I recently had the immense pleasure of spending three wonderfully exhausting days photographing the CSSG Gastronomy Summit in New Delhi, India. My focus was to document the six Chefs as they were involved in various activities that mostly included creation of food. Naturally, the first few images that I am sharing are of the food they created.

Food by Michelin Star Chefs for the CSSG Gastronomy Summit 2012, New Delhi, India. Laurie Gear, Ian Curley, Vineet Bhatia, Frances Atkins, Marcello Tully, Anjum Anand. Photography by photographer Naina Redhu of Naina.co

Above: Marinated & seared loin of tuna served with Isle of Bute seaweed jelly, pickled Asian mushrooms, wasabi cream, pomelo, pear, brown shrimp cracker by @ArtichokeChef Laurie Gear of the Artichoke Restaurant.

Food by Michelin Star Chefs for the CSSG Gastronomy Summit 2012, New Delhi, India. Laurie Gear, Ian Curley, Vineet Bhatia, Frances Atkins, Marcello Tully, Anjum Anand. Photography by photographer Naina Redhu of Naina.co

Above: Steamed white-onion mousse with crouton & burnt onion powder by @ArtichokeChef Laurie Gear of the Artichoke Restaurant.

Food by Michelin Star Chefs for the CSSG Gastronomy Summit 2012, New Delhi, India. Laurie Gear, Ian Curley, Vineet Bhatia, Frances Atkins, Marcello Tully, Anjum Anand. Photography by photographer Naina Redhu of Naina.co

Above: Warm salad of char-grilled spiced mushrooms with roasted butternut squash, creme fraiche with green peppercorns and a crispy potato galette by @Anjum_anand Anjum Anand.

Food by Michelin Star Chefs for the CSSG Gastronomy Summit 2012, New Delhi, India. Laurie Gear, Ian Curley, Vineet Bhatia, Frances Atkins, Marcello Tully, Anjum Anand. Photography by photographer Naina Redhu of Naina.co

Above: Seabass with cauliflower puree, fennel confit and braised witlof with cauliflower confetti and curry oil served with dehydrated grapes, pine nuts and micro herbs by @coventry1 Ian Curley of The European Restaurant.

Food by Michelin Star Chefs for the CSSG Gastronomy Summit 2012, New Delhi, India. Laurie Gear, Ian Curley, Vineet Bhatia, Frances Atkins, Marcello Tully, Anjum Anand. Photography by photographer Naina Redhu of Naina.co

Above: Julienne of carrots, courgettes and celeriac flavoured with honey and chilli, wrapped in chicken mousse with cauliflower puree, wilted spinach, sweetcorn espuma and popcorn snow by @marcello_tully Marcello Tully of the Kinloch Lodge.

Food by Michelin Star Chefs for the CSSG Gastronomy Summit 2012, New Delhi, India. Laurie Gear, Ian Curley, Vineet Bhatia, Frances Atkins, Marcello Tully, Anjum Anand. Photography by photographer Naina Redhu of Naina.co

Above: Tandoor glazed lamb chop, biryani khichdi, Rogan Josh sauce, and crisp lamb-pea samosa by @vineet_bhatia Vineet Bhatia of Rasoi.

Food by Michelin Star Chefs for the CSSG Gastronomy Summit 2012, New Delhi, India. Laurie Gear, Ian Curley, Vineet Bhatia, Frances Atkins, Marcello Tully, Anjum Anand. Photography by photographer Naina Redhu of Naina.co

Above: Caramel, blackcurrant & liquorice chilled mousse, poppy seed feuillentine, chilli & mango dessert by Chef Frances Atkins of the Yorke Arms Restaurant.

Above: Marinated & seared loin of tuna served with Isle of Bute seaweed jelly, pickled Asian mushrooms, wasabi cream, pomelo, pear, brown shrimp cracker by @ArtichokeChef Laurie Gear of the Artichoke Restaurant.

Devika, on my Facebook Business Page, commented, “Can i be your assistant…hold your camera…case…tripod anything. on your next foodie shoot?” I get such requests, messages and emails regularly, so I thought I would share my reply to Devika here on the blog as well.

Hey Devika Narain Mathur 🙂 This wasn’t a “foodie shoot” – I was covering a three-day Gastronomy Summit and I have more photos of the Chefs than the food. [ Just to give you an insight, there was no tripod, no case, no assistant. The above has been photographed in a very large ballroom sized room that was being used to plate the food. The room had dim yellow lighting and very high ceilings but almost every object in the room was white. I had my 24-70 2.8 lens on the D800 and the SB600 as on-camera flash, that I bounced to left, slightly bottom of the frame above. It bounced off the next table that had a white tablecloth and created some gorgeous light. ] There were dozens of people milling around, plating the food, waiters carrying the food to guests, hotel managers directing the flow of the food, the chefs overseeing everything etc. This was photographed in a 10-second window before the food was picked up from the table by one of the waiters. [ That’s another reason why there really is no space for an additional photographer / assistant – everyone just wants to do their thing and I was an intruder who was in their way although they will probably never say it to my face. ] Also, I avoid working with assistants because it spoils me. In my head, I should be able to produce good imagery on my own, should be able to handle my gear, should be able to do post-processing, etc. There probably are instances where I might need an assistant but I have not experienced any of those instances yet. If I did, I would probably ask a friend [ who is not a photographer ] to help me out. For me, personally, an assistant needs to be someone I can trust blindly & can order around if I need something – I will not be comfortable with a stranger.