arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up cross download facebook link-external linkedin magazine mail search twitter xing


Finding bio-based substitutes for sugar, fat and salt, or ways of reducing them in modern foods, is one of the priority research topics at BRAIN. In the company’s proprietary BioArchive, BRAIN’s scientists find natural substances that enhance the taste of salt, sugar and fat and can thereby help reduce the quantity of these substances used in foodstuffs. Food photographer Markus Bassler and food stylist Oliver Hick-Schulz, the duo behind “De Pönk. Bureau Culinaire”, found the subject of taste modulation so exciting that they quickly found a way of visualising it for the current issue of BLICKWINKEL.

Free art and excellent craftsmanship are interdependent and complement each other. Both have their raison d’être, in science just as in taste and the culinary arts. Particularly in the latter two areas! Bassler and Hick-Schulz are past masters at handling light and texture. While they are familiar with up-to-the-minute visual idioms and styles, they are fond of breaking with conventional ideas of culinary aesthetics now and then. Some people may say “Yuck!” when they look at the chocolate chicken. And others will sigh “Oh, what a shame!” when they see the cream cake melting like snow in the sun. But those who take a second look are sure to be impressed, or even downright delighted, by this “white” scenery in particular, where several bars of white chocolate segue into an almost architectural sculpture.

Nowadays, when almost everyone gets out their mobile in their own kitchen or restaurant to take a snapshot of what is being served up, Bassler and Hick-Schulz show us what real food photography is, and what it can do. And, as in this photo series for the current issue of BLICKWINKEL, they also like to follow the path less ordinary, break with tradition and take things to courageous extremes. However crazy the idea in itself, the duo’s execution is always highly professional.

They came together by chance in 2010 when handling an issue of Frankfurt’s NORDEND magazine, where Oliver Hick-Schulz was art director and editorial designer. After a few meetings, not only had they hammered out the choice of photographs for the publication, it was also clear that Bassler and Hick-Schulz got on like a house on fire.

Two years later, these “sister souls” were sharing a new office, where they focused not only on cooking but also on the presentation of foods and products. Both of these areas are now reflected in magazines, catalogues and books, whether on sake, barbecues, the taste of a childhood in Styria, or the culinary treasures of Cyprus.

Geschmack 1
Geschmack 2
Geschmack 4
Geschmack 5
Geschmack 6
Geschmack 7
Geschmack 8

De Pönk. Bureau Culinaire
Bassler Hick Schulz

Markus Bassler/ Oliver Hick-Schulz

Markus Bassler (right) started out washing dishes in a small Parisian restaurant of the previous century. He gave up architectural photography to become a food photographer. “You see, you start talking to the buildings when you have to wait four hours for the right moment to press the shutter button. Meanwhile, your tummy is rumbling. Food photography always brings you close to a chef de cuisine.”, is Bassler’s convicing explanation. He has been passionate about food ever since shooting his first photos in the 1990s at “El Bulli”, the famous three-star Spanish restaurant. He has always travelled widely across the continents to broaden his own horizons and to find new subjects for his photos. He still loves architectural lines and rooms, and he still washes dishes every day.

Oliver Hick-Schulz (left) is an editorial designer, foodie and globetrotter based in Frankfurt. He reads cookery books like other people read crime novels, and he is a passionate cook who blends what he has read and experienced to the tastiest effect. As a food stylist, he presents food and drink for other people too, with exquisite delicacy and often with a humorous twist. Otherwise, Hick-Schulz mainly designs magazines and books for customers from the cultural and gourmet scene. He has passed on his knowledge in this field to the Academy of Visual Arts, among others, and received a number of awards for his work.

Scroll to top