Maya del Sol, with John ….

OK, troubles are not gone.   Can you see me now ???

I am a lucky girl !  I was able to shoot the specials of the week at one of Chicago lands best restaurant, and definitely Oak Parks best !!   Maya del Sol !  Yep, that’s  right …   I contacted the Maya’s photographer, John Burkowski, and he invited me to his shoot, and said , “bring your camera”  WOW !  John could not be a nicer guy, and a  damn good photographer.   John started as a photographer for the Navy, (Go Navy!) and has been photographing professionally ever since.  He has 41 years of talent under his belt.

I helped set the stage,  I did as I was told …  this was the real deal.  After the reflectors and the flashes, (the master and the slave), were in position, we took a trip to the kitchen.  Chef Rhea….another WOW! was  preparing his specials.  Oh my …  if only I could photograph the scents.   Chef Rhea is also amazingly easy to talk to.  Not an ego anywhere in this entire restaurant.   Another tribute to this great dining establishment.

The first dish that Chef Rhea created was :

Pescado del Dia :    pan roasted Striped Bass served with spaghetti squash, a pina-colada salsa , and a watercress salad.  The van Gogh ….

I am not sure how I uploaded this picture, but I will try again for another image …  First, let me critique this.  I was shooting with my Macro 105mm lens.  Hmmm, I would have been better off with a slightly wider angle lens.  Lets SEE the dish.  Also, a bit higher of an angel would have been perfecto .And, I may have used a smaller aperture opening, just to get a better focus on the salad and squash.  The setting, lighting, and composition are all perfect, however, that has nothing to do with me.

The next dish to grace our lens was :    Churrasco    an open wood-fired Brazilian style 14 oz Rib Eye steak, served with Yuca fries, Mojo de Ajo, house giardinera and a Pepitas herb sauce.  OMG !  I wanted to pull up a chair and enjoy the flavors with a fork and knife.  This is the Alexander Calder …

I have another picture that I will add.  It took me long enough to figure out where they were, and how to get them on my blog, let me do it again…

These two shots have the same issues as the 1st image.  Different lens, move back, and be sure to include the entire dish.  Other than that, these are my RAW FILES.  Amen.

I have one more Special of the Week  to share.  I hope Chef Rhea does not mind…..  this image does not flatter the masterpiece.  Here goes …..

Congrejo de Concha Blanda      planxa roasted Soft Shell Crab fried crispy and served with pickled cabbage, green onion, radish, and carrots with a Habanero Achiote Citrus Vinaigrette.  whew !  I had my fork and knife ready for this one also …

My problem with this image …. you cannot tell what it is, but boy does it look good!  the Picasso …

So, I am back, shooting in the RAW format,  uploading my images, after I change them back to JPEG ( ?????) and posting them on my blog.  Life is good.   But what really has me excited……..      John has invited me back for next weeks specials !

Johns website is :    and      you should see his portraits.

and the Maya del Sol  144 S Oak Park Ave  Oak park, IL 60302   708-358-9800    Chef Rhea is outstanding ! just like the entire establishment. From top to bottom, head to toe, stem to stern,  …and inside out, this restaurant is top notch ! a real touch of class.

7 thoughts on “Maya del Sol, with John ….

  1. What an opportunity for you being on the shoot w/John! The Churrazzo shots I like best and the lighting and shadows on soft shell crab dish is great – would like to have seen more around edge of plate backing up a bit. Do you have the recipes for any of these dishes?

    • Kwil….. how were you able to see the pictures ? I hope this works now, I just did something ??? to try and fix it. No, no recipes.. and yes, back up Michelle ! thanks Kath

  2. I agree with Kathy,,,great photos but want to see more edge of plate..Negative space OR zero in on a feature. I hope the scents were enticing because my saliva was not flowing to my brain telling my stomach to tell my hand to pick up the fork. I am making my reservation at Rochelle’s not …..

  3. Looks delicious…like Elise said I would like to see the whole plate using the same angle or tweaking the perspective coming more on top view of dish and perhaps with that angle the zoomed in focus (not showing entire plate) would be more enhancing to the dish.

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