Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Ten Questions with Edward Pond

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Toronto food photographer Edward Pond's new book, I travelled to India, got bitten by a dog, went back home and got a bunch of rabies shots, then flew back to India and ate the country, is for any reader who "closes their eyes and stamps their feet when they taste something extraordinary." In his interview with Open Book, he tells us about his book, its title, photography and why he "went to India to eat everything in sight."

This book is a collaboration with graphic designer Bill Douglas who was instrumental in the conception of the book and of course its design. He even penned its catchy little title.

Open Book: Toronto:

Congratulations on the publication of your book, I travelled to India, got bitten by a dog, went back home and got a bunch of rabies shots, then flew back to India and ate the country. Tell us about it.

Edward Pond:

I wanted to explain why I love Indian food in 100 photos or less. I’ve shot lots of cookbooks before, but I wanted to make this one an eating book. It’s a delicious blast of cardamom, sandlewood and a whiff of burning trash.

OBT:

That's a memorable and impressive title. How did you settle on it?

EP:

I thought of it when the nurse jabbed me with the 10th needle full of rabies meds. It’s a long story, so I thought I’d get it out of the way on the cover. Let’s just say there was a wild dog and I got two lovely trips to India out of it.

OBT:

What was the inspiration behind your book? A love of India? A love of the food? Both?

EP:

Love of the food first. I went to India to eat everything in sight. It’s the heart and soul of food, spirituality and modern thought. In fact India’s the heart and soul of everything except rock’n’roll. I wanted to visit a country where the food tradition isn’t industrialized and hidden like we have in the west. In India, you can meet somebody and get involved with their day. Here it’s different. We’re compartmentalized.

OBT:

Did you have a specific readership in mind for your book?

EP:

Yes. It’s a reader who, like me, closes their eyes and stamps their feet when they taste something extraordinary. Whose brain swirls around when they eat that perfect bit of chocolate. Whose jaw pops open when the scent of sautéed onions and garlic drifts through a window and meets their nose. Who can’t explain why orange and blue are perfect together and why seeing somebody do something expertly with their hands brings them close to tears. I can’t really explain anything, but I can show it.

OBT:

Describe your ideal work environment.

EP:

A window and a camera. Something lovely to (eat and) shoot. My dog at my feet and the Beatles mono remasters on the stereo.

OBT:

What was your first publication?

EP:

Mildred Pierce’s Out To Brunch cookbook. The restaurant was next-door to my first studio. A delicious address.

OBT:

What are you reading right now?

EP:

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. And at the same time, What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell.

OBT:

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a photographer?

EP:

“If you don’t shoot it, you can’t throw it out.” I don’t edit a photo before following through on it. I’ll cut it later if I need to.

OBT:

What advice do you have for someone who is trying to get published?

EP:

If you’re a photographer, shoot a picture every day of your life, even if it’s just of the inside of your fridge. Then share it.

OBT:

What is your next project?

EP:

Slovakia. There’s a farming village there I’m hooked up with. And they love to eat.


You can read more about Edward Pond and his work on his website http://www.edwardpond.com and his blog http://edwardpond.blogspot.com. You will want to take your time to look through his incredibly gorgeous photos, but be prepared to get really, really hungry.

Watch the trailer for I travelled to India...., and click here for an interview with Edward on CBC's Metro Morning with Matt Galloway.

Check out the design work of Bill Douglas and his newly named studio The Farm at http://cover-love-etcetera.blogspot.com

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Amazon.



Click on any thumbnail to start an image gallery of mouth-watering photos from I travelled to India, got bitten by a dog, went back home and got a bunch of rabies shots, then flew back to India and ate the country.

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