Picture-Perfect Meals

About Us

It’s really about us, my husband, Adam, and me (Cheryl), and mostly it’s about the food. Some 15 years ago we formed ABCB Studios, specializing in food photography and recipe development. Individually and collectively our work has appeared in magazines including Southern Living, American Profile, Vogue and HomeLife. Family illness re-focused my attentions on creating healthier foods. In researching new approaches to food I kept stumbling on reports concerning the health risks involved with high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, MSG and hydrogenated oils, so I decided to eliminate these items from my pantry and my cooking. My food philosophy is simple: Make great food. Use the best ingredients available. Make it look fabulous. This blog is a celebration of the good life and allows me to do all the things I love: write stories about food and friends, share my recipes with you, and create beautiful photography with my husband. Thank you so much for joining us…

Cheryl Beverage Barnes

With a maiden name like Beverage, she has to be good! Professional cook, food stylist, writer and author of picture-perfect meals: Christmas Cookies & Confections and picture-perfect meals: Little Book of Appetizers. Cheryl’s many creative talents, combined with her enterprising business savvy, eventually led to a successful career in editorial and commercial food styling, catering, interior design and garden design. Born and raised in the South, Cheryl’s passionate love of all things food began at an early age with her rich culinary background. “Food was so much more than something on a plate,” she recalls. “It was how we lived, how we loved, how we celebrated, how we comforted, how we healed.”

A classically trained pianist, jazz and blues singer and artist, Cheryl found her true calling while working for the award-winning American Profile magazine as a recipe developer and food editor. After receiving her first “fan letter,” thanking her for one of her published recipes, Cheryl knew she wanted to devote her life to creating recipes to inspire the home cook. Together, she and her husband, Adam, formed ABCB Studios, specializing in editorial food photography and recipe development, producing photography for a wide variety of books and magazines. Cheryl continued to hone her culinary knowledge and cooking expertise until moving to the mountains of North Carolina in 2006 to pursue creating and producing cookbooks.

Cheryl’s approach to cooking naturally embraces her Southern roots but with a twist. Drawing on her travels with her husband to influence her approachable cuisine, Cheryl’s innovative recipes combine classic comforting foods with a contemporary flair.

Adam V. Barnes

As a world-renowned food photographer, photojournalist, television producer, designer and jazz musician, Adam Barnes’ global experiences are reflected in his vast talents and accomplishments. The son of an oil executive and a successful artist and art historian, Adam’s colorful childhood was a remarkable odyssey that shaped his love for excellence and enrichment. Born in Peru and raised in South America, Central America and Europe, Adam’s exposure to the wonders of culture and history in countries like Columbia, El Salvador, Spain, England, Denmark and Italy, fueled his love for the arts, literature and music. Fluent in four languages and educated in Switzerland, Adam pursued a degree in Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he excelled as a musician and guitarist.

But, it was a fateful walk with a borrowed camera that ignited Adam’s passion for photography. As an apprentice for Rogier Gregoire, an Ansel Adams alumnus, he learned the craft of photography, immersing himself by day in Rogier’s tutelage and attending the Boston Museum School by night until he acquired a certain mastery of camera and studio. His fierce determination led him to Rome, Italy, where he began a successful career as a fashion photographer and developed his lifelong gusto for food, photography and “la dolce vita.” Over the next ten years, Adam developed an impressive list of clientele, including Alitalia, Enichem, J. Walter Thompson, Eye on Italy, Mariella Ami, Francesco Bucciarelli and Vogue Entertaining.

Leaving Italy, Adam’s career thrived in Los Angeles, where he worked in the film industry doing celebrity portraiture and collected advertising clients, like TransAmerica Corporation, 1Lambda Biotech and Chippendale’s. Continuing to develop his love of food and food photography, Adam worked extensively with the Burke/Triolo Studios (now Food Pix) shooting for accounts including Winn-Dixie, In-and-Out Burger, Carl’s Jr. and Ocean Garden Seafoods. Eventually moving to the East Coast, Adam became the senior photographer for Lifeway Christian Resources, one of the first fully digital photography studios in the United States, where he developed the studio’s capabilities and versatility, especially with regard to the production of creative food photography to serve the publisher’s thirteen family magazines until he went under contract with Southern Living Magazine, where he photographed over 300 feature stories.

After moving from Nashville to the North Carolina mountains in 2006, Adam added the Foodtopian Society of Asheville, NC and the Cherokee Nation to his impressive resumé. Together with his food stylist wife, Adam established ABCB Studios, specializing in food photography and recipe development and launched Picture-Perfect Meals, their award-winning blog, as a vehicle to showcase their work. As the visual component of Picture-Perfect Meals, Adam not only creates the beautiful food imagery that characterizes their trademark style, but is also responsible for the art direction, graphics and layout of their cookbooks, and is executive producer of the TV show’s pilot episode.