Where were you born and where did you grown up?
I was born in New York City. In my late teens and then in my twenties I also lived in Italy and France.
How did you get into your line of work? Was there a particular moment where things just clicked into place or that you realized the direction you wanted to take?
I did not begin my work life as a photographer, although photography was a longstanding hobby. After graduating from university, I started a career in fashion public relations for Armani and then Dolce & Gabbana. I soon learned that fashion PR would not be for me long term and, after working briefly in film public relations at Miramax Films, I became more and more interested in photography. While visiting my parents in NYC from Paris, I noticed a Travel + Leisure magazine. Flipping through the magazine and looking at the photographs, I remember saying to myself "I could do that....I want to do that..." and called the magazine to ask for an informational interview with the Photo Editor! Luckily I got along well with his assistant over the phone, and after calling and waiting for two weeks, I was granted a meeting. At the end of this meeting the photo editor surprised me by offering me a job with him in the photo department which I accepted immediately! He would send me on small shoots to shoot portraits and interiors for the front of the magazine and always supported my work. He then introduced me to an established travel and portrait photographer and I began traveling the world with him on assignment, building my portfolio and learning more about photography. Soon enough I was showing my own work, and started receiving my own assignments. My career as a photographer was born.
Tell us about the work you do with some of the top chefs from around the world...
Because I photograph chefs in the kitchen and on location, I am constantly learning how they think and what drives them to cook the way they do. Beyond pure flavor and pleasure, the dishes chefs create reflect a perspective about life and the culture in which they grew up and live. So many chefs chose their line of work because of an experience as a child or teen. It is fascinating to see how their sense of purpose and creativity is driven by this time of their lives. I have photographed many chefs on location on all continents for commercial, editorial and book projects.
What can readers expect from your new book projects? Can you tell us a bit more about what they entail?
I have a book coming out early next year for Rizzoli called L'Aperitivo. It was a sheer pleasure to work on this project together with the author Marisa Huff. Shot entirely on location in Italy (Milan, Turin, Venice, Padova, Portofino, Florence...), it is about the pre-dinner drink ritual in Italy (l'aperitivo). Here in Tokyo I am currently working on the book Bulgari Il Ristorante with Michelin starred Italian chef Luca Fantin. I am photographing different parts of Japan including farmers, suppliers, landscapes, dishes, and Chef Luca himself.
Do you have any future collaborations lined-up with other chefs?
I am in discussions now regarding two Tokyo based book projects, once they are confirmed I will let you know!
Who and what is hot on your radar at the moment?
Well, Tokyo is hot on my radar...it's an incredibly intense food city. The techniques, product, tradition and innovation here are exciting and unique. It is an inspirational city for most chefs the world over; they come here for ideas and to learn a level of quality, detail and precision rarely seen in other countries. Ingredients and flavors are distinctive; the regard for beauty, the seasons and pleasing the diner are unparalleled. Two Tokyo chefs I particularly like here are Zaiyu Hasegawa of Den and Hiroyasu Kawate of Florilège.
Do you cook at all? What kinds of things do you like cooking at home?
Yes, I love to cook. I take inspiration from where I live, and like to create new dishes without following recipes. Northern Italian, Japanese, and Spanish are some of the cuisines I cook most often. I like Vietnamese and Mexican food as well, I have had some incredible meals in Hanoi and Mexico City.
Favorite cheap eat?
Onigiri (Japanese rice balls).
Find out more about Andrea's work here | andreafazzari.com