Bartering. When you possess a skill that is useful, like carpentry, or accounting, or cooking or web design or photography or a whole host of other uniquely acquired skills, bartering can be a great way to trade services without spending too much money. We had such a need when building this site. We needed head shots and fast, and we needed someone who knew us well to take them (we’re not actresses). Our schedule was tight, self-imposed deadlines loomed and our seasonal summer posts were aging in our drafts folder. We were eager to go live with Doorstepdishes.com, but without head shots it just felt unfinished. And without spending a ton of money, it seemed impossible.
Court bouillon to poach the shrimp (above) and plating the salad (below)
So we looked to barter. We reached out to a friend, neighbor and talented portrait photographer, Julia Maloof Verderosa, (you can check out her site here) and offered her a trade: a dinner party for a day of head shots. As a professional, we recognize her time is valuable. The job wasn’t the simplest ask, it included a day of planning the shoot, the shoot itself and time spent editing and color correcting. And for us, it was really the cost of the proteins and a few vegetables (most staples we already had) and our time spent cooking together.
Prepping and prepping and prepping (above)
What we got in return, weren’t only the solidly gorgeous photos of us on our bio page (check it here), but a closer friendship and loads of inside jokes (the hilarity that ensued – if you only knew). It was also a moment of entrepreneurial empowerment among women. We felt like we were channeling women of another era getting things done with pure talent and skill – or conversely were breaking out our righteous punk rock spirits for bucking the system a little.
Lamb shanks braised in red wine and warm spices with orange-mint gremolata.
And in the end – it was more than we bargained for. We were reminded why we were drawn to the food biz all those years ago – that cooking for people was still so much fun. It was ultimately so satisfying to craft and make incredible tasting food, feed a group of people and allow them to connect through the act of eating a meal. And how cool was it that we could share that with someone else and give our friend that moment? And as we joined Julia for champagne and then limoncello at the end of the night, we knew we’d dug deeper into a solid connection. And isn’t that what it’s all about?