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Behind the Scenes of a Food & Wine Magazine Photo Shoot

The April issue of Food & Wine Magazine just hit stands and in it you’ll find a 4-page spread of my Austin lifestyle, a ton of delicious recipes that I wrote just for you, and a bit about my latest book on manual literacy, “Modern Pioneering.”

I thought I would show you some of the behind-the-scenes photos that we snapped during the photo shoot. It was so much fun and I was fortunate to work with an amazingly talented team, including a hip British food stylist who introduced me to so many cool products and designers. And an awesome New Orleans photographer who captured things so beautifully.

Here goes… first up…


…a rather ridiculous “selfie” which I’m generally against but I wanted to show you the rad job that my friend Katy did on my hair. And the dress that we picked out. I’m secretly hoping that she’ll run a side business doing hair because she’s a magic maker.


As I walked down the stairs all ready to go, Nora Jones was turning on vinyl. The crew had made themselves at home and were already creating that perfect atmosphere that makes a girl want to cook and live life fully.


They used my Stetson hats and hunting board from Paul Michael Co. as the backdrop for the first cocktail scene. That’s where Nora Jones was spinning and my pheasant feathers were perched too.


Friends started to trickle in who were going to be photographed with me for the day. That is my friend Zach in the middle. He’s pretty much the most stylish guy ever.


And very funny. He was messing with this totally awesome sheep’s foot magnifying glass with whistle that Beth Beverly from Diamond Tooth Taxidermy had sent me just days before.


That’s him being a handsome devil on my deck while we waited.


This is my beautiful friend Katy in her butterfly dress. She’s a model in real life and she and Zach pretty much owned it, the best duo to pose together in history.


We have fun together in real life. A lot of fun. And she’s so wise. One of the wisest friends I have.


Upstairs on my catwalk, the magic photographer was taking some aerial shots of the table below.


They set it up with butchers paper and a ton of beautiful things.


He and the food stylist are pictured here contemplating their masterpiece.


Pretty epic don’t you think?


The food stylist, in her amazing leather pants and high tops, was about as cool and brilliant as one can get. She had an eye for things and was good at going that extra mile make something not just good but supremely awesome.


She also introduced me to this gold flatware which I’m obsessed with. I now own several sets and plan to build my collection this year.


She executed my recipes pretty flawlessly, and was just as obsessed with color on a plate as I am.


And she gave my muffins that magical finishing touch by pressing strawberries on top.


They featured the jumbo strawberry rhubarb muffins and cold brewed iced coffee over on the other side of my house, above my antique shot shell cases. Of course they did.


Then we got into a little cocktail mixing, my friends and I, and we used this bar area.


That’s the photog getting it set up.


And this is us being silly right before I poured cocktails. You can see a fun shot of the cocktail making in the magazine spread.


It was a very fun day.

My house was styled by the amazing Kevin Parks Hauser who is an interior decorator and consultant in Austin. He works with Jonathan Adler as well as independently and if you need someone to come in and make your home awesome with a few flicks of the wrist, he is your man. Send me a note if you’d like his contact: info [at]

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We also gathered some other wonderful products for the shoot, some of which you’ll see coming up in a Daily Candy home tour at the end of March. This Concrete Oil Lamp from Anson Design Co.

It’s just a beautiful piece for both indoors and out and can be great for keeping the bugs away too. I love setting them in front of the door when guests are coming over, and also in the center of a dinner table. It’s better than a candle sometimes.


This Blue Octopus Ceramic Serving Platter was another one of my favorites from Jessica Howard Ceramics. She has a whole range of other designs that you must have as well. It’s the perfect party appetizer plate.

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I have a series of furniture pieces from GloDea in my house and outdoor areas, one of which is this Coffee Table X60. It comes in a range of colors and styles and is that wonderful combination of rustic meets modern.

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And this! The Walnut Franklin Shelf by Tronk Design. I’m obsessed. It currently houses all of my Nancy Drew books in the corner of my living room. But as you can see it could also be mounted. It exposes the wall behind it making it a light and airy shelf with modern lines. You’ll be able to take a closer look at it in an upcoming Daily Candy video home tour coming out soon. But if you want one ASAP, use this discount code until April 11th: ‘TRONK15’ for a 15% discount off the Franklin Shelf and other select Tronk products. Use this URL for purchasing:


There’s a vintage shop online called Expo Facto where I got a taller version of these Gold and Black Low Ball Glasses. They have the most unique finds every day, so check back there often.


And these. I’m love them so much. They are wine glasses that are hard to break, which considering how many I’ve lost in the dishwasher are a dream come true.  They’re by Korin and called the Ion Strong Diamant Wine Glasses. I highly recommend them if you want some durable yet elegant wine glasses in your life.

That’s the skinny and a peak into how it all went down. You can pick up a copy of the magazine on news stands now. For a peak at the PDF go here and read “A Modern Pioneer’s House Party.


  • Ru
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Looks like a lovely day. What is the flatware brand? I can’t exactly make it out.

    • Post Author
      Posted April 2, 2014 at 7:35 am

      Mepra. It’s made in Italy. I’m in love with it. In love.

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