Friday 8 February 2013

French Foodies in Ireland: Yolène Dabreteau, Food Photographer and Blogger

Yolène Dabreteau is a food photographer and blogger based in Dublin. She kindly accepted to talk about her blog Creme de Citron and share her recipe for Eggs Provençale.

  •     Where in France are you from and tell me a bit about yourself?
I come from the Vendée region in the North-West of France. I moved to Ireland in July 2004 and after a detour of three years in Melbourne, Australia, I came back to Dublin about a year ago and it is where I call home. I am a freelance photographer and while Down Under, I got to develop my career by doing many photo jobs for theatre companies: publicity, actors shots and rehearsal photography. Photography and food together are a big passion of mine and even though I do a bit of baby and children photography, my aim is really to grow my food photography business and work with new clients in this industry. 

  •       How did you come up with the idea of starting your food blog Creme de Citron?
Starting a food blog is an idea that came to my mind while I was still in Australia. Actually, a few friends of mine really pushed the idea into my hands as they were really keen to have me sharing my recipes. At the time, I was really focused on my photography job in the theatre world but was getting very interested in the idea of food photography and food styling. I thought a blog would be a great place to share my recipes and food experiences, as well as my food photography.

  •       What is your food blog about?
My food blog is about sharing my personal recipes, my food experiences and food photos with my readers. But mostly, I use it as a platform to create dishes that I photograph to build a portfolio of food images. So far, it has helped me find new clients for my food photography business,  so I could say it has been very positive for me. The recipes I post are (I hope) not too difficult to execute, they require ingredients that can be found easily or that can be replaced if needed. It is mostly food that has a sentimental factor, with little pieces of life or memories to share. 


  • Being a photographer would you have any tips regarding food photography?
I have a lot of tips regarding food photography, if I start speaking about it all I probably won’t be able to stop. My most important tip is: use natural light! I know it can be hard to get a lot of light in Ireland on certain days but that should not stop anyone. I actually think the overcast Irish sky is really perfect for photos as it works as a giant diffuser, and you can bring more light into the composition by playing with the ISO, aperture and shutter speed settings of the camera. I also use a reflector to play with the light and shadows as it is an important thing in food photography. I try different angles for photographing too. All those factors in a food image give it depth.

  •       What do you enjoy the most about cooking?
When I am in the kitchen cooking, I feel really relaxed. I can easily get stressed but once I am making a delicious dinner, or trying a complicated recipe, I calm down automatically. I do not practice any form of relaxation exercises but cooking is my meditation time. My big enjoyment about it is also to make food for others, I love feeding my friends and family. The happiness I can read on their faces after having eaten one of my dishes is a wonderful thing to see.


Eggs Provençale (Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

I often use this recipe for a brunch or for a quick lunch when I am busy processing and editing my images (when on my own, I only use two eggs but keep the same amount of ingredients for the rest).

Ingredients (serves 2 people)

  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small shallot (thinly sliced)
  • 1 garlic clove (chopped finely)
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • salt, pepper

  1. Heat up the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and stir until softened for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and the dried herbs. Stir well and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Break the eggs in the pan over the tomatoes. Cover and cook for 7 to 10 minutes (time varies depending on the size of the eggs, make sure the egg white is well cooked).
  4. Season to your taste with salt and pepper, and serve with some lovely crusty French bread.

All pictures courtesy of Yolene
Yolene's food blog
Yolene's photography blog
Yolene on Twitter @CremedeCitron