Cineleisure's Next Online Sensation 3, Challenge #2 - The NomNom Challenge

In challenge 2 of Cineleisure's Next Online Sensation 3 all contestant will be working in teams, each given a role to play to prepare Charlie Brown Cafe signature dessert. Chef representative from our group "SiHui" will be acquiring skill passed down by Chef Nicole from Charlie Brown Cafe then recreate the dessert.

Team 8 featuring SiHui, Serene and ShiXin (left to right)


Before all the chef representative from each group start making their own pancake they will have a chance to see a demonstration as well as being taught by Chef Nicole on how create the prefect pancake, representative chef will then be given 2 attempt to recreate the pancake.

In a photographer point of view I have totally no idea of how does the chef feel but as usual when shooting events I do face some difficulties in getting the best and natural shot. Judging by the photograph as seen below in SiHui's attempts I feel that cooking a pancake is not as simple as it seem, we do need some skills and practices to get the right shape and texture. Luckily the batter is already pre-prepared if not I think the competition will be even tougher.

Chef Nicole in the making of signature dessert from Charlie Brown Cafe

SiHui aka Akemi 1st attempt

SiHui aka Akemi 2nd attempt


Food that is well presented will make people impossible to resist, here are some tips on food presentation:
  • Choosing the correct shapes and colours of plates will enchant the overall appearance of the dish.
  • Make use of the sauce to form a design to make it look more appealing.
  • Take in consideration of how you want the food to be served.

I am happy to see the big improvement on SiHui's 2nd and also the last attempt, good job!

Food with a good presentation is not enough, we also have to ensure that it is well cooked so that consumer can enjoy both beauty and taste. Chef Nicole did a check on the inner of the pancake and YES we have passed her standard and also scored 80 out of 100.

Food styling and photography

Dining is not just about eating any-more, taking a picture of food before meals has become a culture and plays a big role in life that most people have adapted unknowingly.(I am one of them, haha)

The best shot:
I was telling SiHui that for food photography it will be good to bring some table cloth for decoration purpose so that the result will be better compared to using the original table texture. I was so glad that she put my suggestion into consideration and bought along some cloth and tape, if not this shot wouldn't look so cute and appetizing.

It doesn't matter if you are taking photography as a leisure, a amateur photographer, a professional photographer or even a cell-phone-o-grapher, I believe that food photography is a skill that all foodie have to acquire so that they can deliver the best mouth watering mouth image.

IMPORTANT things/rules to take note when doing Food Photography:
  • Exposure - I always choose the seat with the best lighting when dining in and try to avoid using flash whenever I am shooting as it will be too harsh for the subject. Natural lighting is always the best, when there is a need to use flash I will try to diffuse my flash light to get a more natural lighting.
  • Styling - If food served to you seems unattractive do something to it. Keep the plate clean by wiping off any unsightly drip of food. Item around you may also be the best props to use for example: serviette, cutlery or even business card. 
  • Composition - Try different angle when shooting, always to avoid angle where you always look at the food as especially looking down from your eye to the table at 45 degree. When in doubts shoot overhead.(Top to bottom view)
  • Depth of Field - Get close to the food in-order to capture more details. Play around with F stop(aperture) when shooting with camera that comes with manual option. For touch screen device, tap on the subject to focus on it then it will auto defocus the background, tap until you are satisfied of the focus outcome. 
  • Post Process - Don't just use the image as it is, make some minimal image adjustment(level and contrast) after shooting using provided/downloaded computer software or mobile applications. 
There are many rules to abide in different kind of photography, above rules are most recommended for food photography and I do hope that my tips will come in handy for you in future :) Thank you for reading.

Charlie Brown Cafe
8 Grange Road #04-01
Cathay Cineleisure Orchard
Singapore 239695
Tel: +65 6836 5344
Fax: +65 6547 4735