Friday, May 25, 2012

La Sardina Camera Test Sneak Peek

Bear with me as I'm having too much fun testing and reserching this little jewel of a camera before I release the giveaway. Here's a shot of Beale St at night taken with the bulb setting on a tripod. I have a few more ideas to test out before I show all the results in the final post. In the meantime, have a great long weekend.

Film: Lomography X Pro Chrome 100.

To Crave { Shrimp & Grits at Bosco's }

A lot of restaurants in town have Shrimp & Grits on their menu but what makes Bosco's version so craveable is they serve the plump shrimp with a tasso gravy and their famous asiago cheese grits. Try it for brunch this weekend.
Bosco's Squared
2120 Madison Ave Memphis, TN 38104
ph 901.432.2222

Photos/graphics by Sophorn.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Award Winner

The last time I wrote about this project I mentioned that the right architectural photographer captures images that help architects sell their talent and obtain further work. Let me now add they also help architects win awards. The driver service center has just received its first award - an Honor Award from the AIA Gulf States Region, the highest award it can be given. Of about 140 entries, 20 projects were recognized. The jurors consisted of well accomplished design professionals including Frank Harmon, FAIA (Frank Harmon Architect, PA), Ellen Weinstein, AIA (Weinstein-Friedlein Architects, PA), Anna Wu, FAIA (UNC-CH University Architect), Kenneth Luker, AIA (senior designer at FREELON), Eddie Belk, FAIA (Belk Architecture), and Kevin Montgomery, FAIA (Director of Architecture at O’Brien/Atkins Associates).

Some of the juror's comments for this project spoke well to the function of good design. "This design elevates a mundane, unpleasant chore to a rich and rewarding experience. The architect has taken a classic, simple shed and transformed it into a work of architecture by using the roof as the formal organizer and by contrasting open and opaque building elements. The building is responsibly sited towards the street to make the most of the community aspect of the program. Who would think a visit to the DMV could be so pleasant! This is a fine example of public money well spent."

Congratulations to the project team. LRK design team: Rob Norcross, Sophorn McRae, Juan Sanford, Rebecca Courtney, Annette Barrett, Joe Bucher, and Bill Morley. Structural/Civil by Burr and Cole. MEP by OGCB. Landscape Architecture by ETI. Construction by Mayer Construction.

Other winners elevating great design in Memphis were John Jones Architect and archimania. Memphis should be proud to have such recognized pieces of architecture.

Photo courtesy of Chad Mellon.

Friday, May 18, 2012

bleu {Lunch Date with Hannah Sayle and Mary Cashiola}

As much as I know about restaurants in hotels, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll get the highest caliber of food and service. For my first visit to bleu restaurant at the Westin, I was thrilled to be accompanied by an inspiring pair of Memphis advocates - Memphis Flyer food and style writer Hannah Sayle and the media and communications manager for Mayor Wharton's office Mary Cashiola. Obviously, their full time jobs make them advocates of Memphis, but it soon becomes apparent they truly enjoy living and contributing to their city.

The last time I sat down with Hannah and Mary almost a year ago, we were discussing ideas to emphasize that Memphis’ culinary world is “Beyond BBQ.” Even as barbecue week is underway, it’s understandable that the thing to crave when in Memphis is of course barbecue, always familiar and satisfying. Then you look through the lens of fantastic local chefs taking a chance on something different. They produce dishes just as satisfying and crave-able if only given the chance. That was where our volunteer “Beyond BBQ” group took root, continuing our already devoted mission as writers, photographers and bloggers to promote Memphis’ culinary diversity. The leading example of our efforts was the Food Truck Fare in Court Square which began last year. Who knows what the group has in store for the future, but individually we haven’t stopped promoting Memphis.

Thanks to Hannah’s suggestion, bleu was the perfect new spot to try. The lunch atmosphere was very relaxed but the menu items catered to the quick business lunch. Unique to bleu’s menu was the b.y.o.– build your own sandwich, where you pick the bread, filling, cheese and dressings.

Although we didn’t get to see head chef Robert that day, we surely wanted to rave to him about our favorites of the meal. While I continue to suggest to people the sweet potato fries with honey mustard as a must, the sweet Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil Dip as the complimentary piece was the surprise favorite and culinary showcase. Mary said it best when she said, “I might have wanted to take a little swim in it.”

See what we tasted below and what we were eyeing to try next time.

{All} Complimentary Rolls and Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil Dip
{Hannah} Memphis Farmer’s Market Salad with Grilled Shrimp
{Mary} Turkey Melt Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries
{Sophorn} Build Your Own Sandwich – Portabello Mushroom Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries

To Be Tasted Next Time
Mac & Cheese with Smoked Gouda Cheese served in a mini skillet
Chef’s Daily Specials – Salmon and Asparagus offered during our visit.

Thanks to our server and the manager for the excellent service.

bleu restaurant and lounge
Westin Hotel
231 S 3rd St
Memphis, TN 38103

Photos by Sophorn. Bleu on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

To Crave { Roasted Beet Salad / The Beauty Shop }

The Beauty Shop knows how to make a salad exciting and gorgeous. The strawberries and feta cheese may the enticing ingredients in this salad for most people but what makes it cravable for me are the roasted beets whose sweetness are always a good salad addition. I enjoyed every bite of it, especially in the patio atmosphere of Cooper-Young with my best friend dirk. Thanks to dirk for letting me get this shot with the camera and macro lens he borrowed from his friend Larry. So a thank you to Larry too.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Outdoor Wedding

I had so much fun shooting this wedding alongside Melissa Sweazy. I so loved the quirkiness and the beautifully simple details that the bride and groom Cindy and Kyle put into their wedding day at the Levitt Shell. And I have to say, any wedding with Star & Micey as the band is going to be pretty awesome.

Photos by Sophorn.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

For My Mom

Whenever Atticus tells me he hates having his picture taken, I think "Uh, yeah sure." Whenever my mom says she wants to come up to visit me, I know it's really to see Atticus, but that's perfectly ok with me. He makes me a happy mama so I'm sure he makes her a happy grandma, so the best Mother's Day post to my mom could not be one without a photo of Atticus. Love you Mom.

Photos by Sophorn.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

World in a Skillet - Recipe Test 1

Local food writers Paul and Angela Knipple just released one of the most interesting book of recipes you will find. The World in a Skillet documents the stories and recipes of immigrants who've brought their culture to the south through the tastiest form - food. It's also a directory of their great restaurants I would love to try one day. In the meantime, I'll enjoy a bit of their story by trying the recipes. I had to start with an easy one pictured above - Molho de Vinagrete (Vinaigrette Salsa) made of all freshly chopped vegetables.

Next I'll tackle the Roman-Style Fried Artichokes and Wally Joe's Braised Pork Belly on Sweet Corn Pudding and Green Tomato Marmalade. Make sure to pick up a copy of the book at Laurelwood Booksellers. I helped photograph Paul and Angela's portrait for the back inside cover. Thanks Paul and Angela.

Photos by Sophorn.

Upcoming Giveaway ~ The La Sardina Camera

I've always loved the La Sardina camera from Lomography, and since sporting it around, have noticed the excitement it causes for others too. Yes, it's an absolutely adorable camera but from what I've seen so far, it also produces some great photos. To build upon the excitement, I wanted to mention especially to those who ask where they can get one that I'll be doing a giveaway a La Sardina in partnership with Lomography to one of my readers and DesignTonic readers very soon. I'll post more photos of me and my La Sardina with my photo results and tips as well. Stay tuned!

Photo by Dirk Olsen.
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