Holger Obenaus photographs Delaney Oyster House
Just as cooking is nothing short of an art form so, too, is capturing chefs’ creations on camera. Food photography is often pegged as the most challenging form of product photography because it not only requires a keen eye, impeccable timing, and sharp skill, but also a detail-driven approach to the angles of each and every dish.
All of the above were required of Holger Obenaus when he photographed the delightful (and delicious!) Delaney Oyster House for the Spring 2020 edition of Charleston Style & Design.
Located at the heart of the Charleston city center in a charming 19th century home, the restaurant riffs on aquatic favorites, paying homage to the tradition of the oyster house but with a Latin American and Caribbean twist.
The creations sent out by James Beard Award-nominated chef Shamil Velazquez are a medley of texture, flavor, and color. And, Holger was there to catch every mouthwatering bite of the culinary compositions — from a unique paddlefish caviar puff topped with French fries, to the richness of grilled mahi-mahi paired with crispy sunchokes, chicken jus, and grapefruit, and an artful octopus escabeche with squid ink chicharron, scented by orange peel.
Ferran Adria once said: Great food is designed to be tasted with all five senses. So is my photography! —Holger Obenaus
Rice likewise enters an alternate dimension when made with blue crab, sofrito, sorrel, and crab roe — photographed in all its classic glory — while poached lobster and raw, briny oysters look so fresh you could snatch them from the page.
Lest you think it’s all savory and no sweet, the hummingbird cake drumstick will promptly resolve those concerns — captured in its prime with nary a melt or drip.
It all looks too pretty to eat — almost.
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