Veronica LePinske is a Chicago-based freelance photographer and writer specializing in food. She styles, photographs, and writes all content for her website, A Cook's Canvas, which she founded while living in Europe.
A self taught aspiring Chef, Veronica studied the recipes and techniques of renowned Chefs such as Jöel Robuchon, Thomas Keller, Hubert Keller, Eric Ripert, and Jean-George Vongerichten, among others. She returned to her home city of Chicago in 2013.
1. A Cook's Canvas, your awesome blog covers fun topics ranging from recipes, food photography, restaurants, chefs, travels. What are your absolute favorite categories or topics to write about?
Well my favorite topic to write about is food, but my passion is for cooking, the making of food. I grew up watching my mom and grandmothers cook in their kitchens and though they didn’t talk about it, I could see the love they put into their work and I recognize that same passion in the chefs I photograph, the way they skillfully prepare each dish for their diners as if they were serving family. There is so much more detail in restaurant cooking and I love trying to capture that in my work at home. My photos are a way to capture that passion and preserve the details, and when I see a beautiful plate I can’t stop clicking the shutter.
2. Your site has been around and thriving for years. What are some of the major factors has contributed to the success and long staying power of the site?
A large segment of my readership are those who cook for a living or work in the food service industry; though I dream of one day joining their ranks, I think there is a certain interest from those who enjoy my writing about the profession from an outsider's perspective. The other half of my work is writing about the dishes that I cook and style in my own kitchen, hopefully making them more accessible to home cooks, helping them with wine pairings, cocktails, ingredients, products, and other details that make for a better meal at home.
3. I understand you've covered large culinary events like Michelin Star, the Food Network annual concert and Bon Appetit magazine’s Chicago Gourmet, how does it feel to cover such large prestigious events and how do you typically prepare?
It is always an honor to attend these prestigious events, they serve as my compass in choosing who and what to write about. I always prepare by researching the Chefs and their menus intensely; memorizing resumes and menus as well as I can, I trust that chance and opportunity will lead me to my next piece. Having a constant awareness of who is cooking, where they are cooking, and what they are cooking is key to my business and allows me to focus on exceptional styles and locations, to draw out interesting bits about each Chef and restaurant I cover.
4. I read your article about the time you lived in Germany. It sounds wonderful. It looks like you also learned to cook French, German and Italian cuisine - which cuisine do you like best and why?
That's an easy question! Though I love many cuisines, my favorite is definitely French. Classical French cuisine can be divided into two styles; simple, rustic comfort foods that have been handed down from generation to generation, and the rich, decadent dishes that evolved locked away in the private kitchens of wealth and royalty, then liberated during the French revolution when private Chefs were free to open their own restaurants and started cooking these masterpieces for the people. Woven into the history of modern French cuisine is the taste of freedom and liberty.
5. In terms of travel or events, what are you looking forward to for the rest of 2016 and beyond?
I look forward to working more closely with the events that I cover, to deepen my involvement with the organizations I promote. I've also partnered with several manufacturers of fine kitchenwares and look forward to cooking and shooting with their products in the coming months. Hopefully, I'll be able to squeeze in another visit to Europe to assess new trends in cuisine that may come to our shores in the coming year.
How to Reach Veronica LePinske of A Cook's CanvasWebsite