Book Contributor – Luke Abiol, San Francisco

Luke Abiol, San Francisco

Luke was one of these people who I just knew I wanted to be part of my book. Not only because he is a great photographer, but because he is just the kind of person that you just really like and want to be part of whatever you do.

I think it was almost 1,5 years ago that I baked for Luke for the first time. Luke was at that time living in Berlin with his German wife and 4 children. He had heard about my bread through friends and called me up to make a trade. Bread for photography. Luke brought his large format camera to my home and we had a 4 hour session taking images of bread and dough. I think the sourdough never got that much attention. 2 of the 6 images he made ended up in my book.

As he returned to San Francisco this winter I connected him with my publisher Chronicle books. They liked him just as much as me and my friends in Berlin did. For Chronicle he is currently shooting for a story about San Francisco cocktail classics.

At the moment you are able to support Luke through crowdfunding his upcoming book “Winter”. But hurry up, there is only 1,5 days to go!

Q/A with LUKE

M: What is good bread for you and what is your relation to bread?

L: Having grown up in San Francisco I have a special relationship with sourdough. My parents learned how to bake sourdough when I was a kid. Selling their bread helped to supplement income when my father lost his job in the early 90′s. Those were memorable times – our kitchen constantly filled with baked goods.

M: What made you contribute to The Bread Exchange?

L: While living in Berlin I learned of Malin and her perfect sourdough. I reached out, offered a trade and we soon became great friends. She’s easily one of my favorite people in that town.

M: Where were you born and what have you learned from this place?

L: I grew up in San Francisco, came of age in New York and started my own family in Berlin. I learned that winter can last almost 10 months and summer 2 weeks, depending on the year. I also learned how friendly the Ordnungsamt are and that when you order a sandwich in Germany not to be surprised when you get one slice of salami on it.

M: You’re upcoming book project is currently available to support on Kickstarter. Please tell me about this book.

L: The book is a monograph of a long term project entitled Winter’s Berlin. The images were made between 2006-2014 in Berlin with a 4×5 field camera. The series of images is a reflection of my understanding and interests of the city during my time there. Though many of the photographs were made during the winter months, the series is not a literal document of the city during that particular season. The idea is that Berlin is owned by Winter. Not what Winter is or feels like but what it represents; a period of time, void of warmth, when regeneration is severely slow, and everything that happened prior is somehow preserved by the cold.

M: What is the hardest part about your work?

L: Finding time to make photographs because most of my time is spent generating work, cold calling and coaxing clients.

M: What would you say was the biggest risk you’ve taken in your life?

L: Good question with too long of an answer.

M: Who has really inspired you?

L: My wife, my kids and parents. Close family and friends, Bible stories and Manny Pacquiao. 

M: You are a father of 3 girls (or 4?) what have you learned from them?

L: It’s actually two boys and two girls. I’ve learned that the sole purpose of children is to be the best they can at driving their parents crazy. They also happen to be the most brilliant beings I’ve ever met and I’ve met my fair share of brilliant beings.

M: How do you stay happy?

L: I actually don’t need much – peace on earth, peace in the home, the opportunity to share great food and drink with people I love. Definitely some time every week to run around town with my wife and stir up trouble is always appreciated. Good for the heart that.

M: Just like your dad I LOVE Tumeric and I use it in my Moonraker Bread. Can you share some of his favorite ways of eating/drinking the root?

L: My dad would describe himself as a proper bushman. You can find him mixing turmeric with apple cider vinegar and cracked black pepper as a pre workout potion or mixing it with his eggs to make an omelette with. He’ll basically sprinkle it on anything.

M: Where can I find your work?

L: You can find my work at or I have the Winter’s Berlin book going to print once the Kickstarter campaign reaches its goal as well as another upcoming book I’m shooting for Chronicle Books on the history of cocktails in San Francisco.

ElmlidBook Contributor – Luke Abiol, San Francisco

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