Recently, I assisted on a motion shoot (defined as a video/film shoot) on location at someone’s very lovely home. These shoots can be challenging particularly when the kitchen is part of the set that they are shooting. In the past, I’ve had to prepare everything in advance and simply plate on location (on the floor, no less) but this was a much bigger production and we were provided a specially designed portable, professional kitchen! This portable kitchen was such a luxury because we were off on our own (no one bugging us) with 2 ovens, 1 upright freezer, 2 refrigerators a bakers rack and lots of counter space! And best of all, we had Air Conditioning because with two full-sized ovens running at 218° C (425° F), it can get pretty toasty inside!
This is an example of a prep area that is less than perfect because the kitchen was part of the set!
The story of this professional kitchen is rather interesting. The creator noticed that Food Stylists were usually provided less than satisfactory circumstances even though the food they were preparing was the hero of the shoot, so this guy took it upon himself to purchase a cube truck and convert it to a professional kitchen, he has two now and is as busy as ever! To be honest, we cannot thank him enough, it is such a luxury (compared to prepping on portable burners in the garage or on the lawn!)
These shoots take many people to run smoothly, there are the usual suspects: director, camera people, prop stylists, food stylist and all the support staff! It’s a pretty amazing thing to be a part of. We even had our own on-site caterers (called Craft Truck) who provided delicious food throughout the day; for example, shortly after 7am, there was a BLT sandwich, then a granola berry parfait, then smoked salmon on toast smeared with cream cheese and capers (that one, I couldn’t resist, the rest of the snacks, I passed on), followed by a hot lunch of grilled salmon, grilled whole chicken legs, pork tenderloin, several salads, steamed veg, potatoes, rice and beans and a variety of desserts, then around 5pm, snack sandwiches were passed around. We were definitely well fed! Coffee, juice and water were available all day long.
This is the exterior of our mobile professional kitchen. Fortunately, we were parked at the end of the driveway so we only had a short run to the set.
Our portable kitchen is ready for action. Sebastion was setting up the kitchen, complete with stand alone freezer, 2 glass door refrigerators, 2 full-sized ovens, 2 sinks, a bakers’ rack and A/C!
There were 3 food stylists for this shoot (one lead and two assistants). We were non-stop from 7am until after 5 all day!
The food on site was plentiful and we were never hungry or in need but this chilled soup would have been a lovely addition considering how sweltering hot it was that day. Let’s just say I had a lovely glow on all day, if you know what I mean!!!
This is a refreshing, chilled soup served on a hot, muggy day in the city and it’s very easy to prepare.
Chilled Apple, Cucumber and Coconut Soup
A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe
Makes 600 mL Soup
- 1 medium shallot (about 30 g), finely chopped
- 1 Granny Smith apple (about 175 g), cubed (reserve 1/4 for garnish, as pictured)
- 2 stalks celery (about 60 g), roughly chopped
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 1 cup vegetable stock (I used pea broth*)
- 1/3 English cucumber (about 65 g), roughly chopped.
- 2 tbsp coconut milk powder (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Sauté chopped shallots until translucent. Add celery, apple and vegetable stock, cook until softened (about 10 minutes), . Remove from heat and add the cucumber.
- Using an immersion blender, blend several minutes until smooth.
- Chill for several hours or make a day or two in advance.
- Serve cold and garnish with very thinly sliced apples. For other garnishes, please see notes.
A tasty and refreshing soup that is only lightly sweetened with apple flavour.
- The pea broth was the result of the liquid used to blanch freshly shelled peas and then I cooked the shells again, then strained the broth through a fine sieve.
- I chose not to strain this soup through a fine sieve because after I blended it for several minutes, I didn’t mind the final texture (some apple skin and cucumber skin, you can see how minute they are in the photos).
- The cucumber adds a piquant note, omit if you are adverse to such flavours.
- The apple flavour is very subtle but adds a lovely sweetness and tartness to the soup. I did not add sugar, but if you like a sweeter soup, consider using a sweet apple (like Gala) or adding coconut sugar in addition to the coconut milk powder.
- Consider garnishing with some crispy cooked bacon.
- This soup would be elevated if you garnished it with one large scallop caramelised in butter and drizzle with the scallop butter.
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