Admittedly, there’s something odd about posing for a chef’s photo. For the first book, the publicity department at Viking/Penguin felt that I needed photos of me wearing a Le Cordon Bleu jacket. If only I’d had some guidance from Eater NY which has been cataloging various looks. First, one must consider props, such as a comically large knives or even a baby pig, illustrated here by David Chang. (But not both at once, as that reminds people of the final destination for that sweet little bit of pork.) One might be tempted to just stand there and cross your arms to look like a culinary bad ass, but even a simple shift in stance can yield a major redirect in how one comes across.
Notes Eater: “Instead of sitting in a chair the correct way, consider flipping it around and leaning on the back. This shows that you’re serious about your work, but you’re not a jerk or anything, kind of like that that cool high school English teacher that told you, ‘Shakespeare is like hip-hop, but without the beats.’ ” See how likeable John Delucie appears in his photo?
Holding a knife is an obvious choice, as I demonstrate in this 2007 shot for Sharper. Sometimes this works, sometimes not, as Eater notes. “Are you a gentle soul? Posing with a scary kitchen knife will add some edge to your look. The bigger the better, just don’t act like it’s anything out-of-the-ordinary.” See, I had the same idea as Eric Ripert, but he makes it work while I look, in the words of my husband, like a “homicidal romance novelist.” Maybe I needed a bigger knife?
Or, you can do it the way they do it in Portlandia.