Saturday, April 14, 2012

Interim Brunch with Katie Benjamin

It’s very hard when close friends move away to different cities. It’s somewhat selfish to wish they would stay even though they’re following amazing opportunities, but in a broader scope I also feel sure Memphis lost some genuinely good and talented people. So after meeting graphic designer Katie Benjamin, a new friend who is just that, genuinely good and talented, I just beg that she’ll never leave Memphis. After learning about all she does with a great love for the city, it would surely be a loss.

The same goes for great local restaurants. They add so much life and pride to a city that you find yourself beyond wishing but believing they’ll always be there. In a sense, the enduring success of the restaurant begins when a friendship is developed between the restaurant and its patrons. Truly, Interim has understood this through a simple gesture – the open kitchen. The chef can communicate with the diners through sight, sounds, and “savory aromas”. The result is a comfortable and engaging atmosphere that wins over devoted fans/friends.

For brunch, we weren’t able to see Executive Chef Jackson Kramer in action but chefs Yssac Ramirez and Shari Haley produced some beautiful dishes that day. Here’s a list below of what we tasted and what we want to try next time.

~Pan Seared Salmon - Summer vegetable orzo pasta, cucumber relish, salsa verde.
~Beef Tips - Seared beef tenderloin, fried farm egg, grits, spinach, red wine sauce.

To be Tasted
~Golden Malted Waffle
~Mac and cheese
~Interim Burger - Neola farm’s beef, white cheddar, apple wood bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles & roasted garlic aioli on a kaiser bun.

When I asked Katie about her meal, she made me giggle when she said, “Well, my usual food critique usually only extends to, "Yum,", but I can say the salmon was flavorful, tender and perfectly cooked, and the cucumber relish was a great complement to the meat.” I ordered the Beef Tips because I usually only want beef when I know the restaurant serves and prepares it with a high level of quality. With the grits so flavorful, the overall dish was something extraordinary.

Interim Restaurant and Bar
5040 Sanderlin Avenue
Memphis, TN 38117

Thanks Katie for designing the title image. See more of her work here.

Interim on Urbanspoon

Photos by Sophorn.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Capturing Architecture

Wait. Did I let this week past and not post anything for National Architecture Week? Well, let me slip this post in. Despite what most of my readers’ impressions may be from the majority of my posts, I really don’t live a life of just eating out at fancy restaurants and photographing things. Architecture is in fact my full time job.

With building projects spanning years from idea to reality, it’s an indescribable feeling when a project you’ve invested so much time in finally gets to be a star in its own photo shoot. This past January, the new Memphis Driver’s License station, which I’ve blogged about in its early construction stages with intentionally ambiguous cropped shots, was finally photographed in its full form. It’s a project I helped lead through the design phases under the local architecture firm Looney Ricks Kiss as the biggest driver services center in the state of Tennessee. After five years, it is finally open for use.

Architecture is best understood through inhabiting the space, so finding the right photographer to successfully translate three-dimensional space two dimensionally is critical in communicating the design vision. In the end, the right architectural photographer captures images that help architects sell their talent and obtain further work. That’s where photographer Chad Mellon steps in with his trusty tripod, step ladder, Canon 5D and most importantly a tilt-shift lens, essential for documenting spatial forms such as architecture.

The building was photographed throughout the day, with and without people, but my favorite shots were beautifully captured at dusk. So I’m dying to ask. Does it make you the least bit eager to get your license renewed?

See Chad’s narrative on architecture and architectural photography below. See more of his architectural photography here. Read more on National Architecture Week here.

"I got interested in architectural photography because I am so in love with lines, the movement of space and the manipulation of location."
~Chad Mellon on his start in architectural photography.

I think that good architecture should essentially shoot itself. What I mean is, when you walk up to a project, and it’s right. It’s inspired and full of purpose and vision. It basically speaks to you, "shoot here… what about there… this is a killer angle.

I am not much for defining things. I like life to be a bit undefined but if I were to try and define great Architecture. I would say that when it's great you know it, you feel it, and you can't stop looking at it and you’re dying to go inside. It's sort of like a great song… you hear it, it speaks to something inside you and then it's stuck.

If you look at the great architectural photographers, you look at what they were/are shooting… it's great and inspired. Julius Schulman was at the right place at the right time and on the cusp of innovation… he shot what was fresh and perfectly designed. It spoke to him, it inspired him and he translated that visually.

Great Architecture is dying to be experienced visually in photographs. As a photographer your able to capture the perfect angles the perfect light in a way that is not always possible in real time and space… this is what makes shooting architecture so fascinating and fun… capturing the passion of the architect visually. I am in love with the medium of photography and completely sold out to the challenge of capturing the feeling and the passion of the space.


The driver services center is located at 3200 East Shelby Drive. Photos courtesy of Chad Mellon. Black & white photos by Sophorn. Special Thanks to the LRK design team: Rob Norcross, Juan Sanford,  Rebecca Courtney, Annette Barrett, Joe Bucher, and Bill Morley. Structural/Civil by Burr and Cole. MEP by OGCB. Landscape Architecture by ETI.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Atticus will tell you how vital playtime is to a kid since he'll trade eating and sleeping for playtime any day. Kids do teach us some valuable lessons such as this one - To live, we all need to eat, sleep, and PLAY. Have a great rest of your weekend. I'm off to hang out with Atticus and my family for my birthday tomorrow.

Photos by Sophorn.
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