Food shots that transport us

The most powerful food photos have been crowned this year, reminding us how vividly food touches the lives of people around the world.

An intimate and warm image of a Kashmiri kebab vendor in a pillow of smoke has won the world’s most prominent food photography award.

Leading photographers judged thousands of entries from over 60 countries to announce the winners of the annual Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year, spanning categories such as street food, farming, politics and family.  

Debdatta Chakraborty captured the winning shot of an Indian man, in the northeast region of Kashmir, standing above his charcoal flame gently brushing his kebabs with visible care in a striking cloud of embers and smoke. 

“It is always a source of excitement and wonder when one single image rises to the top in the awards,” said Caroline Kenyon, founder of the awards. “In today’s world, more than ever, we feel the need for comfort, for love. There is so much to reassure us here – the beautifully captured billowing embrace of the smoke, the golden light, the subject’s expression as he prepares the food for sharing.”

“Never has the importance of photography and food been so great,” said Phil Turnbull, chief executive of APAL, owner of Pink Lady. “Huge global events; war, famine, the end of lockdowns, the revival of the hospitality industry, the chance to celebrate with friends and family again. All these are recorded in the Awards, which show so vividly how food touches every aspect of our lives.”

The awards were presented by chef and copresenter of Masterchef, Monica Galetti and were watched by a global audience.

Overall winner (and street food)

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Kebabiyana by Debdatta Chakraborty

Bring home the harvest

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Movement of noodles by Chang Jiangbin

“Noodles are a favorite food of people in Southern Fujian, China. The noodles are cooled and made with a unique process,” said Jiangbin. 

Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year 

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Gathering prunings on Corton Hill by Jon Wyand

Winter prunings gathered in the vineyards of Corton Hill in Burgundy. 

Wedding Food Photographer sponsored by Tattinger Champagne 

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Lemon Cake by Isabelle Hattink

“The cake was cut and the lady didn’t like this shot. She told me, when I asked her if I could publish the picture, that somebody had stepped on her toes,” described Hattink. 

Food in the Field

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Agricultural Art by Paolo Crocetta

“After a heavy snowfall I raised the drone to take some photos of my country covered by the whiteness of the white coat, after a few minutes of flight I noticed the particular shapes that the apple plots created in contrast with the snow on the ground,” explained Crocetta. 

Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year (South East Asia)

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Anchovy catching by Thien Nguyen Ngoc

“Many local fishing families along the coastline of Phu Yen province will follow the near-shore currents to catch anchovy during peak season. Salted anchovy is the most important raw ingredient used to create traditional fish sauce – the spirit of Vietnamese cuisine,” said Nguyen Ngoc.

Politics of Food

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Where Dreams Fly Away by K M Asad

“A little girl collects water with her older sister in the Chad Uddan slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh in September 2021. In the urban slum areas, people have access to fresh water only twice a day in the morning and evening,” said Asad. 

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