Kirstie Young Photography

All entries published in September 2017

Citrus Salt 5


The last ten days have been crazy busy.  Two major food festivals and the BBC's prestigious Food & Farming Awards, there's been a lot to keep up with!.  There was a fair bit of heroic double-festivalling (Is that a verb? Should be …) by some of the biggest names in food, with chefs like Olia Hercules & Gill Mellor cooking up a feast for festival goers in both the GoodLifeExperience and Abergavenny Food Festival.   

Abergavenny 2017

Abergavenny is the largest, longest running Food Festival in Wales, and over the three days that it ran, I had the joy of photographing (and tasting, obviously…) some of the best chefs and food producers in the land – there was Lobster cooked over an open fire by chef Freddy Bird (The Lido), barbequed Roe Deer cooked by the talented head chef at Wilsons, Jan Ostle, the best Samosa's in town demonstrated by Romy Gill (Romy's Kitchen).


 I had my first taste of Shakh Plov, a rice dish of chicken, barberries, and spice cooked under a crispy flatbread cooked by Olia Hercules, as part of an Eat Your Words supperclub, an incredible burger by the award winning Beefy Boys, mussels steamed over an open fire by outdoor cooking expert Genevieve Taylor.  I watched like a teenager at a Take That festival as food heroes Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, Ross Gibbens, Jan Ostle and Tom Heaney cosied up in the Belazu kitchen to create a Sunday lunch to end all sunday lunches, and I felt like everything I knew about food was turned on it's head as the chefs from Edinburgh Food Studio worked their alchemy on everything they touched, from blackening cabbages to hand picking flower stamens to cook up a feast to charm the most jaded diner.  

Edinburgh Food Studio

I have always turned down the offers to teach Food Photography, but new Abergavenny CEO Aine Morris can be very persuasive so I also found myself running a Masterclass on Saturday to some budding snappers, with the help of Food Stylist Geneveive Taylor, and we spilled the beans on some of the tricks of the trade in making food look as good as it tastes.  Hopefully, the participants came away with a better understanding of how to get from A-B …


All this was only a small part of the festival overall, and once my feet stop hurting I will start counting the days until the next one.

Food Producer

A Jewish girl from North London isn't the likeliest of Pig Farmers, but then Irayne Paikin enjoys being a bit of an anomaly.  She bought a run down farmhouse in the Cotswolds 12 years ago as a rural retreat from London life.  When she finished the renovations Irayne moved onto populating her orchards with a few Gloucester Old Spot Pigs, and 12 years on she runs the spotless 800 acre Todenham Manor Farm dedicatied to ethical farming practises, where the welfare of her animals is paramount and she micro manages every aspect of the field to fork process.  This is exactly the blueprint that all farms should take – welfare over profit, animals who live outdoors with plenty space and everything kept local.  They have a butchery on site so everything is kept to her high standards and the meat is cut to order.  If  you are going to eat meat, then this is exactly the kind of place you need to buy it from.

Todenham Farm-9379


For a cookbook-o-phile like me, Diana Henry's seasonal cookbook lists are something I look forward to in the way that I used to look forward ot the Oscar Nominations being poublished when I worked in film.  Her Autumn list here

And to end,  a thought provoking article by Patrick Holden, winner of the Derek Cooper Outstanding Achievement Award at this years BBC Food and Farming Awards, about the true cost of cheap food here 

Have a great week, if you have enjoyed reading this, you can subscribe to these blogs through the link at the base of this post.


Should you wish to use any of my photographs, recipes, or excerpts of my posts please abide by the copyright laws (because you want to give credit where credit is due, right?) You can request permission to use the copyright materials on this website by writing to


Citrus Salt 4

Citrus & Salt 

This week has been all about fast food.  Not the fried chicken, cheap burger or doughy pizza variety, but food that can be made in under 15 mins, after rushing back from a shoot and trying to get a meal on the table while juggling homework, feeding rabbits and unloading the washing machine.  Weekday food can't be overly complicated, but I still want to be enthused by it and during the week it has to make it from the fridge to the table in quarter of an hour.  



For me, modern eating is all about flavours and textures and while Monday to Thursday is generally about me sticking my head in the fridge & cupboards and working out what combinations are going to work, sometimes they hit the sweet spot like Tuesday's combo of Courgettes, bacon, Halloumi and pine nuts, dressed with an olive oil, Dill and lemon dressing.  Bang on.

Courgettes & Courgette Flowers-1163 copy

Eggs are pretty damn handy too; for my money, on a busy day it's hard to beat eggs on toast, and food writer Ellie Pear has the perfect way to cook them here

I will never faff about with poaching them again – 6 minute eggs all the way.


I have shelves all over the house that are full of cookbooks, (I like to call it research, but it's coming close to a fetish …) but in my kitchen I keep a core handful that I use on a regular basis.  

Anna Jones is hard to beat for flavour packed food, I have both her books, and there is a brilliant section on her website that I bookmark for days when my inspiration is in need of a jumpstart.  Pretty thrilled to see she has a third one coming out soon.

Ellie Pear, she of the 6 minute egg above, also has two corkers that I use at least once a week, her latest here

And I'm really looking forward to getting my copy of Claire Thompson's new The Art of the Larder for inspiration when you think your cupboards are bare.


I haven't managed to eat out anywhere of note this week for pleasure, but I did shoot the new menu at The Tavern here, so I *might* have eaten my way through their menu…. personal favourites were the Salt& Pepper Squid with Nuoc Cham, and the Salmon with Shitake Mushrooms and Asian greens, but for sheer retro joy it has to be this Banana Split!

Banana Split-7566

My eye was also caught by this review of Cook Daily in the Guardian here – a fast pace Vegan joint that has managed to shake the beards and sandals image of Vegan food and is attracting a far more rock and roll crowd.

I'm off to work at Abergavenny Food Festival this week; it's shaping up to being an exceptional event with top food heavyweights giving talks and demos, and a plethora masterclasses (including mine on Saturday!), markets, debates, feasts, forages and kids events.

  Come, it's going to be a corker.



Should you wish to use any of my photographs, recipes, or excerpts of my posts please abide by the copyright laws (because you want to give credit where credit is due, right?) You can request permission to use the copyright materials on this website by writing to


Citrus Salt 3

The last week of the long summer holidays is always bittersweet.  I look forward to a return to some kind of routine, and to stopping the crazy juggle of work and childcare after seven weeks, but I'm also sad that there are no more long lazy days in the park or beach with a picnic, or just hanging around the house in PJ's eating biscuits.  Last week we celebrated a good friend's 40th, and the end of summer, with a week of Glamping in Cornwall with friends, and of course with all the glorious fresh food that part of the world has to offer.


Mackerel Fishing -5806

My personal highlight was Mackerel fishing – pulling these stripey blue, black, green and silver fishes out of the sea, then onto the BBQ within a couple of hours is something quite magical.  As is often the case with the natural world, the sea showed us who is boss by making us wait for nearly 2 hours before giving up any of it's bounty, but once we felt the first bite we had almost 20 fish in as many minutes and returned to the Glampsite to feed the crowd.  

Mackerel Fishing -5861

 Mackerel Fishing -5900

A quick marinade of Soy, Lime, Chilli & Ginger and 5 mins on a hot BBQ.  Literally some of the best tasting fish I have ever eaten.

Mackerel Fishing -5907



I almost can't bring myself to spill the beans on this hidden secret of a restaurant, but if you are ever in North Cornwall here is a cracker of a recommendation.  Scott&Babs Wood Fired Food at Retorrick Mill in the valley of Laherne is a gem of a place cooking up a storm using a wood fired clay oven, a spit roaster & a barrel smoker.  You have to call ahead to see if they are opening that day, or if they are off surfing instead, but if you strike lucky your food will be as memorable as the woodland location.  We shared rare beef with a salsa verde, a platter of fresh plaice with King Prawns, garlicky roast potatoes and a rich silky ratatouille, rounded off niecly with a plate piled high with chocolate brownies.  



No time for books this week, but a couple of lovely food blogs that I have come across: – because I need to redress the balance of eating my way through the Summer holidays with some vegetables – for some back to school lunch ideas - to get me inspired to get stuck back into work again 

And a thought provoking article about a Swedish farmer swapping a percentage of his livestock to grow oats to make an oat milk drink, but his "ditch cows, drink oat milk and save the planet" approach has been causing controversy.  Wow no cow is worth a read.

Finally, this weeks The Simple Things magazine has one of the articles I shot in it, all about growing and cooking with Fennel, with lovely recipes for Pork & Fennel Meatballs, Apple & Fennel Granita and a Fennel infused Fig & Rum smash.  If that's not the best way to welcome Autumn, I don't know what is. 



Happy September everyone, see you next week.