A food-laden extravaganza from the tinygiant director and photographer
Dear reader, prepare yourself for pangs of hunger via the camera lens of today's Essential Lister. Louise Palmberg is a Swedish director who nowadays lives in Brooklyn and plies her trade on the roster of tinygiant. She grew up with parents in the restaurant industry where she spent years cooking (and eating) before crossing the Atlantic. Her career began as a food photographer but has since evolved into the world of live action where is keen to tell real, human stories, often in the context of eating and food.
Her photography has been widely seen in publications including Eater, Refinery 29, New York Magazine, Culture Trip, and Brooklyn Magazine and, unsurprisingly, her Essential List is jam packed full of nutritional goodness.
o Place of birth: Jönköping, Sweden.
o Hometown: Jönköping, Sweden – a kind of quaint mid-sized city in the mid South of Sweden. I grew up here until I was 18, when I moved to the US., and I go back about three times a year. Close to lots of gorgeous nature.
o Staycation: My garden at my Brooklyn apartment. As a director and photographer, I find myself working really intensely for shorter periods of time, so whenever I am between projects I try to take as much time off as possible, zoning out and reading a book in the yard.
o Vacation: Free diving and eating tam Lao (papaya salad) in Thailand.
o Pet: I wish I could say a dog, but my schedule doesn't really support a puppy.
o Place of work: At my janky homemade desk in my apartment, or whatever location my work takes me. This is one of the reasons I love my job - I have gotten the chance to see such a big part of the world and so many cultures! A classic Monday to Friday job doesn’t work too well with my eagerness to always be on the move.
Outtakes from a job in Tuscany, Italy – "I spent some time at an agritourism focused bed and breakfast during the end of September."
o Place of workout: My local YMCA in Brooklyn.
o Side project: Growing my own vegetables (and trying to keep the rats away from my tomatoes).
o Mode of transport: Biking, all the time, everywhere, aggressively!
o Bonus travel essential: My US Visa.
o Artist: The installation pair Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe are faves of mine, I love their immersive and labyrinthine worlds they create – it has quite the cinematic feel to it.
o Musician: First Aid Kit.
o Commercials director: It’s hard to pick just one - Peden + Munk are always favourites with their beautiful food work. Other recent favourites are Stacy Wall for Uber Eats, Joshua Weinstein for Lyft, and Malik Vitthal for YMCA.
o Film director: Jon Favreau really changed my life with Chef, I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen that movie.
o Photographer: Jake Stangel, hands down.
o Film: Border.
o Series: Chef’s Table by a long shot, it’s been very inspiring for me throughout the seasons for my own work.
o Commercial: M&S Food – Adventures in Imagination from 2014 was a real revelation to me when it first came out.
o Music video: I love a good narrative music video! The xx – I Dare You is so beautifully shot. I have a soft spot for anything a little retro looking, which definitely bleeds into my own creative work – warm hues rule my world.
o Video game: Super Smash Brothers Melee.
o Board game: Scandinavian version of Ticket to Ride.
o Book: Any novel by Fredrik Backman.
o Podcast: How I Built This.
o Newspaper (off or online): www.eater.com - I frequently work with everyone at Eater, but it is also one of my most visited sites for food and industry news.
o Magazine: Bon Appetit is a fave – lots of fantastic visual inspiration.
David Chang’s Momofuku Ko, photographed for Eater
o Bonus culture essential: My hero Anthony Bourdain in any form.
Food and Drink
o Breakfast: Soft boiled egg in IKEA egg cup and a Grevé cheese sandwich with smoked roe on top.
o Restaurant: I am a huge fan of Frenchette in Tribeca, which I had the pleasure to photograph for their review in Eater. Not only are Riad and Lee a few of the friendliest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, but the food is incredible. I recommend the eggs with snails. It was truly a revolutionary dish to eat.
o Cheap bite: Lamb and rice with pita bread from a NYC halal truck.
o Favourite dish: Wallenbergare – veal patty with mashed potatoes, clarified butter sauce, English peas and Lingonberry jam.
o Signature dish: Swedish meatballs, obviously.
o Snack: Chicharrones.
o Guilty pleasure: Kraft mac and cheese (pro tip: add lots of garlic powder).
o Bar: Dromedary Urban Tiki Bar in Bushwick, NY.
o Booze: Mezcal.
o Not booze: Black coffee approximately six times a day.
o Bonus food: Marabou – chocolate from Sweden.
o Bonus beverage: Love myself a good whiskey! Colorado Single Malt Stranahan’s is a personal favourite.
Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, photographed for Stranahan’s themselves.
o Phone: iPhone 10
o Computer: MacBook Pro
o Camera: Nikon D850, or honestly my phone. I’m very active on Instagram (@louisececiliapalmberg), and I snap all my Insta stories on my phone camera.
Where you document an idea: Notes App on my phone – it’s a huge jumble in there. I also have the habit of screenshotting websites and people I want to follow, and then finding them in my photos three months later.
o Casual clothing: Anything bikeable, has to be comfortable for longer rides.
o Smart clothing: Pants with POCKETS. For some reason I always find myself after a shoot with my pockets filled with a whole treasure of things – a shot list, some Ibuprofen, whatever I can get my hands on.
o Footwear: White Nike Air Force 1s or burgundy Dr. Martens.
o App: Foodie Camera App – I love making all my social content through it.