Dallas Fashion Photographer Alicia Stepp Loves The Brightness Of Urban Taco’s Menu And Can’t Wait To People-Watch On The Restaurant’s Patio Again Soon.

Welcome to a new pandemic-era series on Central Track called Photographers On Food, in which provide various Dallas-area photographers a small budget with which to buy themselves takeout or delivery from a local restaurant they love, and then ask that they shoot that order in a creative way before chowing down. In publishing these photos, we hope to to help keep food on the table of local photographers and to highlight some great area dining establishments that are working through these times the best we can.  

Dallas fashion photographer Alicia Stepp kicks off our new series that aims to highlight the Dallas photography industry and they restaurants they turn to to keep their taste buds tingling.

A 13-year veteran of the game, Stepp chose to highlight a favorite item of hers from the Mexico City street taco-inspired Dallas taqueria, Urban Taco.

In addition to an eye-grabbing photo she took of Urban Taco’s lettuce wrap tacos and the inspiration behind it, Stepp shares her history with the restaurant and the work she’s herself doing during the pandemic to support the local restaurant scene below.

The Photo:

The Interview:

What restaurant did you choose?
Urban Taco.

Why Urban Taco?
I have been craving some Mexican food ever since this lock down started, and Urban Taco is definitely one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Dallas. I love the flavors of their food — they are really dynamic and a little bit more playful and exotic with the combinations they use. One of my favorite things about Urban Taco is that they have an chips and salsa trio appetizer. You get to choose the three salsas to accompany the chips, which is a pretty damn cool concept. My favorite is the jalapeño zucchini.

How about the meal? Specifically, what did you choose, and what made you pick this one?
I love their vegetable lettuce wrap tacos! The combination of the freshness and the crunch of the lettuce with the taco is a really awesome twist. This taco is the roasted corn con lime. The sides in this photo are the roasted corn and poblano rice.

What’s the best memory you’ve got of this place?
I don’t know that I have one specific memory I associate with Urban Taco, but I’ve had some amazing times with friends and family in this restaurant stretching out over the past 10 years! I can’t wait until I can sit on their patio again with a margarita and people-watch at Mockingbird Station. It’s strange that something that simple is a distant memory now.

Why did you decide to shoot your tacos this way?
I love minimalism and the use of bold shape and color. I am not a food photographer; I normally photograph people, so this is a totally new realm for me. But I knew I wanted to do something fun and colorful using complimentary colors.

How do you feel about how the photo came out?
Considering I didn’t have a food stylist and have very limited experience with still-life photography, I feel like it turned it OK! I needed to work quickly since the food traveled from pick-up, and then had to be set up in studio once we were back home. So I unfortunately did not have time to execute my original concept — but maybe I’ll revisit that soon!

Where can people see more of what you’re working on?
My website is aliciastepp.com and my Instagram is @aliciastepptx. I also started an Instagram account at the beginning of the shelter-in-place to help out local restaurants called @keepdallascookin. Each week, I hold a contest for people to guess what I’m making — and, the following week, I announce the winner, who receives a $20 gift card to a local restaurant that falls under the same culinary umbrella. I would love if everyone could give me a follow and send me any recommendations you have for restaurants to highlight! While I am currently unable to work doing fashion and beauty photography, I am still available for product photography as well as retouching services. I will also be rolling out mentoring for aspiring photographers as well as portfolio reviews in the coming months.

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