EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 24, 2014

Thai soup and iPhone styling with John Carafoli

“A portion of the plate is all you may need to tell the story.”

– John Carafoli.

There are so many dynamic, discerning, educated people in the food world that one easily goes from “nice to meet you” to “let’s go to Umbria, and shave truffles over homemade strangozzi together!”

That’s how I feel about John Carafoli, who is indeed leading a tour, named “Unexpected Umbria,” next October for those lucky enough to sign up quickly.

Carafoli lives in a piccolo blue farm house on Maple Street in West Barnstable with his partner, John, a cat and a flock of chickens. Seriously authentic copper polenta pots gleam from big hooks in his kitchen. He’s got a cupboard full of his own homemade preserves, including something called “savour,” a potent compote of autumn fruits that cooks for nine days. On the ninth day you add chestnuts. A recipe from the Sicilian ladies of Sagamore on Cape Cod, with whom Carafoli grew up, this preserve tastes as biblical as it sounds.

Carafoli is a food writer; his most recent literary contribution to cuisine is the “Cape Cod Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes from Buzzards Bay To Provincetown.” For the vivid styling, the beautiful shots of Cape Cod greats and their “best of show,” and for the Crow Farm Blueberry Cake recipe, this book belongs on everyone’s coffee table and kitchen counter.

It’s an elite group in the food industry that can prepare a perfect proscuitto ragu, write a compelling story about it, and take an award-winning picture of it. Also author of the seminal book on the subject, “Food Photography and Styling,” for years Carafoli has been the guy to make Coca-Cola look refreshing and Dunkin Donuts look freshly baked. Carafoli is a premier food stylist, and he makes a delicious prosciutto ragu.

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