Prior to today, the most “cultural” experience of my life was probably hanging out with the Mexican cooks in the kitchen of Famous Dave’s. Kearney, Nebraska, where I grew up, isn’t exactly culturally diverse. Well, today, not only did I have my first foray into food photography, I also made my first trip down to South 24th Street in Omaha.

As some of you may know, I have been working on the menu design for my former manager’s new restaurant opening in June. Val asked me to come to his cousin’s restaurant in South Omaha today, so he could cook up some food and I could photograph it for the menu. As I headed South on 24th Street, First National Bank turned into Primero Banko National, and I became less and less able to tell what the store names meant (I have terrible Spanish skills, I only took two high school Spanish courses). I pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant and walked in to find Val waiting for me with plates full of delicious looking Mexican food.

We took the photos in less than ideal photography conditions while listening to top 40 Mexican radio and surrounded by people chattering away in Spanish. I asked what something on the plate was and Val and his cousin laughed and said “wow, you are so white.” After we were finished with the photos Val bought me my first Horchatta, a Mexican drink that he described as rice water. Although, it didn’t sound very appealing to me, I gave it a try to find it was surprisingly really good. I left feeling extremely “white” thinking that I need to step out of my comfort zone every now and then and learn a little bit about other cultures.

Here are some photos from today’s shoot. I definately don’t think they are anywhere near perfect, but for our limited menu budget, they will do.

authentic Mexican tacos