With his latest print effort, Edible Selby, photographer Todd Selby takes us into the kitchens, restaurants, and farms of unique food enthusiasts across the globe. From the Mast Brothers’ chocolate laboratory in Brooklyn to a master mixologist in London, Selby leaves no pan unturned. We caught up with him to ask him about Instagram, his kitchen, and eating in New York.
Your work always has a voyeuristic quality. Do you consider yourself to be a voyeur?
Yes, for sure. I think almost everyone has a bit of voyeur in them.
What’s with the masses and taking pictures of their food?
I think now that most phones come with decent cameras, everyone will now be taking photos of everything. It’s only natural.
How does the print incarnation of Edible Selby differ from the website?
The print version is much more thought out, with a larger amount of hand done elements, illustrations, and recipes. Also, there are so many shoots included in the Edible Selby book that are not on theselby.com.
There are a multitude of chefs and culinary experts you could potentially profile for a project like this. Is there a common thread that exists between the chefs highlighted in this book?
Yes, definitely. It’s about food artisans and chefs who express themselves through their food in a very unique and compelling way. That may be kind of vague, but when you look through the book I think you will find that it just works.
What was one particular experience you had when photographing for Edible Selby that stands out?
Finding the inn with no innkeeper in Italy by myself, drinking Prosecco, and then napping under the grape vines.
What does your kitchen look like?
A white box with an amazing view of Manhattan. It’s the perfect place to get inspired and cook something.
How are your culinary skills? Any specialties?
My skills are weak, but I try! I have about 9 things that I can cook well, and Edible Selby comes with two of my personal recipes as well as two from Olga, my childhood nanny.
What’s your favorite New York restaurant at the moment?
Mission Chinese, for sure.
What restaurant did you go to on your last date?
We ate Omakase at the bar at One or Eight Restaurant in Brooklyn.
Gratuitous Dating Game question: If you could be any food, which would you be and why?
An everything bagel with caviar cream cheese and gravlax. Because it’s messy and not so subtle.
You’ve covered homes and creative spaces and now specifically the culinary world, where is Todd Selby taking us next?
You’ll have to wait and see!