entertainingfoodFood & Drinkin the kitchen withkristina gillrecipes

in the kitchen with: david stark

by Grace Bonney

I really have to thank food-stylist Adam Pearson and photographer Matt Armendariz for the one-on-one workshop in December. Today’s recipe for Fennel, Blood Orange, and Black Olive salad by A-list event producer David Stark was one of the recipes we produced. David sent over his recipe for fennel and orange salad at the tail end of the blood orange season in early 2009. Unfortunately, we couldn’t pull his recipe together then with the right ingredients. As it turns out, the season had not yet started when we set out to photograph this, so we shot it with pink grapefruit, which is a great pairing with fennel, as well, should you choose to make this any other time of the year (as long as fennel is in season!).

A lot of work goes into producing the posts you see each Friday on the In the Kitchen With column, whether it is the author’s hard work or someone else’s hard work, like Matt and Adam. If you love props and all things beautiful, or are simply curious about what it takes to pull an image together, Matt and Adam offer workshops in their Long Beach studio and other locations around the world.
The classes are taught in conjunction with Food Fanatics, a food styling team located in Los Angeles California. [Find out more about the classes here and register here.]

pic010_Gustavo Campos
About David: After receiving a bachelor’s degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and master’s from the School of Visual Arts, David Stark honed his talents as an artist during his thirteen years as co-owner and creative director of event planning firm Avi Adler to emerge as the recent founder, president and creative director of his own event planning and design company, David Stark Design & Production.

CLICK HERE for the full recipe (and more about David) after the jump!

More About David:

Today, at David Stark Design & Production, David oversees production of events for the world’s most prestigious brands and personalities, such as Beyoncé Knowles and Jon Stewart, or major corporations such as Target, TBS and Condé Nast Shots. “CBS’ The Early Show,” “The Today Show,” “The View” and “Martha Stewart” are several television shows that often call upon David to serve as a guest expert on décor, party planning, holiday decorating and home planting projects.

David Stark currently resides and works in Brooklyn, NY. (Portrait by Gustavo Campos)

Fennel and Orange Salad with Parsley, Parmesan, and Pepitas (food styling by Adam Pearson, photography by Matt Armendariz)

Ingredients: Based on a single serving. Add a whole fennel bulb and orange per additional serving + an increase in the rest of the ingredients proportionately.

(1) Fennel bulb cut into thin slices
(1) Orange, peeled and cut into thin slices
(3) Black Moroccan Olives, pitted and diced
(4 to 5) Stems of Parsley with the leaves pulled and used whole
(1) Small handful of raw hulled pepitas
(3 to 4) Shavings of fresh parmesan cheese
Juice of half a lemon
Good Olive oil to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Sprinkle of artisanal salt to taste

Why David chose this recipe:

Inspired by a key salad on the menu of my favorite neighborhood eatery, Frankies Spuntino, I like to keep my fennel slices more rustic than the fine shred that the Chef at Frankies brings to the vegetable. The addition of orange slices and diced Moroccan olives adds another dimension and sweetness, but it is just as yummy without. I love that the parsley leaves are NOT a garnish. Rather, they are celebrated as a fine lettuce green in this context.

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  • this looks fantastic. anyone know if there are similar food styling/photography classes in dc or nyc? i am dying to go to one of these classes but alas my budget doesn’t allow for a flight out to cali any time soon :(

  • David is so talented – he has designed some of the best tables/parties I’ve ever seen in my life. He’s so clever that looking at one of his designs really helps me try to stretch my own creativity stretch way beyond its usual boundaries.

  • This looks absolutely delicious! However, I am not sure what he means by “artisanal” salt… Is it somehow hand crafted by an artisan? Help, I’ve never understood what is meant by this term!

    • jessica

      there’s an actual brand of salt called artisanal, but i’m guessing david just meant the term artisanal, which means “made by a skilled worker (an artisan), such as a specialty item. ” a lot of regular salt from the grocery store is highly processed and not of a high quality, so a lot of food lovers prefer to use salt that’s “harvested” (not sure of the right term for salt collecting?) from higher quality areas and un-processed.


  • Love his work- bought up the collection from west elm over the holidays. I didn’t know he was a RISD grad. Thanks for featuring him!

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