Today we'd like to show you a couple of the outtakes from The Kinfolk Table. After months and months spent scouting and planning, the main photographer for this project, Parker Fitzgerald, and I spent three months traveling around a half dozen countries cooking and photographing inside the homes of our contributors. Working in environments that were meant for cups of tea instead of full-scale photo shoots was often challenging, but we always somehow made it work. We feel incredibly blessed to be working with such a talented, enthusiastic team of people who supported each other through every step of this incredibly long and far-flung process. However, it was the breadth of ground we covered and the time we spent with each subject that made this cookbook special.
The 85-plus recipes contributed to the cookbook come from more than 50 different groups of people, from enthusiastic solo cooks to couples, work colleagues, and bands. Whether their recipes have been perfected through careful hours spent over a hot stove or simply memorized from childhood baking afternoons with grandmothers, most of these dishes have been imagined by home cooks, not professional chefs.
And of course, not everything always went smoothly. Often the photographs you see adorning the pages of culinary magazines depict casual entertaining as a drama-free, perfectly planned affair. But that isn't always true. The images you see in this cookbook may show the end result, but we didn't always get it right on the first try.
Chickens were burned. Glasses were broken. Hair was singed. Cakes crumbled. But the funny thing? It didn't matter. Sure, we had a deadline looming over our heads and were running out of the film we'd brought for the day, but often the times when things didn't go right created the most notable moments of true togetherness. After all, nothing says community like four people trying to put out a kitchen fire with damp tea towels.
That's what the Kinfolk method of entertaining ultimately simmers down to (that is, if you can get the pot to stop boiling): the meaning of a small gathering is in the intention and time spent with your friends, not whether your pie's pastry flakes perfectly or you correctly salted the stew. The Kinfolk Table aims to tell these social stories as much as it shares the recipes seen in them.
So speaking of sharing, here are some outtakes from behind the scenes of The Kinfolk Table.
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Nathan Williams is the founding editor of Kinfolk magazine and the author of The Kinfolk Table: Recipes for Small Gatherings. He works with a team of photographers, writers, illustrators, and designers in a collaborative effort to encourage a natural approach to entertaining. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Books mentioned in this post
Nathan Williams is the author of The Kinfolk Table: Recipes for Small Gatherings