Chiaroscuro Food Photography Workshop, January 19th, Rome

chiaroscuro food photography workshop in Rome- Saghar Setareh

Hereby I am announcing my next food photography workshop, in Rome on Saturday January 19th. If you need any information about the workshop in English, contact me via email. 

ex lavatoio
Lab Noon in Puglia | Watermelon, Tomato & Herb salad | Saghar Setareh_-2

La nostra epoca è stata segnata dai social media, in particolare Instagram. All’inizio di ogni pasto, c’è almeno una persona che fa uno scatto al tavolo. Per alcuni questo è un puro hobby, per altri è lavoro e per altri ancora è un’espressione creativa. Per molti, è la combinazione di tutte e tre le funzioni.

Spesso mi viene detto che le mie foto del cibo somigliano ai dipinti del 600. Tante persone mi hanno chiesto perché certe foto scattate con lo smartphone risultano molto armoniose e altre non lo sono affatto.

L’obiettivo di questo workshop è insegnare le basi per creare un’immagine artistica, con l’uso corretto della luce, delle forme, dei colori, delle texture e della composizione. Imparerete come applicare le tecniche per allestire il set e curare il food styling, per poi immortalare l’immagine attraverso la fotografia, e portarla al suo massimo potenziale mediante un processo finale di editing.

Persian Quince Stew | Lab Noon by Saghar Setareh-2

Faremo tutto questo a “Ex-Lavatoio”, un nuovo e raffinato spazio nel cuore di Roma. Curato e diretto da Antonella Sava, l’Ex-Lavatoio è uno studio elegante e allo stesso tempo friendly, dedicato alla condivisione libera dei saperi e delle competenze nel largo spettro del mondo della creatività.


Il programma del workshop

  • Le basi della fotografia, la luce e l’equipaggio di base: le macchine fotografiche digitali (reflex, compact, o mirrorless), gli obiettivi e come usare tutto in modalità manuale. E un po’ di teoria e storia dell’arte.
  • Composizione: inquadratura, forma e colore.
  • Styling del cibo, tecniche e trucchi.
  • Editing e Post Produzione, Lightroom, photoshop, Snapseeds, VSCO cam.

Quando

Sabato 19 gennaio

10.00 – 18.00


Dove

Ex-Lavatoio

(Zona Merulana/Esquilino)


Prezzo

€189

3 biglietti early bird entro 7 dicembre €170

Comprende il corso, light lunch e goodie bag


Info e iscrizioni

exlavatoio19@gmail.com

chiaroscuro workshop-2
ex lavatoio-3

puntarelle Roman Salad by Saghar Setareh - Lab Noon-13
Lab_Noon_Calendar_2018-15
pvt workshop july 18-24
Finnish Date & Coffee Bundt Cake | Lab Noon by Saghar Setareh-21

10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy, Pt. II

10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy by Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon

This is the second part of a previous post about my 10 food striking memories from more than a decade of living in Italy that you can read here.

As I said, not only was I not a foodie when I came to Rome in 2007, I wasn’t aware nor interested in particular ingredients or recipes either. I had had limited experience with some food on one hand — pork and alcohol, due to the restrictions in Iran — on the other, I still had the culinary taste of child, on some levels. I didn’t eat most of the vegetables, I hated fish in every form and way. All this changed forever when I started eating my way through Italy. 

Join me on the rest of this journey though food and drinks that made the best part of my twenties (and early thirties). There’s no recipe in this post, and photos don’t necessarily represent the dish I have written about.

6. His Majesty the Pork; Porchetta and Salumi

All the pork I had tasted back in Iran came in the shape of a few varieties of cold cuts. That is to say just some ham, and maybe some sausages that on very rare occasions we bought (illegally) from the Armenian’s shop, or that someone had smuggled in from abroad. 

10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy by Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon

Once in Rome, soon enough I was introduced to porchetta, the pork marvel rolled with tons of herbs, then roasted in its own skin until very crispy. I would ask the lady in the sandwich shop near Campo de’ Fiori to fill my sandwich (in a Roman ciabatta bread), with sun dried tomatoes and grilled eggplants. The tiny grocery shop right under my house on the other hand, would sell cheap pork steak. The fatty meat tasted divine to me, or better to say, it was a delicious sin I had never made.

10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy by Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon
10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy by Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon

Once I discovered the glorious world of salumi — the Italian cold cuts, there was no going back. One slice of prosciutto crudo and I was sold. Fatty salame used to be my favorite, capocollo, and mortadella came next. My heavy consume of these cold cuts was at its peak when we used to go to very inelegant evening picnics to the hills just next to roads, packed with a couple of supermarket baguettes, some cold cuts and a bottle or two of wine that we would share. No cutlery, no glasses, pure joy.

7. Seafood

It is no secret that I used to absolutely hate fish. It took me a couple of years in Italy to transform that dislike to love and curiosity. I came to the realization that fish has an adult flavor, meaning you can’t really appreciate it until you’re fully grown up. My first ever pasta with fish, was with smoked salmon and cream. I spat out that first mouthful my friends insisted I tried.

10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy by Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon

Later my friend Gianni suggested he would make me shellfish pasta “the Sicilian way”, which consisted in topping the pasta with heaps of a mixture of slightly toasted bread crumbs with finely chopped garlic and parsley, soaked in a generous amount  of olive oil. Bread on pasta? Why not! Just another lovely, Italian carb on carb. 

10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy by Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon

My romance with seafood may have started from the readymade frozen shellfish sauces from the super market, but it has gone a long way from there. I’ve learned to cherish and absolutely love seafood thanks to the Italian way with fish, to the point that now it’s among my favorite dishes. Not a summer passes by without many cones of fried little fish (baby octopus, anchovies and calamari), and I have mastered the art of perfect spaghetti alle vongole veraci — clam spaghetti, which is now one of my most favorites pastas ever.

10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy by Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon
10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy by Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon
Continue reading

10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy, Pt. I

10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy, Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon

From a Girl to A Woman

On August 23rd 2017 I celebrated the 10th anniversary of my arrival to Rome. I had long thought about celebrating a decade in grandeur and style. What I did however, was just a spontaneous and sentimental Instagram post with the picture of the Colosseum, telling the story of what exactly happened on that August 23rd 2007, feeling all the feels that there were. 

When I first arrived here, in a way I was pushed into world of adulthood without fully realizing it. To be entirely truthful, those first couple of years felt like a long Erasmus experience, thanks to our student lifestyle. Suddenly I was in charge of doing all my stuff, including grocery shopping, which meant I could buy and eat literally whatever I wanted. This was my little rebellion, since my mom had always been obsessed with “diet” food, struggling (in vain) to control my health and weight. There I was, in a new country, in a new continent, exposed to a new world in the realm of supermarkets, filled with long isles of (mostly) junk, which I knew nothing about.

10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy, Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon

Palazzo Braschi- Rome, 10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy, Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon
10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy, Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon

It took me a couple of years to develop a solid interest in what I was eating; real, authentic Italian food, the correct recipes and the artisanal production of iconic ingredients. But then as I developed my interest in food, I got to discover myself. This sentence may sound quite worn out in today’s obsessively foodie media, but food truly is culture, history and an excellent medium to acknowledge our identities.

Late Celebration

The whole idea of celebrating a decade of life in Italy was introduced to me by Alice (the owner of Latteria Studio in Rome), who back in 2015 wrote 10 posts on her blog about 10 things she has learned from Italians. Later, I read Arlene’s post about a decade of life in Rome (which is not food related at all, thank god), and I though it’s too good of an oppurtunity to not write about. 

rome market and streets-14
pvt workshop july 18-23

In a world obsessed with live posts and 15 second “Stories”, where news from yesterday are old and we’re forced to be in a constant race with numbers, this is a very slow post. It has been sitting here half written and half photographed for a long time, while I found myself pondering upon the sense of blogging at the end of 2018. , I decided to take my time with blog, and publish only what really matters to me, which can be of value to you too. 

There is no recipe in this long post; only memories and photos, which are not even necessarily related to the dishes I talk about. I spent months trying to remember my most significant food memories in the past eleven years in Italy. I recorded my own voice, recounting the anecdotes related to each dish. It was a therapeutic and cathartic process that I encourage you to do too.

So here they are. Enjoy reading the first part of my 10 most striking food memories that have marked 10 years of my life in Italy.  The second of part will be published soon. 

1. Caffè Latte e Cornetto al Bar

10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy, Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon
Palazzo Braschi- Rome, 10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy, Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon

Back in the days I studied Italian in Iran, one of the topics of daily conversation was about whether you have breakfast at home, or in a bar. This made absolutely no sense to me, until on my second day in Italy. My friends took me to neighborhood’s bar Angolo Russo which famously bake their own conrnettos — the Italian equivalent of croissants. I will never, ever forget that first taste of caffè latte and cornetto. The milk felt silky in my mouth, its temperature was perfectly warm when I actually expected the hot milk to burn my tongue. The flavor of coffee was intense, yet softened by the velvety creaminess of the milk. The surface of the cornetto crumbled into million flakes with each of my bites and left a sugary coat on my lips that was wiped with each sip of the caffè latte. The core was soft, and not sweet at all. I have few other food memories as powerful and vivid as the memory of my first Italian Breakfast.

2. Wine on an Island

10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy, Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon
10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy, Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon

Growing up in Iran where it’s officially forbidden to consume alcohol, my drinking experiences were limited to homemade (very strong) liquores, and smuggled beers and whiskeys that we drank in indoor parties. I had never tasted “real”, properly bottled wine. I had never even seen white wine. To celebrate our arrival to Rome on our first night ever in the Eternal City, we bought a decent bottle and we opened it on Isola Tiberina, a tiny island in the middle of Tiber river. The wine tasted too acidic to me in the beginning, but I began to like it as it started to calm down my tired nerves (I had been awake for more than 48 hours by then).
10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy, Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon
White wine surprised again when Gianni my friend, taught me to soak slices of yellow nectarine in it, and add a sprinkle of sugar and some mint leaves. Then chill in the fridge and serve for dessert on hot a summer day.

Perhaps the most unexpected experience with wine, was dunking cookies in it! Ciambelline al vino are simple donut-shaped cookies made with wine. Nothing will get you tipsy, happy and full, like a bag of wine cookies dunked in fizzy wine. Just as if it was normal cookies dunked in milk, but for adults. 

3. Spleen Sandwich in Sicily (and other Italian Offals)  

Palazzo Braschi- Rome, 10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy, Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon
10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy, Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon

I have only been to Sicily once. It was more than 9 years ago and I could write 10 striking food memories just about those 5 days. The most memorable, and the tastiest one was undoubtedly panino di milza or the spleen sandwich. Everywhere in Palermo, in small carts, or little shops, you can find the boiled, then sliced and finally fried cow’s spleen, stuffed into in a little (or not so much so) buns. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice on top is a must, while shredded provola cheese is an option. 

Palazzo Braschi- Rome, 10 Striking Food Memories from 10+ Years of Living in Italy, Saghar Setareh | Lab Noon

I had no idea what what milza or spleen was, I knew it was an interior from the vivid gestures of palermitani showing the place their spleen would be in their rib cage. Italians love offal, although at first they might not admit it. But poor man’s regional cooking is full of offal recipes. When in Palermo, you must try this spleen sandwich. When in Rome, do as romans do and try la pajata, the cooked intestines of unweaned calves. Trippa alla romana, Roman tripe in tomato sauce — is another option. Tripe has a glorious time in Tuscany and Campagna too. In Florence, you can’t possibly miss the Lampredotto sandwich (cow’s last and fourth stomach, boiled, chopped and dressed with salsa verde and chilly oil). You should eat it on the benches in front of Saint Ambrose church. If you’re going for a culinary adventure in Naples, be courageous and try centopelle, cows (third? or fourth stomach again?), boiled, chopped, salted, lemon juiced, and served on a piece of paper. Continue reading