Heather Elder Represents
Reps Journal

Capturing Culinary Art: Dan Goldberg's Imagery Brings The Green O's '8 Courses of Spring' Cookbook to Life

Dan Goldberg’s longstanding relationship with luxury resort, The Green O, has produced an immersive sensory experience and images that are tastefully styled and beautifully composed. Continuing on this delicious journey, Dan shot the images for the resort’s Social Haus’ ‘8 Courses of Spring’ cookbook.

A cookbook requires each page to be distinct from the one before it, yet cohesive as a whole. With ingredients unique to the region and elevated dishes, Dan’s imagery highlights the masterful techniques and artful consideration that Chef Brandon Cunningham brings to a plate. Through thoughtful lighting and ingredients that inspire, ‘8 Courses of Spring’ is a must-have for anyone looking to elevate their cooking repertoire.

What is special about The Green O and the relationship you have with Chef Cunningham?

The Green O is magical, peaceful and serene. The food is outstanding and it’s honestly one of my favorite places on earth. Having an opportunity to create stories for them is like a dream job. 

Can you give us a peek into the process of deciding which food to shoot and how to style it?

We have a long creative call with the agency Dog Can Hunt, the Chef Brandon Cunningham, my prop stylist Andrea Kuhn, and my producer Andrew Kusznir.  We talk about each dish, what they look like and their specific ingredients.  Then Andrea brings a bunch of props to the studio in Chicago, we pack them up and my assistant Travas Machel drives them out to Montana with his dog Bodhi. We can’t go to Montana without Bodhi! He’s one of the crew.

The lighting is very distinct in these images, can you explain how each dish is lit?

I combine natural light with an HMI that we run off a generator outside. If the sun is shining brightly I just use the sun, but sometimes I like the soft blue natural light with the hard, warm, HMI. I want these images to feel very modern and graphic like the Green O. 

How does your background as a Sous Chef affect the way you approach these projects?

I can speak the same language as Chef Brandon and there is mutual respect.  He’s O.K. if I move his food around and suggest different plates or dishes. He pushes me creatively and I push him. We don’t always agree, but we strive to make each other better.

Which is your favorite dish, either to eat or to shoot?

It happens to be a drink and it was the Montana Old Fashioned.  The hint of smoke made it magical and when we were finished it just happened to be happy hour!

Are the dishes included in this cookbook served at the Green O as well?

Yes, but the menu changes every night so a guest does not eat the same thing twice during their stay. It’s pretty amazing and rare to have a tasting menu that changes daily. It’s one of my favorite parts of a stay at The Green O, each day you wake up and get to see what’s on the menu.

What are three words to describe the spring images? 

Locally sourced, Modern & Fresh