The Insider, Restaurant Edition

Behind the scenes with photographer and author Per-Anders Jorgensen

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Per-Anders Jorgensen, editor in chief of Fool magazine, has insider access to the most exciting kitchens in the world. His new book, Eating with the Chefs (Phaidon, 2014) takes us behind-the-scenes during family meal at 18 of them, from Australia and Italy to Spain and France, where he captured beautiful moments when no one was looking. Here, he tells TT about a few:

People in the restaurant industry–from stagaires to chefs–work very long days. This book is an homage to them. It's also about the food, of course!

Family meal is interesting because it's made quickly from cheap ingredients, but it has to taste good and be nutritious as well. I first started thinking about the concept about 12 years ago, when I saw the cooks at Mugaritz, in Spain, sitting down to eat. These guys serve the most exquisite meals to customers, but then, what do they cook for themselves?

Chez Panisse, Berkeley

I love this photo because it captures Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA–the harshness of the locker room, the tenderness of the team. I was roaming around, shooting there for a couple of days, and came upon this couple. For me, that's what photography is all about–finding and preserving these special moments.

Wylie Dufresne of wd-50 in NYC

Wylie Dufresne, of wd-50 in New York City, is an incredibly influential chef, but in many ways he hasn't gotten recognition that he deserves. Not many people know this, but each person at the restaurant is issued a notebook to write and record everything that happens, so Wylie has a whole room of these little notebooks, shelf after shelf.

The French Laundry, Yountville

Every morning at The French Laundry, they raise the flag! Thomas Keller is the quintessential American chef, a symbol of the guy who made it. When I was shooting before sunrise in Yountville and saw the flag in the middle of vegetable patch in a field, it just made sense. — Per-Anders Jorgensen