I have come to consider myself a creative professional working in the arena of food. Although I’m probably best known as a photographer, my parallel occupations include a copywriter, food critic, journalist and restaurateur. I’ve owned and run four restaurants - most notably The Table at De Meye which was named Eat Out’s country style restaurant of the year in 2011.
I’ve conceptualised and consulted on the design of food retail spaces and built wood-fired ovens. Basically if it’s creative and food-related it’s going in my sling-bag. In 2014 I entered a joint venture with Jacana Media and formed a little coobook publishing business called RWF and have produced a number of titles with them. I continue to cherry-pick photographic assignments while consulting on food projects from restaurant openings to website architecture and content.
My first grown-up job was as a copywriter in 1991 in a Durban advertising agency, where I worked on the launch of Ola ice cream in South Africa for Unilever. Since then I’ve written copy for numerous FMCG food products, re-designed Everfresh Market which was to become Foodlover’s Market, run a cigar bar called Cuban Pete’s, a sushi bar called Tokyo Joe’s, opened an award-winning restaurant with my wife called The Table at De Meye, followed by Overgaauw Restaurant. In amongst all of this, I’ve photographed and/or written 17 cookbooks, contributed food images to every major South African Magazine from Taste and Fair Lady to Visi. My work has been sold to (or I have been commissioned by) foreign titles such as BBC Olive, Essen & Trinken and Brigitte.
As a commercial photographer, I have shot images that have appeared on the packaging of products for Woolworths. There were some others, like I&J, Knorr, Unilever, Mars and the like, but there was a period of 3 years or so where I did little other than shoot editorial stories for food magazines, and handle food packaging work for Woolworths.
Somewhere in there, I managed to build two wood fired ovens and become pretty good at using them. Slight digression, but another avenue of food exploration akin to reading about everything to do with food from the Omnivore’s Dilemna, to the history of how Cod fishing shaped the modern world.
See? The lines were always converging. Food. The love, pursuit, consumption, presentation, documentation of food is my thing.