Where There’s Smoke
Through networking and coincidence, photographer Jody Horton landed a gig for a heroic new cookbook Smoke: New Firewood Cooking by celebrated chef Tim Byres. Jody first met Tim at a Southern Food Alliance meeting. Years later, Jody was dropping an assistant of his off in Dallas and realized that Tim’s restaurant “Smoke” was next door. Acting on a whim, Jody went in to speak with Tim. This simple act would lead to a job that took the better part of a year to complete.
After some back and forth, Tim and Jody agreed that Smoke would be the perfect project for them to collaborate on. Once he gained approval from book publisher Rizzoli, Jody was hired for the job.
The principle recipe photographs were created over a three week period, but Jody continued to photograph various “feasts” prepared by Tim for the following several months - including a Food & Wine pig roast in Austin, and a beef rib BBQ in Oxford, MS. In addition to creating a beautiful cookbook, camaraderie developed between the chef and the photographer: “Tim and I really became friends during this process. It was one of the most rewarding parts of the project,” says Horton. “We worked hard and glory was obtained.”
Food stylists Johanna Lowe and Kate LeSueur were central to the production, as was Tim’s assistant Brandy Spencer, who kept everyone on task. By the end of a year, Jody and his team had delivered over two hundred final images for Smoke, The book has received widespread praise since its release last year and was recently nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award!
Jody is currently shooting his tenth cookbook, and has no plans to slow down: “I love longer-form projects. They are a great balance to typical jobs that only last a day or so.”
To see more of Jody’s hunger-inducing imagery, head to his FoundFolios portfolio.