Author Archives: Dolly Rubiano

About Dolly Rubiano

I am passionate about photography and food is my favourite subject. I like shooting people too, especially when they’re not looking. I am a regular contributor as photographer to FishHead magazine, a local lifestyle magazine in Wellington, New Zealand. I blog about my experiments in the kitchen and don't cook anything that has four legs. Please get in touch if you would like to work with me regarding food styling and photography.

The great escape: Sydney in Winter

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach

The best time to go on holiday depends on the seasons and the reasons. To escape from a dreadful climate. To escape from a task that you don’t want to do. To escape from boredom. To escape from the drudgery of an office job. To escape from a heartbreak. I don’t know about you. But I go on holiday to escape. Period.

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Spaghetti with chicken sausages and rosemary-flavoured cherry tomatoes

Spaghetti with chicken sausages and rosemary-flavoured cherry tomatoes

Spaghetti with chicken sausages and rosemary-flavoured cherry tomatoes

Over the years I realized that the best pasta dishes I’ve made were the ones where I didn’t have to use a recipe. Once I’ve learned the 4 basic steps, it becomes easy to experiment with different kinds of ingredients and flavours.

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Seafood pasta with fennel and leek cream sauce

Seafood pasta with fennel and leek cream sauce

Seafood pasta with fennel and leek cream sauce

I was staring at this photo of the pasta dish I made using fennel and leeks and I knew, even if it looked perfect, that something was not quite right but couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong. Then it finally dawned on me that I should have used the fennel fronds I set aside as garnish instead of parsley! It would have made sense. It was a fennel sauce after all. If I didn’t forget my fennel fronds, this photo would have been absolutely perfect. Perhaps I should do it again tomorrow? I still have some sauce left. I just have to set everything up again, find that perfect light, shoot from that perfect angle, and make sure I have my perfect garnish. But why always strive for perfection? Isn’t good enough enough?

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Paksiw na Isda (Fish cooked in vinegar)

Paksiw na Isda (Fish cooked in vinegar)

Paksiw na Isda (Fish cooked in vinegar)

Vinegar is undoubtedly my favorite condiment. I have it in different colors (white, brown, black) and different varieties (you name it, I have it!) Have you tried dipping fried tofu in vinegar mixed with chopped onions? Heaven!

Paksiw na isda, or fish cooked in vinegar, is another popular dish from the Philippines. It is next to Adobo and Kare-kare in my bucket list of Filipino-dishes-to-cook-and-eat-before-I-die.

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Shooting for Miss Delaney #1 Spiced chicken thighs with roast broccoli salad

Delaney's spiced chicken thighs with a roast broccoli salad

Delaney’s spiced chicken thighs with a roast broccoli salad

This wonderful pair of recipes came out in the April 2014 issue of FishHead magazine under Delaney Mes‘ My Kitchen column. She creates recipes, I cook and shoot for her. She lives in Auckland and I live in Wellington but in this day and age of email and DropBox, distance doesn’t matter.

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Chicken kare-kare (Chicken stew in peanut sauce)

Chicken kare-kare

Chicken kare-kare

THE VERY FIRST DISH that came to mind when I was contemplating to become a vegetarian for the sake of love was kare-kare. It would be very difficult to give up. But love prevailed and I never had kare-kare since then. This was two decades ago. As fate would have it, the love was eventually lost and I had since gone back to eating meat (poultry, yes. four-legged animals, no.)

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The carrot cake that almost started an angry mob

Carrot cake with pistachios and walnuts

Carrot cake with pistachios and walnuts

About two weeks ago, I met an American from Michigan who moved to New Zealand and unexpectedly became a Kiwi farmer. In 2009, he started a WordPress blog called Moon Over Martinborough to chronicle their life in the farm which eventually led to a best-selling book of the same title. Carrot cake everyone wants is the most enticing story behind a recipe that I’ve ever read. It teaches you a lesson about sharing your most beloved recipes, unless you want an angry mob of pitchfork-carrying farmers at your door.

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