Food photography in Spain: El Portal del Echaurren, Ezcaray, La Rioja

Food Photography in Spain | El Portal del Echaurren Ezcaray - James Sturcke Photographer | sturcke.org

Food photography in Spain is one of the great perks of working in this country. There are 15 new dishes this year at Ezcaray’s two-Michelin star restaurant El Portal del Echaurren, and I’ve had the pleasure to photograph and then sample them! Chef Francis Paniego has continued with his theme of using out-of-fashion animal cuts in surprising and original ways. For example, the “razor clams” are actually pigs’ tendons.

Francis says he has brightened up some of the offal dishes and it’s true that the lamb sweetbreads and the bloody risotto are a visual delight! A recent trip to Mexico made him think about how to incorporate paprika, which is used lots in Riojan cooking, with chocolate and the result brings joy to any photographer’s eyes!

The great thing about photographing at the Portal is that there is abundant natural light so you really see the dishes as they are. This time, apart from our classic shots, we also shot lots of the dishes from above, in part to add variation to the portfolio and also to show them really well on the plate.