Since the end of September, our cookbook is out in Dutch as well, which makes us pretty proud. When Claudette from our publisher Snor asked us, if we would come to visit Utrecht for a weekend to join the release dinner of our book and also give a Food Styling & Photography Workshop, we were in two minds about this. We don’t like to be the centre of attention and never hosted a workshop in English. On the other hand, we felt honoured to be invited to another country to present our work. Fortunately, Claudette coaxed us and soon we were convinced to hurl ourselves into this adventure.
It was an unfamiliar situation, we are used to organise everything ourselves to get the outcome as we imagine it. Now, the whole event was organised for us. Without knowing what lay ahead we took the train to the Netherlands. However, when Claudette and Annemarieke warmly welcomed us at the station, almost all worries were gone. The last ones went their way at the latest when we saw the cool location for the next two days. Originally, the Snorfabriek was a railway hall, which was redesigned by creative people to a wonderfully inspiring place. In every nook and cranny we discovered something great, be it the beautiful structure of the walls and floors, or the lovingly decorated cabins, food trucks, and containers, used as offices and studios. When we spotted the green house which was designated for the workshop, we were delighted.
But first, there was a tight program for the next day. In the morning, we leapt – as it is common in the Netherlands – on our bikes and cycled cosily along the canal, past very cute little houses. When we arrived at the factory, we had a great interview with an editor from Flow Magazine in a completely pink painted and decorated container. Afterwards, we were off to a blogger lunch in the green house, which was decorated divinely by Mireille and Arno from The Holy Kauw. They did not only create a wonderful atmosphere for the lunch, but also cooked a few recipes from our book. In a homely group with talented Dutch bloggers we scarfed all the food down and talked about food and anything. In the evening, the next dinner with over 50 guests was already scheduled. As an exception, we put aside our cameras to just enjoy the dinner. It was prepared by the marvellous Madame Charlotte and her team. Among other things, she baked a miniature version of our vegetable quiche. Who ever tried the recipe knows how easily you can lose your patience. The vegetables are not only cut, they are finely sliced with a potato peeler and are draped cautiously into roses into the baking form. You can see it as a meditation exercise. After four delicious courses, a short interview in front of our guests, and book signing, we collapsed exhausted but happy into our bed.
The next morning, we woke up battered from a restless night and felt nervousness rising again. We had nothing from our own props with us, just some fabrics and a few plates which we got barely packed. We did not really know what to expect and on what terms we could show our participants our ways to style and photograph. Again, our worries were superfluous. An incredible variety of fictile plates and bowls made by Klaas Bouma waited for us, also beautiful fabrics and tableware by Dille & Kamille, and splendid surfaces we wanted to take home. It was great to see how exceptionally well our Dutch publisher met our taste.
A successful workshop does not only subsist from the orators but even more from the participants. After we were curiously interrogated, everyone was full of zest for action to create a beautiful picture. Of course, we lend a helping hand, but everyone could realise easily what they learned, so there were really nice sets and, of course, photos.
It is always terrific to inspire people with our workshops and to help them develop in their work. We love to pass on our knowledge and we are really excited about the next workshops. To be with us next time, we created a newsletter in which we publish the latest dates.
We’d like to thank everyone who put so much lifeblood and time into organising this event, and of course all our guests and participants who granted us a wonderful weekend with their open and caring attitude. We’ll be back for sure!