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Food Porn Friday: Reviving Your Darlings

"Please, don't kill me!" says the dish of gnocchi with braised pork cheek

William Faulkner once noted that, "In writing, you have to kill your darlings." He was, of course, referring to the process of weeding out language that you may be in love with, but which doesn't ultimately serve the story. It's a terribly difficult thing to do, but necessary.

Darling-killing happens regularly in the world of food pornography, as well. Out of the 150 or so shots I take during any given story/meal (and what is a meal, really, if not a story in itself, with a clearly defined plot structure and a desperate need to surprise, entertain and please its audience), I'll have maybe fifteen photographs that make it through my digital darkroom and wind up in front of a photo editor, who usually selects the best three or four to feature in the finished article. And my poor, beautiful darlings wind up in a pixilated trash bucket, to be summarily disposed of without a second thought.

Well, I say bullocks to that. They were my darlings for a reason, and even though some of them didn't wind up gracing the pages of a newspaper or magazine, they're sill precious to me, and something important inside me yearns to share them with the world.

Take, for example, the above shot, which I took for a story about the wonderful Pizza Delicious, in the Bywater. It was a story about pizza, of course, so I can understand why this photo might have seemed secondary to the lead. But come on, man! It's not everyday you get a plate of pillowy, perfect parmesan gnocchi with braised pork cheek, kale, bacon and onion jam for the breathtakingly low price of only $12. I was in love with this dish, and it hurt a piece of my soul that it didn't find an audience: A poor, lonely, lovely bit of food porn with no one to ogle it. How terribly sad.

So, I say: Rise, my darling! Rise from the grave, and enjoy your delicious second life! I believe in you...go forth, now, my precious, and MAKE PEOPLE HUNGRY!

Native New Orleans food writer Scott Gold, author of The Shameless Carnivore and a blog by the same name, has written for GourmetEdible BrooklynThe Faster Times, and other publications. His Food Porn Friday column for NolaVie offers a weekly mouth-watering photo designed to start culinary conversations in the Big Easy. Catch his weekly food column for The Advocate here.


Native New Orleans food writer Scott Gold, author of The Shameless Carnivore, has written for Gourmet, The New Orleans Advocate, Gambit, ThrillistEdible Brooklyn, Tasting Table, The Faster Times, and other publications. His Food Porn Friday column for NolaVie offers a weekly mouth-watering photo essay designed to start culinary conversations in the Big Easy. Find him on Twitter @scottgold.