Mexico on the Pavement

The September issue of Sarie is fresh off the press filled with delectable recipes beckoning the oncoming Summer. Warming to the theme, a food story is featured on our own little piece of Mexico that we created on a pavement in Seapoint.
We set up the Mexican scene. Photo: Donna Lewis
Cars crawl by and people slow their pace, mouths hang open, as they take in the unexpected scene before them. A turquoise wall decorated with an ornate cross and R2000 mirror hung with a single nail and a precariously placed piece of dried out pre-stick as extra securement. A string of brightly coloured paper flags dancing freely in the breeze above our heads, a makeshift floor of about 80 hand placed patterned tiles underfoot and a backdrop of a burnt out garage framed by rings of barbed wire. Of course this is all in a day’s work for Sarie food editor Herman Lensing and photographer Donna Lewis as we set the makeshift scene for a story on Mexican food.

Herman hangs the mirror. Photo: Donna Lewis


Camilla and Melissa lay the tiles. Photo: Donna Lewis

Herman chose the location as the bright turquoise of the wall was the perfect colour for the shoot and it was located near his old flat which he was preparing to rent. All the cooking was done in his flat which was completely empty save for a few necessary kitchen appliances. After we set up the kitchen scene, Herman and his assistant Melissa Pecoraro disappeared around the corner to cook the food while Donna and I were left to man mounds of expensive camera and computer equipment, an overpriced mirror and a bowl of mealies and tortillas. 

The owner of the dilapidated garage would pop in every once and while to keep us company, contributing pearls of wisdom about the high price of shop bought tortillas, most likely the sum total of his knowledge on Mexican food, before once again disappearing into his house. Fortunately Herman does know something about the popular cuisine and would appear every once in while with plates of coulourful and zesty food to make the mouth water.

Tamales dished up by Herman. Photo: Donna Lewis

Camilla mans the scene. Photo: Donna Lewis

In between shooting Donna and I would spend our time planning what we would do if anyone tried to rob us. Donna’s contribution of, “we’ll be fine, I know Ghetto!” did little to comfort me. I tried not to think about it as she dashed to Herman’s loo with a piece of Carlton towel as I was left to make small talk with the intern from Somerset East, from where? Yes I asked the same question.

We wrapped up at about 4pm and sadly dismantled our little corner. The shoot went very well though and we were gladdened by the fact that we could bring colour and cheer to a forgotten corner of Seapoint, even if only for a day.

More behind the scenes pics on our Facebook page!


About Flat Art Studios

We are a tight-knit group of photographers specializing in food photography in the Cape Town area.
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