The Portfolio

Behind the Scenes of "My Last Supper"

by Melanie Dunea
The exact moment Melanie shot Michael White on the Hudson River in New York.

We figured Thanksgiving — the American high holiday of food — would be the ideal day to feature photographer and Fathom contributor Melanie Dunea's just-released My Last Supper: The Next Course. The lush photography book, like her original My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals, features portraits, interviews, and recipes with the world's best chefs based on the question, "what would you eat for your last meal on Earth?"

Talk about I Travel for the Food: Melanie spent sixteen months hop-scotching the globe to capture the chefs. Since superstar chefs have peripatetic lives, she didn't always catch them in the obvious places. She shot Italian chef Massimiliano Alajmo not at Le Calandre, his three-Michelin-starred restaurant outside Padova, but rather at the Italian Culinary Institute in New York City (the day after Jeralyn and Pavia attended his cooking master class).

For our feature, we asked Melanie to give us a behind-the-scenes look at how she created her lavish and evocative images. We've also included two excerpts from the book, her interviews and portraits of Michael White, chef at Marea, Ai Fiori, and Osteria Morini in New York City, and Martha Ortiz, chef at Dulce Patria in Mexico City.

And because we were curious what her travel schedule looked like, we asked for her travelogue — the chefs, the locations, and the dates. She wins our prize for best passport.

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.