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Capturing equality and sustainability through culinary lenses

HRC students discovering the power of visual storytelling


In the heart of culinary exploration, where flavours meet creativity, students at HRC Culinary Academy, guided by the talented photographer and winner of Masterchef season 7, Maria Zhekova, took a unique approach to culinary photography. Her class with third-semester students in Culinary Arts delved into social consciousness, aiming to capture the essence of critical topics like racism, equality, and sustainability through the lens.

Students weren’t just learning to frame a perfect shot of a dish; they were also discovering the power of visual storytelling to address social challenges. From thought-provoking slogans to captivating posters, the class encouraged students to think beyond the plate and use their artistic talents to highlight important issues.

One notable project in this year’s class focused on addressing racism through culinary photography. Students created powerful images that challenged stereotypes and celebrated diversity. From vibrant dishes representing various cultures to impressive visuals portraying unity, they used their creativity to spark conversations about dismantling prejudice in the culinary world.

Students had the task of recreating visually equality-inspired dinners, where the menu, decor, and ambience were carefully curated to promote inclusivity, turning the dining table into a symbol of unity.

Another vital aspect of the class centered around sustainability. In an era where environmental consciousness is paramount, students used their photography skills to spotlight eco-friendly and sustainable culinary practices. From farm-to-table visuals to zero-waste kitchen snapshots, these images encouraged viewers to make conscious choices.

When asked how she chose the topic for the class and why, their mentor Maria shared:

“The class aimed to teach students that food was not just sustenance; it was a medium for change. By using culinary photography to address social issues, the students became advocates for a more inclusive, equal, and sustainable future. Each photograph told a story, inviting viewers to reflect on their own role in creating positive change.”

Through impactful images of racism, equality-themed dinners, and sustainability snapshots, the budding young students proved that food could be a catalyst for change, one frame at a time.


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