Testing and Photographing Beautiful Food

As you might know, we test every recipe before recommending to our Gatheredtable customers. We know your time is valuable so we don’t want you to waste it on a recipe that is anything less than great. We often get asked where our recipes come from and if we develop them.

No, we don’t develop recipes. There are thousands of great cookbooks, blogs, recipe shows, and magazines that have hundreds of thousands of recipes. What we do is scour those sources and find our favorite version of each recipe to recommend to our customers.


Once we find recipes, we test each one and tweak it to make it just right for home cooks. We try to consolidate steps where possible and minimize ingredients so that you don’t have to. We rewrite the directions so that they are as simple as possible and put all the prep steps first (we hate getting halfway through a recipe before realizing that the garlic needs to be minced!).

Our test kitchen isn’t made up of professional chefs – it’s just us, normal people with a passion for cooking. We all have many other responsibilities here at Gatheredtable, but for two days every month, a few of us take over our test kitchen and boil, sear, sauté (and occasionally burn…) over 60 new recipes to add to our Recipe Library to recommend to you.

We are firm believers that anyone can make delicious food. You can do it, and we are here to inspire and help you. A key component of our recipe testing is the photography. We know that everyone eats with their eyes first, so we work hard to make sure every dish has a great photo to go with it.

But food photography is like anything else and we all get better with practice… and it often takes a couple tries to get it. Check out our favorite photos that took a little bit to get it right:

Take One……  and Take Two

Mahi Mahi in Sweet and Sour Orange Rhubarb Sauce

Take 1 – A customer wrote in saying, “I love you guys, and maybe we’ve had one too many stomach bugs here, but this looks like Mahi Mahi with vomit :-(” Oh no! Back to the test kitchen….
Take 2 – Ahhhh! Much better!

Turkey and Quinoa Meatballs in Lettuce Wraps

Take 1 – Mary, our founder, took this one at home. Photography is not her strong suit…
Take 2 – It’s amazing the difference the right light and a simple background make!

Cowboy Calzones

Take 1 – Sometimes you can work magic in a picture and make even the most boring, brown food beautiful. And sometimes even magic isn’t enough to save it…
Take 2 – There’s the magic!

Pesto Meatballs

Take 1 – I took this one… Ground meat is hard ok???
Take 2 – Ok, so maybe not that hard…

We’d love to see your favorite food photos! Share them with us on Facebook or Instagram.

Happy cooking and photographing,

2 Responses

  1. Patricia Martinez

    You are so right.. food and cooking start with a good picture, if it doesnt look delicious probably i wont test it…. so thanks for taking care of us…:)

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