The Photographer Behind the Lens at Trio and ViteaJune 01, 2016 / News
Ulf Henriksson, chef and co-owner of the prestigious restaurants Trio and Vitea, has complemented his successful culinary career in an extraordinary way with another treasured passion: photography.
It all began ten years ago, when Bernhard Güth and Ulf Henriksson—chefs and co-owners of the renowned Vitea and Trio restaurants in Puerto Vallarta—used to hire professional photographers to photograph their culinary creations for promotional purposes. At some point, however, they began realizing that the images produced didn’t match their vision.
“We had to wait a long time for photographers to send us the images to be able to use them. In addition, often times they simply couldn’t capture the essence of the dish, their view was good, but different from the one we wanted to convey,” explained Swedish chef Ulf Henriksson, who had gained some experience photographing food and ingredients by working in the region’s hospitality industry.
Henriksson concluded that there was not better qualified person to do this important work than someone who was closely related to the recipes. Therefore, decided to complement his profession with another personal passion and began capturing the dishes cooked by him and his business partner. At the same time, he began capturing spontaneous people portraits.
Several years later, the chef continues astounding with his legendary cuisine while honing his photographic skills, or “painting with light,” as he describes it. Practice, as well as research and training via the internet, have allowed him to find the perfect composition and angle to beautifully showcase every dish featured on their menus. Along with newly acquired knowledge, he has upgraded his photographic equipment, allowing him to develop his craft.
A variety of shapes, textures and colors can be found in the images comprised in the restaurant’s photo galleries, along with a wide range of dishes from key main courses, such as their Chicken, Shrimp and Scallop Casserole with mashed potatoes, to delicious desserts, such as the Raspberry Tart with almonds and vanilla sauce.
“When composing a photograph, I try to convey the qualities of our restaurants: a fresh, energetic and spontaneous cuisine with unique flavors and textures.”
Aside from the culinary experiences their guests enjoy at Trio and Vitea—with 17 and 11 years of history, respectively—the development of visual content and online promotional strategies have been pivotal in their success, Henriksson firmly believes.
And while many restaurants now pay close attention to their visual presentation in advertising (print and online) and on their menus, Henriksson is the only chef we’re aware of that has taken such a hands-on approach in producing the necessary photographic imagery.
“It is a way for us to linger in our clients’ memory—even those that don’t live in Puerto Vallarta—and return to our restaurants every time they visit our destination,” he concludes.