Russel is one of South Africa’s foremost food photographer with a career reaching well back into the film era. In additon, he is an author and restauranteur, and loves food in all its forms. Whether it is photographing a restaurant, penning a story on an asparagus farmer, discussing a restaurant concept with an entrepreneur, or visualising food retail space, Russel Wasserfall is a singular South African foodie with a mission to tell the story of our food! The restaurant he runs with his chef wife, Camilla Comins, celebrates the best of seasonal local produce and operates on Overgaauw Wine Estate near Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.
In introducing RWF, we are pleased also to announce the publication of the first two titles from this fledgling imprint, Market Day and Jardine: Cooking with an Accent. Russel’s first grown-up job was as a copywriter at an advertising agency in Durban where he worked on the launch of Ola ice cream in South Africa for Unilever. Since then he has written copy for numerous FMCG food products, re-designed the fresh produce retailer which would later become Food Lover’s Market, run a cigar bar called Cuban Pete’s, a sushi bar called Tokyo Joe’s, an Eat Out award-winning restaurant called The Table at De Meye, and now he runs Overgaauw Restaurant with his wife on weekends. It’s a mouthful, but there’s more. This busy creative picked up a camera 15 years ago, feeling there was more to discover creatively with a camera than with a pen as a journalist and copywriter. Starting in the magazine world on assignments for Coutry Life magazine, which his mother Margaret Wasserfall launched and edited, Russel has contributed food images and/or articles to magazines such as Taste, Fair Lady, Visi, House and Leisure, Elle Decor, Garden and Home, BBC Olive in the UK, Essen & Trinken in German and online publications. He has shot images that have appeared in advertising, or on the packaging of products for Woolworths, I&J, Knorr, Unilever and many others.
In recent years his focus has shifted to supplying international media houses with material on South Africa’s burgeoning food scene. He also started looking at publishing books based on his passion for food. To date Russel has photographed and/or written 17 cookbooks. These include the best-selling A Week in The Kitchen, Braai the Beloved Country, and the 2014 Sunday Times Cookbook of the Year finalist: Another Week in The Kitchen.