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Ever wondered why your food doesn’t look as nice as the recipe books? That’s because you don’t have paint brushes, tweezers and essentially a make-up kit for your food. Jaime Reyes was our wonderful food stylist for the new Spirit House cook book. It was a great experience watching Jaime at work:
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See what I mean, Jaime is painting glistening highlights on to the chicken in the salad.

With so many of Annette’s recipes to shoot and just a few days to make all this happen, we are lucky that we have such great chefs like Katrina and Kelly to lend a hand:

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And the person responsible for making the food look great in print is photographer Graeme Gillies, who had help from Spirit House owner, Helen Brierty. Here Helen can be seen working as a photogaphic intern – which basically involves standing around all day holding the fill card.
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All in all, this promises to be our best recipe book ever. The photographs look amazing and eating the left-overs from the shoot had us all raving over the flavours. The new book should be available by Mother’s day 2010.



Masterchef judge and super-nice-guy Matt Preston dropped in at the Spirit House on his way to the Noosa Food Festival. Officially he was here to gather some information for Delicious Magazine but unofficially we chatted about the show and the future of food and cooking talent in Australia.

Totally different to his television persona, Matt was charming, witty and more than happy to joke around with the staff:

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He surprised the cooking school by walking in unannounced and telling everyone he was here to judge their food. You’d think he’d be bothered with everyone recognising him and bothering him for autographs but he was more than happy to spend time posing with my niece and her two friends (now his greatest fans):
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What came out of our chat was shows like Masterchef are helping change people’s view of cooking. Being a chef is no longer a ‘trade’ or a career choice for when high school leavers’ grades are not so good. The show – and our experience – have shown there are people out there who love food and have a talent to blend flavours in to an expression of themselves.