to market, to market…

Words by Ilene Ross
instagrams by Gina Weathersby

Surprisingly, or maybe not so much, a food magazine isn’t always about the food. There are props involved. Silverware, plates, fabric, linens, and surfaces on which to photograph the food and props are just as essential as the starring character. As far as we’re concerned, those details make all the difference in our publication. We go through quite a lot of them in our quest to come up with extraordinary “food porn.” Some are one offs, photographed once and put back on the shelf, but certain special pieces are called upon frequently, an inanimate muse, lovingly showing up shot after shot.  And, while it might seem easy to just head to the local big box store and grab up everything in sight, we prefer our pieces with history, depth, and heart. We can’t help it, we’re suckers for rich patinas, worn woods, and old crockery.
Sunday was the opening day for the Burlington Antique Show in Burlington, Kentucky. Celebrating 31 years, this gathering of over 200 antique dealers draws people on the third Sunday of every month, April through October from hundreds of miles around looking to find furniture and vintage collectibles. After a rain soaked Saturday, Sunday’s early morning sun was a much welcome sight as we headed down South; ready to refill the 513{eats} coffers in our never ending pursuit for fresh eye candy.
We were amply rewarded. We loaded up on rustic kitchen implements, delicate silver serving pieces, and some really sweet old wooden boxes. Most often, boxes like this aren’t used to hold anything, but re-purposed as a surface on which to photograph food. This sort of “outside the box” thinking comes in handy in our never ending search for original and uncommon surfaces. We shock a lot of people when we put food on the floor to take advantage of some exquisite century’s old hardwood or tile. No five second rule necessary for art’s sake. We also came across a few vintage linens. They’re excellent for use as backgrounds, table cloths, or napkins. All that’s needed is a little imagination.
Finding resources for the magazine or is only half the fun of spending a gorgeous weekend day scouring these charming markets. We also find beautiful pieces for our homes. Peruse with a cup of hot or iced coffee, depending on the season, and when you become peckish, -as we always do- food trucks are prevalent, or make a date with friends for a pre-brunch stroll. Of course, socializing is de rigueur. Chat with the vendors and learn their story and the history of your find. One of our favorite things to see is small children inspecting the tables for toys of generations past, so bring the whole crew; these are hands down some of the best family outings. We’ve thought about tailgating-of course we’re thinking about the food- but we need all our car space for found pickings.
In addition to Burlington, you’ll also find us treasure hunting at the Tri-State Antique Market at the Lawrenceburg Indiana Fairgrounds, held every first Sunday, May through October, Second Sunday in Covington, and of course Cincinnati’s own delightful City Flea, opening its second season on May 19th. Consider adding them to your own calendar this season.


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