Top picks: Food photographer, Russel Wasserfall

Top picks: Food photographer, Russel Wasserfall

From advertising copywriter to photographer, from food writer to restaurateur and publisher, it’s safe to say that food is Russel Wasserfall‘s life. He’s written or photographed 17 cookbooks and been the food photographer of choice of many esteemed local and international publications. With wife Camilla Comins, Russel was behind the award-winning Table at De Meye restaurant and is now running the eatery at Overgaauw Wine Farm. This week we chatted to the man with an eye for delicious detail about a few of his favourite things.

Just a few weeks ago, we chatted to author Jean Nel about his new book, Cooking with Gas, which was photographed and published by Russel’s publishing company, Russel Wasserfall Food, in association with Jacana Media. Any aspiring foodie writers, take note!




What would your 10-year-old self say about the job you do right now?
“That little kid would have no idea what I was talking about if I tried to explain to him what a food photographer does. His favourite food was Marmite and butter on Marie biscuits.”

What’s the absolute best thing and the absolute pits about your job?
“The best thing is working with awesome chefs and fascinating dishes and ingredients. The worst thing is the admin and sitting at a computer – I’m a colouring-in person, not a bean-counter.”


Photos: Russel Wasserfall, Planet Restaurant


What is a food aroma you love?
“Durban curry. Particularly from Patel’s – there was a time when I ate it it almost every day back when I was studying.”

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten?
“Hospital food. There was this bit of stewing mutton roasted to a crisp and offered as a lamb chop… Dismal days.”

Is there is food trend that you wish would go away?
“Locavores – and their narrow belief that the world ends at their personal horizon.”

Where is your go-to place to shop for food or ingredients?
“I’m loving the little butchery at Schoon de Companje run by Katrien and her husband Roux.”

Photo: Stellenblog

Roux and Katryn of Nice to Meat You. Photo: Stellenblog

Favourite ingredient to cook with right now?
“Whatever I find in the fridge.”

Favourite spot for lunch?
“Tough one… Used to be Clarke’s Diner for the burger, but they changed the bun. Still have a weakness for a quick roll on the run from Raith’s Gourmet.”

Raith Constantia. Photo: Courtesy of the website

Raith Constantia. Photo: Courtesy of the website

Favourite food or wine hero?
“Not sure about hero, but my favourite writer on the topic at the moment is Jay Rayner.”

If you were a flavour of ice cream, you would be… (and why?)
“Whatever Keira Knightley’s having. (You know why.)”

If you had R1000 to spend, where would you go or what would you cook? (and drink)
“South China Dim Sum Bar in Long Street for dim sum and beer with some friends.”

If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life it would be?

Your last supper would be (don’t forget the drinks!)
“My wife’s slow-roasted, bone-in pork belly with her coleslaw and Darling Brew Slow Beer.”