Marshall Williams Photography Blog

It’s In The Details With Chef Bernard Guillas

Surprisingly I don’t recall exactly the first time I met Chef Bernard Guillas of the Marine Room in La Jolla.  But every time I’ve had the opportunity to work with him since is a memorable and inspiring experience.  This guy is passionate and intense about every detail of his work.
 “We need to do the shoot on a Monday”  Kristin Kacirek of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club tells me, “it’s normally Chef Bernard’s day off but he is coming in for it and wants to start at 8am”.
He arrives at 8 sharp, always with a smile on his face and gives me a big hug. We chit chat a little bit while Zach and I set up our gear. He is visibly excited about the fresh fish that was just delivered to the kitchen.  “I’ll be back in 30 minutes with the first plate” he announces. And so the day if off to an enthusiastic start. 


Lucious hunks of Ahi appear perfectly seared and artfully arranged. We click off an exposure and huddle around the monitor for the first glimpse. Then we both huddle over the dish, Chef puts his glasses on for a closer look and I dig out the tweezers and other tools. We nudge, lift, noodle and otherwise primp.  It’s a surgical kind of process.  A few more exposures and then some more discussion around the monitor.  There’s no phoning it in with Chef Bernard.  Frequently he insists on re-plating a dish to make sure it is perfect. When people ask about food photography I tell them it’s this kind of commitment and attention to detail that are key to making great food photographs.

“Marshall and I collaborated on many projects including our award winning cookbook, Two Chefs, One Catch.  Marshall is an artist who always looks beyond the lens. Through Marshall’s photography, all of the images come to life.  As a chef you learn to master your heat, as a photographer, Marshall has mastered his light!” – Chef Bernard Guillas

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