friday feature: aran goyoaga

I'm really excited about today's Friday Feature, Aran Goyoaga.  Aran is the triple threat behind Cannelle et Vanille and has some of the most beautiful dessert images i've ever seen.

Born in Bilbao, Aran grew up in her grandparents' pastry shop -where she first fell in love with food.  With brothers and a father who are photographers and painters, she was constantly surrounded by art.  

Though schooled in business and economics, Arin later attended Florida Culinary Institute and never turned back.  She has since worked as a pastry chef, and now writes her award-winning blog, Cannelle et Vanille.  Not only is she the mastermind behind the recipes, but she also styles and photographs every work of art she creates.  Be sure to look at her newly launched online portfolio here.

Here is our interview, for you:

01.  Tell us your greatest memory from culinary school.
The first time I made the most beautiful macarons with Sebastien Cannone from The French Pastry School.

02.  What has been your greatest kitchen disaster?
When I ruined an entire batch of panna cotta two hours before a wedding of 300 while working in Portugal.  It's almost impossible to ruin panna cotta and I did it big time.

03.  Who are your cooking/styling/photography favorites?
Con Poulos and Petrina Tinslay who have worked very closely with Donna Hay always blow me away.  Tina Rupp is always very fresh, unpretentious and modern.  I also love the organic approach of Deborah Jones. (click here for our friday feature with tina --and here, for our friday feature with petrina.)

04.  What turned you to photography?
My blog actually turned me  into photography.  I started with a culinary point of view and that soon turned into a visual one.

05.  Do you shoot everything at home?
Except for a couple of on-location shoots, I shoot mostly in my home studio.

06.  What equipment do you shoot with?
I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it, but my gear is super simple.  I shoot with a Canon 50D and a 100mm macro.

07.  What is the hardest thing about wearing so many hats? (cooking, styling and shooting)
Timing can be very difficult as there are very many time/temperature sensitive desserts.  All of the food I shoot is real and there is a lot of running around sometimes, especially with soufflés or ice creams.

08.  When did you start your blog?  Why did you start it?
I started my blog in January 2008.  I left the professional culinary world to raise my son, but found myself constantly daydreaming about food and recipes.  I started the blog as a creative outlet for myself, but it soon caught on and people started to respond to it in a very positive way.  In a way, the blog introduced me to a new career within food.

09.  Why do you love making/styling/photographing food so much?
I have asked myself that question many times and I still don't know the answer.  It's like ideas just pop in my head constantly and I have to purge them.  I am a terribly visual person and I am constantly inspired by everything around me.  I have always loved to work with my hands and cooking often times puts me in a trance kind of mode.

10.  What is the most bizarre thing ever to be in your refrigerator or freezer?
There are not very many things that I consider bizarre, but I have about 15 lbs of alligator meat in my freezer that my husband caught.  Does that count?

11.  If you were to have any 3 people over for dinner, who would they be?  (a favorite DH contributor's question. :)
Oh that's a hard one!  Maybe Bill Murray, Nora Ephron and my great uncle Julian (who was a great cook and a fabulous storyteller).  I think they would get along great and we would have some fun.

And what would you cook for them?
Tortilla de Patatas.  That seems to be what everyone is constantly begging me to make.

12.  Your props and styling... do you collect everything?  Buy at random?  Or buy according to your shoot?   
Yes, I own everything I use.  I have a bad shopping habit!  Sometimes I buy depending on the shoot, sometimes I just see a prop and instantly think of a recipe that would go great with it.  I just discovered a couple of new ceramist artists that I am in love with.  Samantha Robinson in Australia and Asya Palatova in Rhode Island.

13.  Any advice for people entering any of your fields?
Practice, practice and practice.  Shoot everything that draws your attention and play with light.  I also think it's important to know your style and work with it.  I love seeing an artist's work and instantly knowing who it is.

Thank you, Aran!  Dear Readers, did you enjoy this Friday Feature?  Leave your comment for Aran below.

add to sk*rt


Diana Hulme said...

Oooh, thank you! Aran's work is SO beautiful & inspiring and I love poring over her blog! Those lovely macaroons get me every time. Her images are so gorgeous - the lighting is always perfect, and they make me want to bake! :) It was fun to read her interview. Thanks!

rubi said...

I love this feature and her blog is awesome. I'm flying out to northern Spain today!

southern daze said...

This is my favorite Friday Feature by far!! I adore Aran's blog and really enjoyed learning more about her and her craft. She truly is AMAZING!

the emily said...

I am in LOVE with every one of those images. Stunning, beautiful, and it all looks so DELISH.

Ang said...

wow, it seems like she didn't have any formal photography training? is that true? how can that be?? very beautiful.

onesilentwinter said...

she is incredible!!!i am always blown away- always!`

Natalie Hill said...

i want to go to there.

and eat all of it.

Signorina Svizzera said...

love love loved this! such beautiful photos and the food is calling to me as well!

K.Line said...

What a terrific interview with a truly talented pastry chef and artist!

Victoria Klein said...

Great great interview. I've been following Aran's work on Flickr for over a year & have many of her images added as "favorites" over there. She inspired me all the time & I strive to be even a fraction as talented as her someday.

I am elated to hear that her technology set-up is so simple, but I'd love to hear more about her lighting choice (natural light, probably, yeah, but how does she enhance it?).

Kat said...

Thanks so much for this great interview! I have been addicted to her blog since you mentioned it a while back. Now I regularly salivate while looking through her gorgeous photos. I am getting up the courage to try to attempt one of her recipes!

abby said...

thank you so much for allowing us to learn more about aran. since your original post, i've been checking her blog almost everyday. her food looks so tasty and her images are beautiful, and i love that she gives the recipe.

Jen said...

I need to go eat something scrumptious now.

Jean said...

Wow - what a great story. It inspires me that she does it at home and uses simple equipment. She is amazing!

Lindsey said...

Wow, her images are beautiful! I too am curious about her lighting. Very inspiring!

fresh365 said...

Great interview! Aran's blog is one of my favorites!

skrockodile (sabra) said...

great interview and great selection of Aran's work

Ariel Gordon said...

As always Nicole, great job. Aran is crazy talented and it's great to get a peek into her world. I linked to your post over on my blog...