Welcome to Noel Barnhurst's blog. Noel is a food photographer based in the South Park neighborhood of San Francisco, California. He has photographed for a wide range of clients including Williams-Sonoma, Kashi, Haagen Dazs, Driscoll's berries, Sunset Magazine, and Burger King. Here you will find a plethora of recipes, tips, and news from a professional food photographer. Enjoy!

All photography is exclusively done by Noel Barnhurst. You can email me

Pulpo: the Octopus


The octopus, while a mystery of the ocean, still holds great significance to many cultures of the world. The sea creature is famously used in Mediterranean and Japanese cuisines. (Warning: If you try to order a taco in Japan, you might end up with some form of octopus since the word “tako” means octopus in Japanese). 


Grilled octopus with lemon and rosemary


Soup with octopus, garbanzo beans, peas, peppers, and onions

Fish Tacos in San Francisco


According to SF Eater, the top restaurants to eat fish tacos includes: El Metate (2406 Bryant St.), Nopalito (306 Broderick St.), Garaje (475 3rd St.)**, and Papalote Mexican Grill (3409 24th St.). Check out the rest of the article here

**We are a little biased to this choice since it is right around the corner from the studio!

Frogmore Stew


Frogmore Stew is a delicious South Carolina tradition that, despite its name, does not include frogs. The stew, also known as Beaufort Stew, actually contains boiled shrimp, sausage, corn, and potatoes. Legend has it that a shrimper in Frogmore, near Beaufort in South Carolina, could not decide what to cook for dinner and eventually decided to boil all of the available ingredients he had in his kitchen together. Of course, there are alternate origin stories, but irregardless- Frogmore Stew is a great excuse to gather with friends and family!



Check out a recipe for Frogmore Stew from Cooks.com


For those who are a fan of Sam’s Chowdermobile in the bay area, here’s the recipe for their famous lobster rolls!



2 live lobsters, each 1 1/2 pounds

4 tablespoons butter, divided

4 brioche hot dog buns, sides trimmed

1/3 cup chopped celery


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add lobsters, cover and cook for 12 minutes. Cool lobsters under cold running water. Remove all meat from lobsters. Chop meat into generous chunks.

2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet over medium heat. Toast buns in the pan until sides are light brown. Remove buns from pan.

3. Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter, celery and lobster to the pan. Heat gently, stirring, until warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the mixture or the lobster will lose its moisture. Divide mixture among buns.

Mussels are relatively simple to cook! All you really need is cooking wine, herbs, onions, and some potatoes. For those wanting to delve deeper than a simple recipe today, here are some facts about the common mussel.

  • Mussels usually have a lifespan of about 2-3 years, similar to that of an oyster’s.
  • Mussels are suspension feeders.
  • Mussels grow in groups in “mussel beds.”

For more facts, visit BBC.co.uk

© Noel Barnhurst

Tangy Ginger Crab


1 live Dungeness crab (about 2 pounds)

About 1/2 cup Tangy Ginger Sauce, chilled


  1. In a large steamer, bring several cups of water to a boil. Place the crab in the steamer, cover, and steam until the crab has turned bright red and is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove the crab and let rest until cool enough to handle.
  2. Insert your thumb or a knife point between the upper shell and the body, opposite the mouth. Pry off the shell, and then trim off the mouth and other inedible parts. Scrape the yellow-green liver (tomalley) out of the center of the body.
  3. Leaving the legs attached, cut the crab in half, down the middle, with a large knife. Then, cut each half into thirds so each piece has legs and body. Crack each section of leg by giving it a good whack with the knife. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
  4. Serve the crab on a platter with a small bowl of very cold Tangy Ginger Sauce. Serves 2 to 3. 

Tangy Ginger Sauce


  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 7 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup very finely minced peeled fresh ginger


  1. Heat the vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce together in a small pan just until the sugar has melted. Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the ginger, stir well, and refrigerate until cold. The sauce will keep, tightly covered, for several days in the refrigerator. Makes about 1 cup.

Recipe courtesy of Modern Asian Flavors by Richard Wong