In the kitchen with Wolfgang Puck and Alain Ducasse

by White on Rice Couple on March 20, 2013

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

It’s been a while since this incredible evening happened, but thanks to a few nudges from you guys, we reached back into our archives for the images. What would we do without you amazing people? You keep us in check and encourage us to post regularly. Thank you for that.

You see, we were asked to photograph a private dinner party at Hotel Bel Air’s signature restaurant in Beverly Hills. When the  request for a quote came in, we thought it would be a cool evening to shoot under the stars in one of LA’s most talked about historic hotels. We’ve shot all throughout Los Angeles’s prized restaurant jewels, so this seemed like one of our typical evenings of photography work.

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

The photo assignment included all the usual requests that an art director and photo editor would need to have. But then when there was the mention for portrait shots of Puck and Ducasse, we did a double take.

Alain Ducasse? Wolfgang Puck? Private Dinner Event. Ok, now this was something really special. That meant having to actually get dressed up (even as photographers), iron some wrinkled clothes, shine our shoes and strap up with our cameras for an incredible evening.

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

And what an incredible evening it was. Wolfgang Puck’s signature restaurant at Hotel Bel Air was having a special dinner event with special guest Chef Alain Ducasse. Both chefs are friends, both are respected in their profession, and both have an incredible sense of humor. All that, along with some fantastic food, wine, company, conversation and photographs made this one our the most fun photographic evenings we’ve ever been a part of.

Why we love our job so much is that much of our time is shooting in the field and on location. The talent, ranging from home cooks to established chefs, are always such a pleasure to work with. They bring us into their lives and allow us to capture those private, intimate and special moments that few get to experience.

Most importantly, they trust us to share and tell their story. That trust is a huge honor for us and we take our work very seriously.

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

So for this evening, we were requested to shadow both Chef Puck and Chef Ducasse during their time in the kitchen and with guests in the dining area. On top of that, our assignment was to capture food detail, restaurant detail, restaurant activity, motion, emotion, interaction, plating, staff activity, staff beauty shots, guest shots, guest activity………and the list goes on.

How did we do? We tried our best, shot like crazy, ran around property to capture every moment listed and made a lot of new friends. Then we made it home before midnight and passed out into a wonderful deep sleep.

Do we still love our job? Absolutely, positively, yes.

-diane and todd

Chefs Ducasse and Puck busy in the kitchen

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

Outdoor seating under the veranda. It was a beautiful afternoon.  Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

Guests have arrived and the evening is in full swing.

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

Chef Wolfgang Puck and Chef Alain Ducasse from White On Rice Couple

Todd hiding behind the door and Diane backed up against the wall! The End.

 

More Chef shoots:

 

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Miss Kim March 20, 2013 at 1:10 am

Beautiful pictures! Looks like an amazing time. Your photos say it all. I really love the outdoor pictures of the two chefs. They seem to be having so much fun in the photos. The photos of the plated dishes bring me back memories of when I used to work at the catering kitchens of Wolfgang Puck (doing One Time Events as a culinary student). The first time I met him, he was in tight leather pants and a T-shirt. I was still a little star struck at the time. I can feel and relate through the photos of the action taking place in the kitchen….the intensity, the hustle and bustle, the screaming, swearing, and all that other madness (and he has some mean chefs on his team)…all to create a perfect event to be remembered.

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2 Averie @ Averie Cooks March 20, 2013 at 4:42 am

Stunning images, and what an amazing, fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime event. I can only imagine how cool this was for you guys!

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3 Maria March 20, 2013 at 7:23 am

Wow! How fun! Thanks for sharing! Stunning images. So happy and proud of you guys! xoxo

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4 Angie @ Big Bear's Wife March 20, 2013 at 7:26 am

oh wow! Just beautiful! Just Beautiful! What a wonderful evening and the pictures that you capture make me feel like I was there!

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5 David March 20, 2013 at 7:27 am

great photos – always hard to catch chefs (and bartenders) in action because they’re always moving so fast : )

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6 Brian @ A Thought For Food March 20, 2013 at 7:56 am

Hot damn… what a night! This looks like the most marvelous evening. And you captured it so beautifully!

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7 Kelly March 20, 2013 at 7:59 am

AMAZING indeed!!! What an amazing opportunity and your photos are just perfect! :)

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8 Flavia March 20, 2013 at 7:59 am

You guys are stunning and amazing. Love you both!

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9 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious March 20, 2013 at 8:23 am

You guys are such an inspiration to me and seeing photographs like these push me to better my work. I’ve learned so much about photography since I started to blog and never knew I would love doing it so much! One question..when or what forms the decision to present a picture as a black and white? I love them but I’m never quite sure if it can be just any photograph/personal taste or if there’s a rule.
Thanks guys..

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10 White on Rice Couple March 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Hi Gerry, thanks for the kind words.
There are many, many situations that will warrant a photo to be edited in b & w and it depends if you’re asking from a paid perspective or a personal perspective. There really is no “rule”.
1. Client request- some of our clients specifically request black and white photographs. So those images are edited in black and white.
2. Composition, story and moment— some photo moments–particularly candid, intimate, documentary or photo-journalistic styles, look great b&w. And photo’s having strong story/composition are nice in b&w.
3. Personal taste/decision- some photo’s just resonate something special to the photographer, so for personal reasons, a photographer ( or editor) will edit in bw. And some photographers just love their work to be represented in b&w.
4. Bad lighting- some photographers might have a photo with bad white balance or lighting, so to save a bad photo, editing in b&w is an option for some editors.

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11 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious March 25, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Thanks for the detailed response, all great reasons to use b & w. Maybe it’s the calmness or the virginal presentation that pulls me in.
Take care :)

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12 thyme (sarah) March 20, 2013 at 9:02 am

The photos are terrific. I can only imagine the excitement and adrenaline rushing through those cameras. I love the first black and white photo…something about the seriousness…and his swirling hair! Any tips on what lenses you chose for the portrait shots?

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13 White on Rice Couple March 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Sarah- we’ll use various lenses for portrait work, depending on the size of the shooting space we have. Our favorite is the 85mm.

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14 Sophie March 20, 2013 at 9:16 am

Wow! These are some AMAZING shots! They really capture the moment and make me want to whip something up in the kitchen… So inspiring! You do your job so well.

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15 Emily March 20, 2013 at 11:35 am

I could look at these series of photos all day. They are not only exquisite but you caught some true emotion that evening. Beautiful.

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16 Eliza B March 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Stunning photographs. Really just beautiful. The food looks incredible. I hope you got to try some!

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17 Girish March 20, 2013 at 7:23 pm

It must be a great honor to photograph cooking maestros, portraits, in the kitchen and the entire party. Great work overall, wonderful pictures.

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18 Row March 20, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Wow, such gorgeous photos! :)

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19 Cathy/ShowFoodChef March 20, 2013 at 9:55 pm

You really captured the awe and awesome of this event. I can’t wait for your portrait workshop and learn from you, again. Just stunning work.

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20 Not Only Sugar March 21, 2013 at 2:34 am

Very good experience.. and beautiful photos!!!

Not Only Sugar

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21 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com March 21, 2013 at 8:05 am

Stunning images!! I love the photos of you both! Too cute :)

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22 Audra March 21, 2013 at 10:56 am

Thanks for sharing! A food lover’s dream! Adding this to my bucket list of food places to visit. It looks so beautiful.

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23 Julie Fay Ashborn March 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm

What an incredible experience that must have been! The photos are stunning. Thank you for sharing.

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24 Kristie V March 21, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Your photography is gorgeous! And I can’t imagine how much fun it must have been to be in the presence of those two amazing chefs. Did you get to taste the food?
P.S. I did get a laugh out of your interpretation of “dressed up”!!

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25 Bao March 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Love the way you guys tell the story with you wonderful images. Always so inspirational!

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26 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking March 22, 2013 at 4:18 pm

What an amazing treat and an honor. You captured the experience so beautifully! Thank you for sharing.

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27 SMITH BITES March 28, 2013 at 4:39 am

am so grateful readers nudged you to share these – moving, inspiring, powerful, memorable – storytelling at its finest – it’s what you do, it’s who you are

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28 Cookin Canuck April 9, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Absolutely amazing! You captured some images of the two chefs that seem to tell a story about their relationship…an ease, a friendship. Lovely.

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29 Roberta April 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Hi! I love the way these two men look in your photos… complicity?? is that the word…?
p.s. I also love the last two shots of the post, well done guys!
Roberta

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30 May July 24, 2013 at 9:17 am

You two are amazing photographers. I feel like I’m there =)

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