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May 20, 2012

Legato :: Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille

legato :: in a manner that is smooth and connected

Aran Goyoaga of  Cannelle et Vanille
by Jenny Doh

JD :: You have shared that Cannelle et Vanille honors the tastes and smells from your childhood. Tell us about that ... who cooked with cinnamon and vanilla during your childhood? Did you participate in the kitchen?
AG :: My grandparents owned a pastry shop (today it is run by my uncles and cousins) and there was always raw milk on the stove. Many pastries had pastry cream filling and I remember the scent of the cinnamon and vanilla steeping in milk. I did participate in the kitchen as much as I was allowed. I loved it.

JD :: Preparing and presenting food for people to enjoy has become such a creative outlet ... when did you know that preparing and presenting and sharing food would be your creative outlet? What was the dish (or dishes) that helped you experience the feeling of artistry and creativity?
AG :: I think I have always loved it. I can remember being as young as 11 or 12 and making the first salads for my family, always thinking about presentation. I loved to garnish soups too. I cannot pinpoint a particular dish that ignited that feeling of creativity through food, but it was probably desserts since I was surrounded by them everyday.
JD :: Along with the way you prepare food, you have captured the world's imagination in the way you photograph food with your exquisite photography. Tell us about how that happened. When did you first pick up a camera? When did you first start shooting food? When did these two experience really come together for you?
AG :: I actually never paid any attention to photography until I started my blog. I had always taken photos but the camera was a mere tool ...  didn't know how to really use it. I didn't understand light. When I started the blog however, I realized the need to make the food look as good as it tasted. I started learning and practicing on my own.
cannelle et vanille

JD :: You are from Spain. In what ways do you think food is regarded similarly and/or differently between people living in Spain and the United States?
AG :: In Spain food is embraced everyday. People really pay attention to the quality of ingredients for all meals, not only special occasions. It is also a culture where not only the food is important but also the time itself. For example, at lunch time people always sit down for lunch. No exceptions. Everything stops for lunch and it is not only 30 minutes but sometimes 2 hours. This is a daily affair.
cannelle et vanille

JD :: You have shared that the Canon 5D is your current favorite camera. Tell us about some of your favorite lenses.
AG :: I shoot mostly with the 100mm macro 2.8 IS and the 24-70mm 2.8
JD :: Years ago, before you had Cannelle et Vanille ... did you imagine that things would evolve the way that they have? Was it your intent to become a leader of food and photography or was it something that just happened without a specific path that you built?
AG :: First of all, you are very kind, but I am far from a leader in food and photography. I have lots to learn still and I like to think that way. Having said that, I never would have imagined that things would have turned out this way. It's a dream.
JD :: Are your children adventurous eaters? Do they eat everything that you prepare for them?
AG :: My oldest who is 5 1/2 used to be a great eater until he turned 3 then he be and very picky. He has a very sensitive taste to textures and spices. My daughter, who is 2, will try anything. Keeping fingers crossed that it will not change.
Cannelle et vanille

JD :: What is your favorite meal of the day? ... do you enjoy that meal alone or in the company of others?
AG :: I love all meals but perhaps breakfast is my favorite. I cannot function without it. I most enjoy meals in the company of others. I take more time to savor foods when I am with people.
JD :: Finish this sentence: "People may not realize that the best food ..."
AG :: ... is not always the most expensive or exclusive.
JD :: This week, if you were allowed an extra 2 hours to be inserted into your days ... would you want those extra hours inserted in the mornings, the afternoons, or in the late evenings?
AG :: Oh I would love 2 more hours of sleep in the mornings.. Sleep deprived.
cannelle et vanille
JD :: Aside from all that you do ... is there any other activity that you consider to be a creative outlet for you like drawing or painting or any other type of artwork?
AG :: My father and brother are painters and they always wanted to me to start painting. I never had a true interest but I think that is changing. Painting is something that I definitely want to try soon.
JD :: Think fast and say a word or two when I say:
  • fennel :: fragrant
  • red :: one of my favorite colors
  • Madrid :: airport to go home
  • yogurt :: sheep's milk
  • daughter :: love
  • flash :: never use it
  • thread :: hands
  • moon :: pink (nick drake's pink moon)
  • tangles :: my hair
  • car seat :: bulky necessity 
  • eggshells :: colorful 
  • gluten :: makes me sick
JD :: I'm excited to know that your first cookbook will be released later in the year. Could you tell us a bit about it? What sort of recipes will the book be offering?
AG :: Yes the book will be released October 23. It is called Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family's Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking. It is 120 naturally gluten-free recipes divided by seasons. There are the savory small plates inspired by that style of eating in the Basque Country where I am from and my favorite sweet treats from years of baking. It is full of my photography and styling, as well as personal stories.
small plates and sweet treats
JD :: You have entered the world of teaching workshops on food styling and photography. What do you think the most important thing is for someone who enters your class or anyone else's class in terms of getting the most out of these types of experiences?
AG :: First it's important to know the basics of your camera. Then also make a list of specific things you want learn. It's great to come prepared with questions.
Aran Goyoaga
JD :: Is there a food that you used to dislike that you now really like?
AG :: When I first came to the US, I really disliked root beer. It tasted like medicine to me. But someone gave me a homemade root beer not long ago and it actually enjoyed it.

All photos courtesy of Aran Goyoaga. Learn more at www.cannellevanille.com


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Where does she find all that patterned silverware/ plastic-ware??

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