Reconnecting to Our Culinary Roots: A Photographer’s Ode to Foraging

In the captivating interplay of light, shadow, and exquisite culinary compositions, the age-old practice of foraging takes center stage in Rob Fiocca‘s Photography 2023 Gold Award project, “Foraging.” Seeking to resurrect our lost connection with the origins of our food, Fiocca’s lens marvelously encapsulates the journey of hand-picked nature’s bounty from the earth to our plates. This award-winning series is a poetic convergence of culinary art, nuanced food styling, and evocative photography, reminding us of the wholesome experiences lying just beyond our front doors. Walk with us as we delve into the enchanting forest of flavors Fiocca and his talented team have masterfully woven, where wild ingredients meet modern cuisine, narrated through the harmonious language of photography.

By: Rob Fiocca, Director and Photographer

Foraging has always been an integral part of our human experience, shaping our culinary traditions and heritage. However, in today’s hectic world, we’ve lost touch with these foundational roots, disconnecting ourselves from our food’s journey to reach our plates. 

To reestablish this relationship, we embarked on our Foraged series. 

Our inspiration sparked amidst the pandemic when our Producer, Paige Robertson, noticed a rising demand for natural ingredients and authentic food in the face of supply chain disruptions. Together, we saw an opportunity to celebrate foraged food and meet today’s consumers’ evolving desires and values. 

Teaming up with the talented food stylist Lindsey Guscott and the innovative prop stylist Andrea McCrindle, we set out to create a harmonious world where modern ingredients and foraged food coexist. Lindsey sustainably gathered her ingredients and developed unique recipes to showcase their distinct flavors, while Andrea worked her magic creating enchanting settings to feature them in. 

Once these elements were decided, it only felt natural that the series be captured with a combination of natural and studio light. With this fusion, we aimed to further enhance the organic beauty of these recipes by creating visual compositions that evoke a sense of wonder and ignite the viewer’s appetite. Soft, diffused, natural light accentuated the velvety textures and colors, while studio strobe light added drama and depth. 

This series invites you to rediscover the beauty, flavors, and sustainable possibilities that await beyond our front doors. By embracing both foraged ingredients and modern staples, we can appreciate the changing seasons of the land we rely on and the effort it takes to bring food to our tables. 

For the joy of nourishment cannot be confined to the aisles of supermarkets. It’s an adventure woven into the vivid tapestry of the world around us.

The Image Menu: 

1. Grilled Shrimp and Pursalane with Fish Sauce and Fried Garlic 

2. Oyster with Ramp and Wild Ginger Mignonette 

3. Nettle Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce and Fried Nettle Leaves 

4. Pickled Strawberries with Iberian Ham and Elderflower 

5. Tlayuda 

6. Yaki Onigiri, warped in Ramp Leaves with sliced ramp bulbs and salted plums and seaweed gomasio 

7. Blade Steak with Pan Sauce, Oxeye Daisy Capers, Morels, Cinnamon Cap, Japanese Knotweed, and Alder Catkins

Toronto-based photographer and director Rob Fiocca has an exceptional eye for beauty. As one of the most sought-after food, product, and interior photographers, he has established himself as a well-respected artist on the leading edge of the industry. With a career that spans over 25 years, his creative and commercial work has garnered international awards, and his reputation has kept his client list stocked with advertising agencies such as The Martin Group, Grey Advertising, JWT, and Ogilvy, creating campaigns for brands like Kraft, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Timex to name a few. Rob applies his mastery of light and texture to motion, directing memorable spots for clients such as LongHorn Steakhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, Publix, Schneiders, and McDonald’s. His appreciation for the story of food and the poetry within the details has made this medium a natural translation of his unique vision. Both his print and motion work continues to exceed expectations, keeping him busy shooting at home and abroad.


Photographer: Rob Fiocca

Assistant: Peter Olson

Stylist: Andrea McCrindle

Retoucher: Madeline Murray

Producer: Paige Robertson

Food Stylist: Lindsay Guscott

Equipment: Canon EOS 5DS R


Rob FioccaInstagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Vimeo

Lindsay GuscottInstagram

Andrea McCrindleInstagram, Pinterest

Discover more Photography 2023 winners here. If you want to enter our Photography 2024 Awards competition, click here.

Author: Graphis