Working with Max Tucci is an unforgettable experience. His charisma and joie de vivre is intoxicating. I had the great fortune to be a part of his world for a few amazing weeks.
The project was his cookbook, the Delmonico Way (Rizzoli Publications fall of 2022). As the recipes started to fill my inbox, specialty ingredients ordered, I embarked on my mission to bring Max’s passion, his homage to his family and legacy, to life.
Prior to even thinking about the shoot, recipes needed to be tested, tweaked, and envisioned for photography. My days were consumed and my kitchen smelled amazing! When the book is launched I will definitely share my favorites, one recipe made its debut on my Thanksgiving table!
Max assembled a team that would become family. Our talented and quiet photographer, Jennifer Arce, arcephotography.com, captured the feel of The Delmonico drama and elegance, exquisitely. Myself and my sweet, funny, Brooklyn accented assistant, Phyllis. Becky Diamond, beckydiamond.com, food/dining/restaurant historian. For more than a week, together, we laughed, we ate, we played, I swear we worked too!
Max brought a dazzling array of dishes and accessories that had been in Delmonico’s Restaurant in Manhattan throughout the decades. Each recipe was discussed, dishes and props were chosen and the work began.
After preparing the recipe, careful attention was made in plating and staging, to both capture the deliciousness of the food and the decadence that is The Delmonico Way. When everyone was satisfied that the perfect shot was executed, nothing went to waste and the food was sampled by all!
Following the shoot, we all still keep in touch. I’ve continued to provide my recipe notes as questions and specifics arise from the editor. Jennifer and I recently worked together on another project, it was a pleasure to see her work her magic with frozen fish this time!