I first met Iqbal Wahhab when I photographed him for a hospitality magazine and I had just a short time to get a front cover shot. After a little wander around Borough Market, the location where his stunning restaurant, Roast, resides, I got this fun shot of him. He loved the shot so much that he wanted a copy for himself, which I was pretty chuffed about.
At this time I had no set fees for charging for this kind of thing, but he challenged me to make him an offer! So I suggested a discount on a meal! Well I can tell you, this is a seriously good way to get paid (though of course one has to earn real pounds sometimes too to cover those darn bills). I took my parents and had the most delicious meal that I can remember, even after four years! The funny thing is, I didn’t even eat meat, yet my vegetarian meal was one of the best. #ironic. (My folks, however, can vouch for the great taste of their lamb and steak….)
It was also a chance to photograph the new head chef Anthony Fletcher and prove to him that a chef smiling in a photograph is a great idea. Having spent quite a lot of time in China, he was used to posing for lots of pictures and so was a complete natural.
And Sergei Gubars, the General Manager:
Showing Iqbal some new fresh produce, for a feature in their magazine, Anthony told me all about an upcoming mushroom foraging trip, which I’ll hopefully get to photograph. It was super interesting for a foodie like me to learn all about this different places where they sourced their ingredients from, a job they take very seriously indeed. Let’s see where Anthony takes the new menu….
There was then some serious brandy burning to be had to create that fabulous flame. Pyromaniacs ahoy:
Of course the job wouldn’t have been complete without a brand new picture of Iqbal Wahhab himself, chief Restaurateur……..I actually think he looks even younger now than before. Mind you I do also have some fabulous new lighting techniques that never hurt anyone! It’s all about getting the best out of people when shooting their portrait.
I’m looking forward to the next shoot, hopefully involving some desserts! In the meantime, if you want to check them out yourself, head over to Roast in Borough Market, London Bridge Station. They also do a handy take out, called Roast to Go….right in front in the market.
For more Hospitality and Food Photography, please check out the food and drink section of this site.