We have an exclusive peek into FOUR’s exciting Asia & Australia launch edition cover.Included in our Black Series theme, the culinary cover shotwas captured by illustrious photographer,René Riis.

René is a specialist in food photography, having worked on more than twenty cooking and wine books and capturing world renowned chefs, like Noma’s René Redzepi and ‘Demonchef’, Alvin Leung. His love of taking chances and challenges has led him to produce cutting-edge, beautiful, bold food images that are prefect for FOUR – The World’s Best Food Magazine.

What do you use as your inspiration?

Before a shoot I’ll look through my books by famous photographers to get some inspiration, as well as paintings and still life photography from the 1970s and 1980s. I like to look at classic images, although they don’t tend to include food. I try to encompass elements of what I see and like in my work.

How was the Black Series concept conceived?

It was in fact Antioco Piras (Director and Co-Founder at FOUR) who came up with the idea of creating black images. I then thought about creating a series of graphic looking photographs that depict gastronomy at its finest. What I loved about working with FOUR is the freedom and lack of limits with the food and compositions used. It’s very rare to come across such open minds!

How did the idea for this imagetake shape?

When I got the assignment from FOUR to shoot the black covers, it was a very open briefing, so I had free hands to plan everything. Together with the food stylist, Heiko Antoniewicz, we planned the covers from the ingredients we had.Heiko had brought this chicken and Iimmediately thought itwould make a great photo because of the contrast between the naked skin and the feathered head of the chicken.

Tell us more about the chicken…
Well it is not actually a chicken, it’s a Capon. In other words, it’s a castrated​cockerel. I know it’s done to improve the quality of the flesh.Not allof the feathers were removed before we got it, poultry is more often sold this way in France and Spain.

Can you tell us about shooting the chicken (Capon)?

We tried many different variations with the Capon, and we tried adding other objects and ingredients. In the end it was clear to me that it really worked best with less, and I simply used one of the feathers as the extra element in the photo.

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