About Gail Watson
As a kid growing up my family was in the restaurant and catering business out on the North Fork of Long Island in Greenport. At my Father’s knee I learned to be an entrepreneur and have an appreciation for Art, from my Mother’s side of the family I learned to cook and be passionate about food. In the restaurant kitchen I was taught how to prepare for crowds and had wonderful chefs that indulged my barrage of questions on the art and science of food.
I have most recently been a successful NYC wedding cake designer since 1987. This was a business that I fell into at precisely the right time. The world of sugar is a tremendous playground and to be a part of so many brides happiest moments has been a gift. My cakes have been featured in several books and countless magazines, and I’ve also had the good fortune to appear on quite a few TV shows including Oprah, TV Food Network, etc. As a result of the years in the cake business I was exposed to some amazing people and my dearest friends are some of the best chefs, designers and magazine editors in the known world- and they have all inspired and taught me so much.
Now that I have left the cake kitchen, I look forward to spending my days cooking, creating and photographing the cookbooks that have been in my heart for so many years.

The meaning behind the name

A Stack of Dishes is a bit of a quip and refers to two things. The first is that a food blog is, in fact, a list or “stack” of recipes (dishes) where one piles on top of the other. The other inspiration for the name, is as the header photo suggests- that when a stack of dishes is pulled from the cupboard it usually means company, good food and shared moments.

It is in the spirit of gathering together that these recipes are created. Food is best shared and the act of preparing and cooking is one of a generous heart. Many of the recipes come from my roster from my years of entertaining which I have developed myself over time. Every recipe is prepared and tested to ensure your success. Though I am an experienced cook I was not formally trained. It’s important to me that you feel that you can approach my food and prepare it confidently. When I post recipes that are the work of others I do my best to link back to the original and give credit where it is wholeheartedly due- and if you feel compelled to repost my work I hope you do the same.

My hope is the recipes and photos demystify some of the elements of cooking and to show you that a few extra steps can turn any meal, whether for one or many, into something special that is easily obtainable.

The photography

Before becoming a wedding cake baker, I studied art photography in college. The camera has always been a tandem passion of mine along with cooking. I learned to shoot film and print in the wet darkroom, which taught me a particular way of approaching images. For that experience I am forever grateful. Digital photography is, of course, fantastic and I fully embrace and adore it. Though my artwork has little to do with food, photographing for this blog has been tremendously soul satisfying.

For those who like to know: I shoot with a Canon 5D mostly (my baby) and use either a 1.2 50mm or a 28-105mm zoom.  I just purchased a Canon 6D, and we are now developing a close working relationship. I occasionally use a Canon G11 too. I shoot tethered to my laptop and am a photoshop fiend.

My kitchen is blessed with a lot of sunlight which I prefer to use when I can. However I often shoot early-meaning before the dawn, or later in the day after cake work is done. My studio lighting is frighteningly simple and still evolving. It should be said: I love my tripod.

I truly hope you enjoy what I am creating here. Please drop me a line and tell me about yourself and what you think: gail@astackofdishes.com

Heres to you-