I met Adina on one of my trips to Romania, a country that fascinated me not only by its beautiful scenery, but mostly with friendly and kind-hearted people. I personally like to meet creative people and talk to them about what led them to the idea of what they are doing, about their dreams and what drives them. Adina was very willing to share her “know how” and also her photos were very inspiring. Her photos are not only aesthetically very impressive but you can almost feel the smell of desserts prepared when you look at them.
Adina is a talented 28 year old photographer from Bucharest (Romania). She studied PR and Marketing. She’s currently working on some small PR projects. She makes the desserts menu for a cute bistro in Bucharest. She loves cinema, photography and of course food. All her hobbies are combined in a project called “Pancake Planet.” We made an interview for you about what is behind the idea of this interesting project and what or who inspires her and giving her the strenght to continue and to create.
Why did you start with the project and how did it get it’s name?
At some point in my life I was getting tired of the bad food that is served in our restaurants. I am a bit fussy when it comes to food, especially desserts, so I started making my own. I had the chance to cook some pancakes for many people at some events and that’s how Pancake Planet was born.
You prepare your own desserts moreover you take photos of them by yourself. How did you get to photography and what is the main idea of the project?
The project is not only about food but also about photography. My boyfriend is a photographer and he taught me a lot about this new domain so I started to make food photography. I love dark, claroscuro photos, so I tried to combine this style with my dishes, I think made the right choice. Somehow this type of photography, using the natural light, makes me think about flemish paintings that I love so much.
You mentioned flemish paintings composed on dark background very similar to your photos. If there is someone, who inspires you in your work?
I really love Linda Lomelino’s work, she was basically the first dark food photographer that I discovered on instagram and I fell in love with her photos and recipes. My boyfriend even bought me one of her books, she inspired me a lot in my work, you can check her profile here:https://www.instagram.com/linda_lomelino/
I also get inspired by Vermeer’s work, he is my favorite painter. I had the chance to see some of his works in real life. I love his realism, the beauty of the colors, the way he uses light, the everyday life scenes that he choses to show in his works, and in almost all of them there is a window on the left side. I also have a window on the left side when I am taking pictures. It means we both love natural light.
I know you like to travel, not only within Romania, but all around Europe. Did you bring some inspirations for the recepies from abroad? What interesting ‘pieces’ did you find there?
The thing that I like the most when I travel is to eat, to go to local restaurants and try new types of dishes. I’ve noticed that when I go to a new place I always look for the Chinese and Korean restaurants. I just love this kind of food, and usually it is cooked by chinese and korean cooks. Even when I was in Rome I ate a lot of thai and chinese food, and I found the most delicious pizza and tiramisu in the most hidden places. I always take a lot of ingredients from a lot of places. I bought spices for souvlaki, a lot of pistachio, even feta cheese from Greece or lemon curd, peri peri sauce and some weird lotus cookies from UK. And when I get home I always try the local recipes from the place I’ve been. This way I made a delicious tiramisu, yummy pizza and pasta, I also love the Portuguese dessert called pasteis de nata. I made it at home, but I hope to taste it some day in Portugal.
You combine two of your hobbies, photography and food, in this project. But you also love the movies, like you said. Do you plan to combine making food or desserts with the other forms of presentation except photography
I am glad you asked me about movies. I am thinking about making or better said remaking some desserts from some movies like that amazing dessert from Wes Andreson’s Grand Budapest Hotel and not only remaking the dessert but also the entire set up. I know, it’s a lot of work but I hope, I can make it happen some day. I would like to make some short videos, but not the classical ones with the step by step recipe but some sort of stop motion videos, telling a story regarding the dessert, a video that makes you feel something else, not only the tremendous desire to eat.
What is the greatest dream of yours and what are you doing to achieve it?
I promised myself to post a photo with my food each day. These will keep me doing recipes almost every day and pictures as well. I think it is important to have this kind of rule, let’s say, this challenges me to try different recipes every day, to look for ideas and get inspired. This way I hope to improve my technique, my cooking, my photography skills and maybe some day to open my own small bistro, a very relaxed one, with an open kitchen, great food and atmosphere.
Do you have some personal motto, quote which helps you to go further?
Yep, I also have a motto, because I love making cakes so much, it belongs to Julia Child and it sounds like this: ‘A party without cake is just a meeting’.
What are your next plans? Are you working on some new project?
I started a website where I put my recipes and photos, hope to make soon some complex photo shootings with my food, to find artists that make plates and all sorts of props that I can include in my settings and I also want to shoot more outdoors because for the moment I only make indoor photos.