Tributes pour in for photographer Sam Bailey

17 September 2008 by

Tributes have been pouring in from the hospitality industry for photographer Sam Bailey who died in a skydiving accident at the weekend.

Bailey, who contributed to the Caterer Group for more than a decade, was best known in the industry for his food photography and his love of fine food.

Annie Schwab, who previously ran the two-Michelin-starred, Lincolnshire-based Winteringham Fields restaurant with rooms with her husband Germain and is now living in Collonges la Rouge, France, regularly worked with Bailey.

"Over the years at Winteringham Fields, Germain and I spent many long days doing photography with Sam," she said. "He was a passionate perfectionist and this came through when you looked at his work. Sam became a very good friend and we often laughed and sometimes cried together. He was so full of life and love, a superb young man and one we feel very privileged and proud to have known."

Rob Kirby, chef-director at Lexington Catering, said he and his team were stunned by the news. "Sam had a natural gift and it was always great fun working with him," he said. "He really shared and understood our culture and this was always reflected in his work. We will all miss him incredibly."

Alison Jee, the industry PR who organises the Roux Scholarship and attended many overseas trips with Bailey, agreed. "He was an excellent photographer, fun to be with, and someone who not only loved food, but knew a great deal about it," she said.

Sat Bains, chef-patron of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms and the 1999 Roux Scholar, met Bailey the year he won the award. "We worked together on 99% of our food photography," he said. "He had a brilliant skill, he loved food and he loved what we all did. He was a big part of the industry. I'm absolutely gutted."

*A photograph by Sam Bailey from Alan Murchison's forthcoming pastry book*
Alan Murchison, chef-proprietor of L'Ortolan in Shinfield, Berkshire and La Becasse in Ludlow, was three-quarters of the way through a cookery book project with Bailey at the time of the accident. "Sam and I were working on a top-end pastry book," he said. "I've done a book before and I wanted someone that I could work well with as you end up spending so much time together. He had a confident yet relaxed manner - he made everyone feel so relaxed." Murchison, who had jumped with Bailey for a charity fundraising event two years ago, said that he had been in the process of organising a skydiving day for his brigade with Bailey's help. Hugh Judd, foodservice project manager at the beef and lamb industry body EBLEX, said that Bailey was one of the best food photographers he had ever worked with. "His empathy with busy chefs was unique and he still captured wonderful images with pots and pans flying around him. I will miss him greatly." Bailey was killed while trying to complete his third jump of the day at Langar Airfield, near Bingham, Nottinghamshire, last Saturday when he hit his head as he landed. His funeral is expected to take place next week. [Photographer Sam Bailey killed in a parachuting accident >>]( Amanda Afiya E-mail your comments to [Amanda Afiya]( here.
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