“I’ve never had a job and I don’t want one,” photographer Jeff Kauck says with a laugh. It’s not entirely true, of course, as Kauck has built a successful career based on his expertise behind the camera. To him, however, it has never felt like work; instead, it’s an expression of passion for his subjects in the food world and his love for what he does. Kauck’s food and still life photography has graced the pages of national magazines, cookbooks, and been the part of national advertising campaigns and packaging for over the last 20 years. It has garnered numerous accolades, including a James Beard nomination for his work on The Spiaggia Cookbook, as well as a Cleo Award, one of the advertising industry’s highest honors. Among the many books for which he has contributed his distinctive photography are The Salpicón Cookbook: Contemporary Mexican Cuisine; Stonewall Kitchen Harvest; Wine Bar Food: Mediterranean Flavors to Crave With Wines to Match; Williams-Sonoma Mastering: Soups & Stews; and Chocolate and Vanilla. Today, Jeff is the go-to person for world renowned chefs who want to capture their cuisine on camera. For years he has built relationships with some of the city’s most beloved culinary masterminds including Ryan Poli of Perennial, Grant Achatz of Alinea, Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia and Shawn McClain.
Where were you born ?
How long in Chicago:
Home - Cathedral District; Studio – West Loop
Best Ethnic Food:
Best place for late night dining:
the Banana Cream Pie at West Town Tavern
Best place for a romantic date:
the window table at NoMi
Best Sunday brunch:
Best place for a power business meeting:
All-around favorite spot in Chicago:
Our balcony every morning watching a sunrise with my Leica
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend?
The James or The Peninsula Chicago
Favorite shopping venue/boutique:
Powell’s Book Store
Favorite Charity Event:
Chefs and the City
Favorite Cultural Event:
Best Aspect of Chicago:
All the things a big city offers with the friendliness of the Midwest.
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
Pizano’s on State
Fred’s at Barneys
Art Institute of Chicago, Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore:
the Newberry Library
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