Each day of the conference will feature keynote presentations from top industry pros. Provided by Virginia Willis, Christian Gill and Steve Legato, this talented group brings a unique perspective on the food world and an impressive catalog of cookbooks, television appearances and award-winning photography.
Virginia Willis is an award winning chef, cookbook author and the talent and chef-instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen.
“No one is more passionate about food than the industry professionals who work with it every day,” Willis said. “I’m thrilled to be a part of a conference that celebrates their work and offers the opportunity to learn new skills and make new connections.”
Steve Legato is an award winning food photographer whose work has appeared in Vanity Fair and The New York Times, as well as James Beard-winning cookbooks such as Guillermo Pernot and Aliza Green’s Ceviche!.
“Food Photo Affair 2021 looks amazing, and I fully expect to be sparked and inspired by the incredible range of speakers and scope of workshops and demonstrations,” said Legado. “It's a rare chance to meet and share ideas with colleagues we admire, to build a sense of community, and to hone our skills and knowledge in the craft we love. Plus, it's all happening in Napa!”
Christian Gill is a Cincinnati-based award winning chef who has made multiple appearances on popular Food Network programs, including Guy’s Grocery Games, Guy’s Big Project and Giada De Laurentiis’s
Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge. His first concept, Boomtown Biscuits and Whiskey, is nationally recognized and critically acclaimed elevated Comfort Food restaurant.
“Food photographers and stylists are culinary heralds that continue to elevate and captivate,” said Gill. “I’m excited to help Food Photo Affair celebrate their great work and to share my story with the many talented attendees.”
MC’d by wellness expert Lennis Perez and Food Photo Affair founder Jeffrey Martin, the 2021 program is packed with interactive workshops and demonstrations, lively food photography discussions, engaging speaker panels and a host of networking opportunities with some of the most respected names in the industry. Informative, hands-on workshops will cover everything from how to use artificial light and whether to work with an agent to styling for TV and video. Workshop presenters include Christina Peters, Patti Schumann, Denise Vivaldo and Jamie Tiampo, among others. A full listing of workshops and presentations can be viewed here.
The 2021 exhibition allows food photographers and stylists a chance to showcase and gain accolades for their work from an esteemed panel of 15 internationally acclaimed judges. Among the judges: James Beard Award-nominated Jeff Kauck, James Beard Award finalist Victoria Granof, and food packaging and design expert Chris Chong, CEO of New Zealand’s Redcactus Design Limited.
With 15 categories—ranging from “Food in the Field” to “Splishes and Splashes”—and up to $13,000 in cash prizes, the exhibition and contest will be the culmination of the three-day affair.