About a week ago I was asked to swing by a new Filipino restaurant in the East Village for the New York Times Dining Section. I love shooting food assignments as I enjoy meeting the chefs, seeing the cool restaurants, and of course the amazing culinary creations they create!
This particular restaurant, Jeepney, was really cool…and like many NYC restaurants, was very tight. I shot my usual interiors, exteriors, and was set up at a table in the back to document various dishes the critic asked me to shoot. They brought out adobo chicken wings, a dish of pancit malabok negra, Bulalo, a short-rib and vegetable soup with a marrow bone riding on top, and finally the balut: a hard-boiled duck egg with a fertilized duck embryo encased inside.
I’ve never seen anything quite like balut, so in order to take proper photos, the owner gave me a demonstration how the hard boiled egg is served and how it’s cracked and eaten. After cracking open the large hard-boiled egg with a fork, she dug within the yellow yolky interior and came out with fertilized duck embryo (I’ll call it a fetus).
At that point she asked if I’d like to try the balut. Ok, sometimes I find it hard to turn down an offer to taste the food at these sort of assignments…but I had no problem respectfully declining this particular offer…