So some of you may know that before I got into photography, I used to be a chef. My love of food has been deep routed in my soul ever since I was a kid. I’ve always known that eventually I really wanted to do food photography. To me food is absolutely beautiful! And that is especially true of fruits and vegetables. The colors are so vibrant and the all the different textures make food such a beautiful thing to capture. When I set out to really start doing more food photography, it was my goal to photograph food that I believe in. In this day and age there are a lot of chefs out there and a lot of people who aren’t chefs making some amazing food. And not only are they making amazing food but they are doing it in a healthful way AND one that takes the environment and our planet into consideration. When I had heard about this company Tio Gazpacho I knew I wanted to be a part of it somehow.
Allow me to introduce you to Austin. He is the founder and chef (though he openly admits he doesn’t have any culinary background) behind Tio Gazpacho. He was gracious enough to allow me to spend the day in his kitchen and capture the beauty behind the product. Tio Gazpacho makes a bottled drinkable gazpacho. It is raw, vegan, and organic. No added crap here. It comes in three flavors (Yes, I said flavors. Who knew you could have flavors of gazpacho, right?) and it is delicious!
When I arrived at the kitchen, Austin had just gotten back from dropping off some gazpacho for a local farmers market. He warmly invited me in and offered me a snack. The dietitian in me was smiling inside as he opened his draw of KIND bars and applesauce. Austin then began to tell me how Tio Gazpacho got started. He’s actually got a pretty great story. He grew up eating junk like every other American. After college he moved to Spain and fell in love with real food. With a smile on his face he told me how he use to buy cartons of gazpacho in Spain and he loved it so much that he would drink it right out of the carton, and thus was born the idea of drinkable gazpacho. Austin, went on to tell me all about starting his business, of which the challenges I know all to well. He is extremely proud to produce a product that is organic and free of preservatives. He started prepping the ingredients as we continued to talk about the ideals behind the business. I had asked him if there were plans to eventually sell the product on store shelves (currently it’s offered at local farmers markets and juice bars in the Miami area) to which he began to tell me that it is definitely in Tio Gazpacho’s future. It’s taking longer than he had hoped because for the gazpacho to be self stable he would have to add a preservative or heat treat it, which would effect the nutritional content. He didn’t want to do either of those so he is looking into another procedure that would not effect his product and hopes to be on store shelves soon. I couldn’t believe it. It was so refreshing to see someone not sell out what their company stood for just for a space on the shelf in Whole Foods. The more Austin told me the more warm and fuzzy I got. One of the most impressive things about Tio Gazpacho is that they generate virtually no trash at all! They donate all of their scraps to compost for a community garden project, recycle all produce boxes and only generate about one grocery bag of trash a week, which is pretty unbelievable. And the box of scrapes to compost, looked pretty enough to eat. Not to mention it was the only professional kitchen I’ve ever been in with all natural cleaner and all natural soap at the hand sink. When he finished making a batch I got to try a taste…out of small compostable bowl of course.
If you’re ever in the Miami area, you have to pick some up to try them out! (The Gazpacho de sol is my favorite) You can visit their website http://www.tiogazpacho.com/ for more information and locations. Also check them out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TioGazpacho and follow them on Instagram @tiogazpacho