Saturday, December 06, 2008

Snap, Crackle and Pop

Breakfast In The Embrace Of Snowy Mountains


Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


When you're in a place as beautiful as the Yukon, all that matters is the scenery, the landscapes, the wilderness and the mountains. You're in rugged territory. The last thing on your mind is fine dining. In a place as awe-inspiring as this, it really does not matter what you eat. Appetite and how you sustain it are purely incidental.

But there is one place where you can certainly find gourmet dining. I first stayed at The Raven in 1999, when I was in the town of Haines Junction. I spent a fair bit of time chatting to the German couple who not only owned it, but had actually created it.

Hans and Christine Nelles put a certain unbridled passion into The Raven. Hans told me about how he was one of the people who actually built this dream project from the ground up, with a propane heater to shield him from the mind-numbing cold of his surroundings.


When I was invited back there a few weeks ago by Yukon Tourism, I was delighted to find Haines Junction on my itinerary and yes, I even got my old room, with its view of the mountains.

And let me assure you that the kitchen still turns out dishes that would do a major hotel chain proud. There are still crisp white linen tablecloths. The cutlery looks as if it has just been polished. The crockery is fine china. And the glasses are so well presented that you can photograph a landscape in the reflection on their pristine surface.

I took these shots at breakfast, when I spent time talking to the chef, Victor Bongo. His passion for his craft is deep-rooted and he told me of his dream to write a recipe book. It's not just an armchair project, either. He has already started photographing the dishes in order to present the whole concept to a publisher.

If a chef has such an appetite for his work, it figures that everyone who comes through the door of his restaurant is going to enjoy what is served. I hope Victor's book is coming along well and that he never says he has too much on his plate!


PS: If you're wondering why I took this last shot, which seems to be in very soft focus, look closely at the surface of the knife. You'll see that the reflection of the glass on the surface of the knife blade is what I've concentrated on.

Visit TNChick, creator of Photo Hunt. Today's theme: "Breakfast".


30 comments:

mommaof4wife2r said...

love love love this! and the last shot...great set up thru the lens!!!

Jay @halftime lessons said...

Nice pictures...I love to do that sort of thing as well.

Nice PhotoStory Friday!!

Jay

PS...do you know that your word verification is on? You can easily turn it off...
I wrote about how to do it here...

mrsnesbitt said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
The white wine looks very nice for later tonight!

lmerie said...

Those are fun pics!

I agree with Mrs Nesbitt. . .mmmm white wine tonight! :)

Sandi McBride said...

I could sit and drink in the beauty of the table setting...but I'd have to eat eventually, so I'm glad to know that there's taste...and then there's taste!
Sandi

Maggie May said...

I love it! So pristine and clean looking. I was just envisaging the state it would be in, if my grandchildren were dining there! Not that they have no manners or anything, but things have been known to get spilt!

Queen-Size funny bone said...

I love a good table setting. I don't even care if I eat anything as long as it looks pretty.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

When I saw that reflection in the knife blade, I thought that's what you were trying to capture, and a very good capture it is. Loved the snowy mountain china with its decorative border. I'm always amazed at just how decorative white china can be. I have some pieces of a pattern called Nantucket Basket, and Wedgwood's artistry in depicting just that in some of the serveware is a master stroke.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Lovely, these remind me of Merisi's lovely images...

Daryl said...

Done very tastefully....

:-Daryl

Gretchen said...

What a super series of shots! I never would have thought of photographing the place settings like this! Now I can't wait to go out for dinner again. Of course, does McDonalds count as fine dining? :)

French Fancy said...

It's a hard life, eh. David?

I love a good restaurant.

Leslie: said...

These are beautiful shots and I looked for the reflections before you even mentioned them. Do I know you now??? lol

By the way, I love your title - made me think of the other night when both of "us" got up from the sofa and we ended up laughing about how our "old" bodies are sounding like Rice Krispies now. LOL

Craig Glenn said...

Awesome photo's. I love the reflection in the knife... I picked up on that right away. Glad you explained it, my eyes were there right away. Must be a great feeling when you get exactly what you were shooting for!

Thanks again for visiting my blog. Your comments are valuable to me.

Craig

The Muse said...

We are headed that way and I can barely wait!

Kelli @ Gohn Crazy said...

Great pictures. I saw the reflection in the knife immediately.

cheshire wife said...

The table looks immaculate. Far too good for breakfast cereal.

Dr.John said...

Very nice pictures and great naration.

humanobserver said...

Beautiful snaps indeed......

The W.O.W. factor said...

I noticed that instantly in the knife handle, before I read your words! It reflected the vision, the atmosphere perfectly!
Now if I was a traveling sort, I'd put this place top on my itinerary.
My life's dream is to go to the Yukon!
Thank you for sharing.

Colin Campbell said...

Very nice. We just don't do elegance in our daily lives like we used to.

Shrinky said...

Oh, that final shot is esquisite, such an eye you have young man!

Hilary said...

Ahh the glass stem's reflection did indeed catch my eye immediately. Wonderful shot.

The difference between a good meal and a great meal is the love that goes into it. You can taste that better than any other ingredient. I'll bet the meals are incredible there.

Moannie said...

You are the master! Salaam.

i beati said...

For some unknown reason my mind went flashing back to the elegant means with heavy silver and glassware and linens aboard the trains..Why ?/Maybe a memory I love..sk

gen/entry said...

I like also your entries David good job. happy weekend.

marcia@joyismygoal said...

so lovely... those are the type of presentations I like to do

Aileni said...

Yes, not exactly badger stripes but the name might have been better for her character than Bandit. She was mad enough when young. As it was she could Badger people with very threatening behaviour so much so that when we left the island we worried but she mellowed into a sweet old lady.

Judi "Jlo" Moran said...

Lovely photos, David. Some of my favorite subjects in others' and my photos: simple, ordinary, everyday objects.
You have brought these everyday objects into clarity and in so doing have expressed their lyrical qualities.
Enjoyed this piece on the restaurant and the owners and your dining experience there sounds and looks like an oasis in time.
Jlo

Louise said...

The photos are wonderful. They caught my attention as I was speeding through trying to catch up (again). I want to go there!