone we knew at every single corner, It was crazy. I guess not much has changed since.

One of the things you demonstrate as a photographer is that truth, and beauty, are in the eye of the beholder. What perceptions about Cincinnati have proven accurate? What surprised you once you got to know the city?
I really knew nothing about Cincinnati except for Pete Rose and the Icky Shuffle. I had no expectations. The buildings really blew my mind; 4th Street and Main Street especially. That and the Roebling Bridge, I fell in love with instantly.

How has food played a role in your becoming part of the Cincinnati community and what it has to offer?
Food plays directly into how I got to this point. Erin Marie and I decided to get take-out and have a very fancy anniversary party on Fountain Square. We ended up meeting and talking to someone who has really influenced my approach to social media, Jackie. The first time we all went out to dinner, Jackie told me I should be taking pictures of my food because that would be the next big thing. This was 2007 and she was right. The more food pictures I took, the more popular my blog got.

How did you get into blogging and photography, and how do you see yourself evolving with both since you moved here?
I started a blog because I lost a job and I wanted to keep a skill set fresh. I built a Linux webserver, fileserver and hand-coded a blog. It was really crude and crazy and had no direction at all. I never had good cameras, just did the best I could with what I had. I had and have many artistic friends and was always jealous of their talent, so in a way photography let me be creative in my own way. It all came together when we moved to Cincinnati. I was so impressed with all this great architecture and all the cool things going on I had to share it.

The tag line of your blog is “The Ethos of Downtown,” where you live, and you blog a lot about nearby Over the Rhine, too. Yet you also get out into a lot of other neighborhoods in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. If you couldn’t live in downtown or OTR, where would you like to live and why?
You know, I forget about that title because it’s not something I did a bunch of soul searching about. I used to change the title every week or every couple days on a whim. Then facebook started including the title in posts and some of the titles looked stupid, so I went back and thought the ethos line was as good a title as any to stick with. I just call the blog 5chw4r7z. We really can’t imagine living anywhere else. This is where all the action is centered.

Besides the streetcar, what’s on your wish list for Cincinnati?
Bike lanes! Most of the time it’s not too bad, but there are a couple places – Central Parkway is an example – where the cars race around corners. And a real grocery store downtown would be awesome. After that, one of [Cincinnati City Councilmember] Chris Seelbach’s public restrooms on 4th Street by TJMaxx, so the street department doesn’t have to pressure-wash the sidewalk every morning. And someday I’d like to see Sunday Streets: Close Vine Street to cars four or five Sundays a year so people can leisurely walk or bike ride from the Banks to Fountain Square to Washington Park.

Were you much of a bus rider or bicyclist before you moved here? How did you become involved in the advertising campaign for the local bus system, Cincinnati Metro?
When we moved to Cincinnati we were avid cyclists, but I didn’t get buses at all. Who the hell is going to ride a bus? It took about 3 years for me to wrap my head around how to live downtown and how to fully take advantage of it. I think Metro selected me because they wanted actual bus riders and I was an advocate by that time and vocal about it on twitter and facebook. They’ve gotten their money’s worth because people are always tweeting or posting pictures on facebook of a couple bus stops that feature my Metro ad.

Over the Rhine is undergoing a restaurant explosion. Given the other places you’ve lived and traveled, and, heck, your own personal food preferences, anything you’d like to see added or deleted from the mix?
Something a little more affordable. It would be nice to grab a sandwich and a drink and get out for 7 or 8 dollars. And a real authentic Italian restaurant would be awesome. We got spoiled in Youngstown growing up surrounded by ethnic Italians.

You seem to enjoy discovering the history of Cincinnati. What are some cool things you’ve learned, and do any of them involve food or beer?
The amazing thing I think about is how much U.S. history Cincinnati has been involved in. Albert Sabin and George Rieveschl in medicine. Cincinnati had a huge influence on Prohibition and also gambling just across the river.

Imagine a perfect day for you in Cincinnati. Where would you go, what would you do, who would you spend it with, and most importantly, what would you eat?
I’d spend it with Erin Marie, of course. We love grabbing breakfast at Findlay Market on Saturdays. Then a bike ride out along the river to Pirate’s Cove. It’s not so much the food there, but the mindset sitting on the water with a beer. After we got back home and had a cigar on the deck, we’d do some bar-hopping up Vine and back down Main Street.

If you had an unlimited budget, where in town would you go for a great meal?
I would eat at Senate every single day!

What’s your favorite guilty food pleasure in Cincy?
Hold the Nuts in Silverton: soft-serve vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts.

You travel back to Northern Ohio, to the beach, you’ve been to Europe. What Cincinnati foods do you miss when you’re away?
Since I didn’t grow up here, I don’t have an affinity for Cincinnati-specific foods, but travel has led me to appreciate just how good we have it in Cincinnati for forward-thinking, quality cuisine.

Cincinnati has quirky weather, but once in a while we hit that sweet spot when it’s not too cold, not too hot, and not too humid. What would be your ideal meal on your deck? And what would be your ideal picnic and locale somewhere out in the city?
Anything cooked on the grill; a dry aged steak from Avril-Bleh, for instance, and Erin Marie’s cumin-rubbed corn on the cob. A homemade burger works wonders too. Smale Park, the Serpentine Wall, and Washington Park are all good picnic spots.

Without asking you to pick favorites, could you suggest a place or two you’d recommend people check out in these categories? Extra points for places outside downtown/OTR and any “hidden gems” you think deserve more attention.

A good place for a quiet chat with a friend over coffee: Collective espresso
A good brunch with a group: Metropole
A good place for soup: Skirtz & Johnston and Zoup
A good burger: Tons of choices: Terry’s Turf Club, Senate, The Rookwood, Moerlein Lager House
A good snack while watching a sports event: Mainstay Rock Bar with their free wings for Bengals away games!
A good specialty market beyond downtown/OTR/Findlay: Dutch’s in Hyde Park
A good place for sweets: Taste of Belgium, Skirtz & Johnston and Holtman’s Donut Shop! Oh boy
A good fish fry: For a church fish fry, Mary Queen of Heaven is the best of the bunch, but for the most delicious crispy fish, Bridgetown is the absolute best.
A good happy hour: I bus it home from Clifton so I don’t make many Happy Hours sadly.
A good late-night bite: Lucy Blue Pizza’s new shop on Main St. or Shanghai Mama’s
A good place for an after-dinner cigar: There are limited choices these days for smoking a cigar in Cincinnati, but Neon’s and Igby’s are my favorites right now.
A good spot for people-watching while you eat: Fountain Square

Have your tastes in food changed since you moved to Cincinnati?
It’s funny, my mom always comments on how I never ate certain things as a kid when she sees me eating something new. All these incredible food blogs have challenged me to confront my picky eating. Do I not like something because of preconceived prejudice or do I really not like it? Seems like an even split so far. I’ve surprised myself by liking things I thought I hated. But the foods I don’t like, I really, really don’t like.

Graeter’s ice cream, Montgomery Inn ribs, La Rosa’s pizza, and Cincinnati-style chili have been traditionally associated with Cincinnati for years. What would you like our “new” food reputation to be?
Inventive and creative cuisine.

You sometimes blog about friends who are talented cooks and your dinners together. What, in your opinion, are some ingredients of an unforgettable dinner party?
An unforgettable dinner party should include one fearless cook. One exotic menu item. Generous helpings of beer and wine. And a good mix of interesting conversationalists. On a number of occasions I’ve invited someone I’ve been wanting to meet but who I thought no way they’d show up. A couple times they have!

Sharon Rudd shares her enthusiasm for the Cincinnati food community on her blog Eggplant To Go, and facebook.
She is also staff writer/publicist for Tom+Chee.

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