Photographer Elle Muliarchyk captured a fashionable transformation of what is called "The Darwin Diet" based on the fact that Charles Darwin used to eat every living animal crossing his way.
This shooting took place at the Sauce Restaurant in New York City. Read what the Restaurant's chef has to say about food photography and the difference between taste and reality after the jump.
My family traveled around the world and I grew up on the Darwin Diet, which involves eating and tasting every living creature in nature. (Apparently Charles Darwin was so keen on tasting the species he discovered that while he sailed back
to England he ate 48 rare tortoises that were meant to be “donated to science.” He also liked armadillo and puma. While he was a student at Cambrige University he was an enthusiastic member of the Gourmet Club formed by a small group of friends. Know as the “Glutton Club,” they met once a week to sample meals not found on menus, including hawk, bitten, and an “indescribable” old brown owl. Not too far behind Darwin, I ate brains of just-killed monkeys and pizzettes topped with scorpions in Vietnam. In Indonesia I tried birds’ nest soup, which is made of the bird’s saliva, sticks and pieces of dirt. We hunted wild boar in Belarus and ate its tongue, heart, and made blood sausages using the intestines. I went to Robinson Crusoe camp in the Baltics where I learned how to tenderize my leather shoes and belt, cut them into paper-thin slices, and eat them for survival. I loved learning about the these crazy diets and the cultures they come from. But at 16 years old “Diet” acquired a different meaning to me. I came to the U.S. and became a model. I ate celery sticks, almost exclusively, for the next eight years while discovering Atkins, Okinawa, Raw, Glycemic Index, Blood Type, and Microbiotic diets. For the first time in my life I saw people treating diet as a fashion trend and status symbol.
"All food photography is a lie, so it helps to start shooting with some basic truths. Chefs create three dimensional art for all five senses. A photo speaks only with two dimensions, leaving the rest up to the viewer's imagination. Many don't realize that half of taste is expectation based on what they see. Most cannot name a single flavor without their vision, yet they have no idea how their food visually starts out.
When we shot this series, we began with the Sauce concept of honoring whole animals and practicing total utilization. We then thought of how to represent it and bring it into the collective visual memory of every eating experience.
Our food usually comes to us in unrecognizable parts—parts that we cannot usually trace. The whole, on the other hand, tells us everything we need to know. It visually and emotionally connects us with our prey. Some parts are recognizable only when seen in their full context. The world often lies to us through partial presentation that, in reality, can only be understood as a whole.
I feel this shoot is a very important metaphor for what should always be seen, prepared, and evaluated as a whole: our food."