Photographer snaps up top award with ‘slightly bonkers’ visions of restaurant recipes

A floating sea of tuna, vegetable foam and glistening seafood (Photo: The Electric Eye Photography)

THEY look like beautiful pieces of modern art which should be hanging in a national gallery.


In fact, they are photos of food pictured so creatively they have just won Christchurch-based David Nash a Photographer of the Year award.

David was commissioned by the owner of Verveine restaurant in Milford, David Wykes, to illustrate a recipe book of the same name, which was released earlier this year.

Mr Nash said: “Usually it would be a case of setting up a photo of what the food looks like once you’ve followed the recipe.

“But in this case David gave me full rein to do what I wanted, which was just brilliant for me. David is very artistic in his flavours and ideas so we really worked well together.”

The result is a set of pictures which really impressed judges of the Fortnum and Mason 2019 awards. He was presented with his award at a ceremony in London held at the famous shop and attended by Prince Charles, Dame Judi Dench and Mary Berry.

A yellow dream of squash (Photo: The Electric Eye Photography)

Mr Nash, who runs photography company the Electric Eye, was presented with his award by Strictly Come Dancing star Claudia Winkleman.

Judge of the photography section David Loftus said of Mr Nash’s win: “He is a worthy winner. He was the only entrant to submit work of a consistently high quality. His images are dynamic and exciting, cleverly framed and at times slightly bonkers!”

A vivid blue seafood soup (Photo: The Electric Eye Photography)

Mr Nash’s take on Verveine’s dishes sees squid floating across a blue tinged ‘sky’ surrounded by daubs of vibrant-coloured vegetable foam, a ring of octopus lying on a sparkling silver circle, a bowl full of vivid seafood soup, and a beach of jewelled desserts.

“Working on the book was so inspiring and refreshing for me because normal food photography is often shooting what the customer is going to order,” said Mr Nash.

“But I could really use my creativity this time. I used illuminated dishes, marble slabs, even the tables that David has at the restaurant as backgrounds to the food.”

“A few of the images have been photo shopped but the majority have been created with lighting, backgrounds, things like that, but they aren’t just pretty pictures.

“They are photos of David’s recipes and the book is very usable. It’s not meant to be something to be just looked at.”

A silver star of shellfish (Photo: The Electric Eye Photography)

The photographer added he was “absolutely thrilled” to win the award saying: “The ceremony was an astonishing event. Everybody who is anybody in the industry was there.

“It was a real accolade to be given the title Food Photographer of the Year and it has opened up the opportunity to work with more people in that field.”

A circle of octopus against a ring of silver (Photo: The Electric Eye Photography)

Verveine owner and chef David Wykes said of the win: “Congratulations to my Electric Eye friend on winning best food photographer! It’s always a amazing to work with my great friend, his talent speaks for itself.”