A Watched Pot is a format to share the food photography of Fire Horse Photographics as well as discussions of all things food related. Fire Horse Photographics caters to the unique photographic needs of the food service industry. Please contact us if you are a restaurant or food service professional interested in high quality photos of your dishes or products. Fire Horse Photographics is also available for event photography and portraiture. Visit Fire Horse Photographics online at www.firehorsephotos.com

Your A Watched Pot bloggers are Allison Bethea and Meena Williamson

Allison Bethea is owner of Fire Horse Photographics. Allison loves food and she loves taking photographs — but she loves nothing more than taking photographs of food. In Allison’s case, the apple doesn’t fall far from the chef. Her father, Vern, is an accomplished chef and businessman who, for many years, owned and operated Mitchell’s Cafe and Billy’s Pub at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, WI. He instilled in Allison a love for classic cuisine, Southern cooking, and anything that can be cooked over charcoal. Her mother, Moneen, was the administrative muscle behind the family restaurant and is a talented cook in her own right having grown up in a rural Wisconsin farm family where most of the eats were homemade. A master of preparing comfort food, Moneen passed on to Allison the joys of country cooking and an appreciation for desserts and baked goods. Moneen’s baking talents were brought to the fore at the restaurant when she was called upon to prepare desserts for catered events. Allison herself is known among her friends for her chili and her obsession with preparing chicken wings and wing sauces. She has taken several cooking classes and treasures her time in the kitchen with friends and family. Like many people, her first food photographs were taken with a cell phone while dining in restaurants. She is working hard everyday to improve upon those early efforts. Allison’s educational background includes the New York Insitute of Photography, Case Western Reserve University, and the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University.

Meena Williamson was born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, West Indies. She was raised in a small village in central Trinidad, where villagers bartered to feed and shelter their families. In the 1980s, most villagers, including Meena’s family, did not have the luxury of electricity and running water in their homes, not even indoor plumbing. Everyone in her family, including the very young kids, helped to carry paint buckets full of water from the roadside standpipe to fill a water barrel outside her home for drinking, cooking, bathing, and everything else.

As the eldest of five children, all girls, Meena was surrounded by close relatives and friends who enjoyed cooking and feasting at each other’s homes, especially during the Christmas and Easter holidays. As a child, she was exposed to life on the animal farm and sugar cane plantation with her father’s family, while experiencing more agriculture (to include, rice, cocoa, coffee, bananas, and citrus) with her mother’s family. She reveled in both flora and fauna with which her family relied heavily on for food consumption. By age 10, Meena cooked her first meal of roti (Pita bread), and very spicy curried alloo (potatoes). Since that first cooking experience, Meena has been working on fusing her favorite childhood recipes with her very own special secret ingredients. Food has always brought her Trinidad family together during her childhood years, and today, it serves as the centerpiece in her Baltimore, Maryland kitchen, where the main attraction and entertainment of food brings fun, and friends closer together. Meena has been in various kitchens, either cooking for her family and friends, or teaching others the tricks of her trade.

Today, Meena has been featured as a Caribbean Cooking Instructor at the Roland Park Country School. She has also been featured in the Highlights Magazine for Children. She has taught several students how to prepare traditional labor intensive Caribbean food in both her kitchen and theirs. Her specialty dish includes curry and roti. So, “Come take ah taste of the islands Mon!” Meena holds a Master of Business Administration degree in Human Resources, a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications, an Associates of Applied Science degree in Elementary Education, and a Certificate in Writing in Magazines for Children.

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