Last June, I received a call from Melissa Gray, a producer at NPR's All Things Considered. She was in the end stages of writing a cookbook and needed some photographs of her at work in the kitchen and at NPR. The book came out of her attempt to bake a new cake for her colleagues at ATC every Monday for a whole year, which she succeeded in doing.
What followed was a fun series of Sunday afternoon shoots as I documented her baking a variety of cakes. Her galley kitchen was just about large enough for one person to stand comfortably, so I ended up lighting most of the kitchen with some lights I set up outside pointing in, while constantly moving to stay out of her way as she baked. The best part of each shoot was coming home with some samples of the cakes I watched being made that day.
The book came out in October and I was thrilled to get my copy recently that includes my baking photos and some fabulous cake photography from Annabelle Breakey. While I'm biased, I think the book is worth it just for the two forewords, written by Robert Siegel (who did not eat any of Melissa's cakes in an effort to keep to his diet), and the rebuttal foreword, written by Steve Inskeep who begins,
"Robert Siegel is a respected colleague, a perfect companion, a great reporter, and the Walter Cronkite of our time- the man who informs me who's winning on election night. Is that enough flattery for me to get away with calling him a dang fool? How could he not sample the cakes described in this book?"
In any case, my copy already has some chocolate stains on it from my baking The Naughty Senator (Peppermint and Chocolate Rum Marble Cake) which turned out amazingly well, and I have my eye on the Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pattie Cake next.