Party with Local Chefs and Photographer Todd Selby, Author of the Eclectic Edible Selby
Photographer Todd Selby's made a career of photographing interesting, creative people in their natural environments. His first project, The Selby is in Your Place, focused on photographing creative people in their spaces, both at home and at work. For his new book, Edible Selby, the photographer turned his lens to the food world. Selby is coming to the Bay Area next week for a series of events with locals he featured, including Tartine's Chad Robertson and Mission Chinese Food's Danny Bowien.
Todd Selby The cover of Edible Selby.
The book profiles 40 food artisans, complete with photographs, watercolor illustrations, handwritten questionnaires, and recipes for each -- you may have seen some of his work in his Edible Selby column in the New York Times T Magazine, which collaborated on the new book. International profiles include chefs in Scandinavia, Mexico, Italy, and New Zealand, but he also gives the nod to six Bay Area favorites: Bowein; Robertson; sea forager Kirk Lombard; Blue Bottle's James and Caitlin Freeman; Phoenix Tea's David Lee Hoffman in Marin; and Sylvan Brackett of Japanese caterer Peko Peko.
"I was just looking for creative people in the food world that really expressed themselves in a unique way, and I thought were doing something with a lot of integrity," Selby says of his process for choosing who was profiled. A few chefs and food people he knew, but many more of them he contacted to shoot for the book.
Edible Selby defines categorization in many ways. It's not just a coffee table book of photos, though it's full of beautiful images, but it's not quite a cookbook either, despite the recipes included. Plus, each purchase comes with a set of illustrated fridge magnets ("you gotta give people a reason to buy a book these days," Selby says with a half-laugh when asked about the magnets.)
Food has always been the photographer's passion, which is what drove Selby to branch out from his original project. "I've always been food-obsessed," he says. "I just felt like it's a really exciting time in the food world, there's a lot of creativity, and I could do something with unique style and vision that could be fun."
Without naming any favorites in the book, he did call out the Bay Area as a special locale. "The Bay Area and Scandinavia are two places that I was really inspired by ... Chez Panisse was so visionary and so many people that I shot were connected to that somehow and were doing their own interesting things. It's really happening," he says.
Check out a preview of the book on the website, and get a chance to meet Selby and many of the chefs involved next week during a series of events celebrating the book's release:
Bar Tartine, Chad Robertson and Todd Selby celebrate the launch of Edible Selby
Where: Bar Tartine
When: Mon., Oct. 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Sandwiches sold individually, or $60 for sandwich, book, and Selby tote bag
The rundown: Guest chefs Danny Bowien, Ignacio Mattos, and Russell Moore will join Bar Tartine chefs Nick Balla and Cortney Burnes to make Edible Selby-inspired sandwiches and celebrate the book's release.
A Party with Todd Selby and Peko Peko at Bar Jules
Where: Bar Jules
When: Tues., Oct. 23, 6-10 p.m.
Cost: $45, excluding drinks
The rundown:Sylvan Brackett of Peko Peko will be in the kitchen cooking up Japanese-inspired small bites for this cocktail party. For tickets, call Bar Jules at 415-621-5482.
Camino Collective: Todd Selby Author Dinner Party
When: Weds., Oct. 24, 6 p.m.
Cost: $100 for dinner; $135 for dinner, book and cocktail; $170 for dinner, book, cocktail and Edible Selby souvenirs. Note: The event is sold out, but call 510-547-5035 to be put on the waitlist.
The rundown: Drinks and snacks will be followed by multi-course feast cooked in the Camino fireplace by chefs featured in Edible Selby, including Ignacio Mattos, Kirk Lombard, Liz Prueitt, Chad Robertson, Nick Balla, Danny Bowien, Sylvan Brackett, Russell Moore of Camino, Claire Ptak of Violet Cakes in London, and Eric Werner of Hartwood in Tulum, Mexico.
Todd Selby, James Freeman and Caitlin Freeman in Conversation at SFMOMA
When: Thurs., Oct. 25, 5 p.m.
Cost: Free with museum admission. Tickets will be available for pick up on the day of the event at the Phyllis Wattis Theater entrance. More info here.
The rundown: Selby and James and Caitlin Freeman will sign books in the Museum Store, followed by a conversation between Selby and the Freemans at 6 p.m., and ending with a 7 p.m. reception at Blue Bottle Coffee on the museum's rooftop.