Ever wondered about everything it takes to write a blog post? I thought it was high time that I shared some details about what happens behind the scenes on What’s Gaby Cooking.
Here’s the rundown…
Concept – I come up with an idea. It might be from something that I had at a restaurant, something that sparked my imagination from the farmers market, or something that I had at a friends house or on my travels. Bottom line, somehow I get inspired to create a new recipe and into the kitchen I go!
Testing – usually the first time I cook something I just wing it. After going to culinary school and developing recipes for a living for the past 7+ years (I think there are just over 1800 on WGC at this moment!), I just want to get creative and see how things pan out. If I love it, that’s when the real work starts. Every recipe on What’s Gaby Cooking is tested at MINIMUM 4 times before it goes up on the blog. It can take days or weeks to perfect a recipe. It gets tested in at least 2 kitchens and a minimum of 4 times like I said. There is a LOT of food at all times in my life 🙂
Photoshoot Prep – once I have a handful of recipes ready to roll, I compile them up in a neat and tidy google drive and send them over to Adam + Matt. (without them WGC wouldn’t be nearly as pretty as it is today)! Adam is food stylist extraordinaire / genius and Matt the most incredible photographer of all times. They are also 2 of my very best friends so to say we have fun in the studio would be an understatement.
Adam pulls all the recipes together and makes a master shopping list. Either Adam, or someone on his team, will do a major grocery shop the day before the shoot and go buy all the things! That includes things that aren’t necessarily in the recipe but might make a great side dish or garnish. For example if we’re doing a dip, he’ll also get a variety of chips that we can use for the shoot. Matt, on the other hand, gets all the recipes at the same time and starts crafting some ideas for art direction and photography pre-shoot.
Shoot Day – we all make our way down to Matt & Adam’s photo studio (or whatever if we’re shooting on location we’ll go to wherever that is) around 8am on whatever day we’ve reserved for What’s Gaby Cooking. Typically we shoot every 2-3 weeks! It’s a crew that includes Matt, his assistant, Adam, his 3 kitchen assistants, and me and sometimes a prop stylist!!
I roll down with a kombucha and off we go. Adam and his team prep, cook and style each and every recipe. If we need to make any last minute adjustments to the recipes we’ll discuss right before we shoot. For example, sometimes we think we need more herbs as a garnish etc.
Matt and his team put together sets, pull all the props and shoot all the recipes and make everything gorgeous. Matt, unlike a lot of photographers is incredibly hands on, but hates getting his $50,000 Phase One camera dirty so there are a LOT of gloves on rotation 🙂
Everything is a team effort and the three of us are in constant discussion all day about styling, shooting, angles, props etc. The three of us have worked together a LOT the past few years on both What’s Gaby Cooking editorial and advertising campaigns and by this point we’re a well oiled machine!
We always make sure to have chocolate covered espresso beans on hand, great music, plenty of tea and a little gossip 🙂
Blog life wasn’t always like this. I used to shoot / style / edit and develop on my own. But as I started to ramp up content and get into video and live broadcasts, I needed help! So that’s when all my BFF’s came into the WGC picture.
8ish hours later we wrap and have more food than we know what to do with! Photos are done, files are saved and the food gets divvied up between everyone on set and we all take it home!
Post-Shoot – after we wrap for the day, Matt edits all the images and then they get delivered to yours truly. We usually shoot 2-3 images per post so he has upwards of 30-40+ images to edit. I bank them all in a folder and whip out my editorial calendar. I put every recipe in the queue on a little post it (you can see my editorial calendar process here) and put it up on the calendar. We usually shoot a few weeks out but we’re also able to move things around as needed. If a really timely recipe pops into my mind, I can move things around to accommodate. If a partnership comes up with a brand last minute, we can move things around as needed… you get the idea! But I’m a planner, so having a loose idea of what is going up when is very helpful. ESPECIALLY for months like November when the entire blog is Thanksgiving focused and I want to make sure we cover every aspect of that meal!
Writing – now that all the recipes are perfected and photos are done the next step is writing! I write each blog post usually the day before it goes up on the blog. Some posts have a little story to go along with the recipe and others have comments on whatever is going on that day/week so I don’t like to get too far ahead of myself!
Ready to Roll – once the blog post is ready, it gets scheduled for the following morning and then it’s time to get that beautiful recipe out into the world! It’s goes on the blog, all my social channels and then into YOUR kitchens (which is my most favorite part!)! Sometimes I’ll do an Insta Live or Snapisode and share the recipe via video too! And then it’s back into the kitchen to do it all over again 🙂
So there you have it!! Everything that happens so I can deliver recipes to you on a daily basis! And that just is the blog! I’ll save the rest of WGC for another day, creative development for brands, sponsorship work, travel + travel related research, obsessed research, speaking gigs, video production, meal planning, spokesperson work, hosting gigs, product development, cookbook testing, plus some secret projects… the works.
Questions – shout them out below in the comments! And THANK YOU for bringing these WGC recipes into your kitchen! It’s seriously the best part of my job.