Disposable Camera Diaries: A Very Long, Very Serious Book Tour
Fabián von Hauske captures life on the road.
January 18, 2019 ● 6 min read
Photos by Fabián von Hauske
Because we like to live on the edge, we decided a fun thing would be to send out indestructible disposable cameras to industry people who seem like they have An Eye (you know how you can sort of sense that kind of thing?) and hope for the best.
On a cool Monday night last November, Fabián von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone, the chef duo from New York's Contra and Wildair, landed in San Francisco to toast A Very Serious Cookbook, their very first foray into publishing. In tow: Co-author and Queen of Making the Internet Lose Its Shit Over Stunning Recipes (see: #TheStew, #TheCookies) Alison Roman. A handful of local chefs rolled up to help sling food for the crowd, and somewhere in there, we pressed a schoolbus-yellow Kodak FunSaver Flash 35mm into Fabián's hand and lovingly whispered, Don't forget the fucking flash.
"I was just carrying my camera in my apron and taking photos like a maniac," he says. "I enjoy capturing these moments because there are so many things that we miss at the time. I think it's important." So is the flash. He did good. Scroll down for a night in the life. —Blake Smith, Cassandra Landry, and Jason Hendardy
1. I took this photo because I really liked that building at the end of the street. It's pink and blue, and then you just see all of the red lanterns. The [upstairs Moongate] Lounge has all these turquoise and pink tones that feel very new, but if you look at the street, you see the connection. You can understand what he's doing, between the past and the present. And I just love that building, I don't know why. I think that Mister Jiu's sign looks pretty cool as well.
2. That's Brandon Jew and his sous chef, with Jeremiah in the back. (He's creeping.) We got to San Francisco the day of the event, so we didn't even get a chance to talk about the menu or anything. So, that's Jeremiah taking a break— I don't remember if he passed out but I'm pretty sure he was close to it—and Brandon's taking notes like an hour before the dinner. Those sofas are so nice. The entire place is super, super slick.
3. Those are quails that are hanging to dry in their walk-in. Brandon was doing a dish of fried quail with lettuce wraps with different kinds of sauces. They just have a huge amount of bird that they fry up; these meats have to be super dry because they deep-fry them whole, so if there's any moisture in the skin, it won't crisp up. I like seeing when people have proteins drying—I just love the look of them. Not in a morbid way!
4. [Brandon and I] met 10 years ago when we were doing an event in San Francisco for Omnivore. Danny Bowien took us to Bar Agricole, where Brandon was cooking at the time. We didn't stay in touch, but we just kept bumping into him at all these different events. He's just one of those people you can just talk to. Even if you don't know him that well, you can talk to him like you've known him forever. I've always liked his food, and he's so open to training everyone. He's a super talented guy, but in a very humble way, which is pretty cool to see.
5. That’s Jeremiah portioning out halibut for the dinner in the upstairs kitchen. We were doing a fish dish that we do at Contra with halibut and spring onions and mushrooms and a green peppercorn sauce. It was one of the few dishes that we took quite literally from the book. He was very focused on doing his thing—it was crazy, man. You think something's gonna be super easy, but then you forget how crazy it is to do things from scratch.
6. I like how this photo turned out. All gold, and Alison [Roman]. We knew each other from New York from a long time ago, but we've spent so much time together traveling and just doing the weirdest things—she’s almost like a sister. If there was ever a third in the me-and-Jeremiah group, she'd be the one.
7. Ravi [Kapur]. We were Best New Chefs for Food and Wine in 2016? If I'm not wrong? I didn't know anything about Ravi, and then they introduced all of us at the photo shoot at six in the morning, and this guy came in with this huge curly hair and this big Hawaiian necklace and I was like, who the fuck is this guy, man? And Ravi ended up being one of the nicest people I've ever met. Every time I see Ravi he's wearing something ridiculous. I don't even think about what he's wearing anymore because he's just always like he's on vacation, I love it. He always makes me feel like there's no worries in the world.
8. This is a classic Brett [Cooper], sick and tired of everyone. We were supposed to do this event for like 200 people, we ended up doing like 400? It was insane. We overdid it. Everyone was very ready to leave at the end.
9. This was our last trip of the year for the book, and we had to sign 400 books. Right before we left for San Francisco, I developed tendonitis in my hand, and that's why I took a photo of my signature. It just became four lines because I just couldn't sign anymore. I still find it strange that people want us to sign their books.
10. The funny thing is that every single time that we do an event with Alison, there will be Alison groupies with her book in hand at all times. That's happened more than once. All of a sudden there’s a blonde lady who looks like Alison, has her book, and wants her to sign it. It's the weirdest thing. There's plenty of blonde ladies in America who want to be Alison Roman.
11. I told Alison that I needed one selfie, so I asked her to take it. I haven't mastered the art of the selfie yet.
Brandon was so busy with other things that night, dealing with upstairs, and events and the restaurant itself. When it was time for the dinner, he left everything to just cook with us. Everyone was talking about food, and there were a couple of dishes that changed just from us just hanging out a little bit and talking. Like, Jeremiah’s Chinese, but he's never cooked Chinese food like that. It was cool to see both of them talking about the food they ate growing up, and trying to cook Chinese food that's not [entirely] Chinese. That was my favorite part of the whole thing, getting to know him a little better and understanding what he does. I really enjoy cooking with other people.
12. This is Jeremiah leaving The Fairmont Hotel. I love San Francisco, so it was unfortunate that we were literally just there for the dinners before we had to leave. It was right after Thanksgiving and we were just ready to be done with work, and done with the book tour—and this is Jeremiah thinking exactly that.