Skip to content
Marcus Patrick Brown, Picnic
At work with

Marcus Patrick Brown, Picnic

The fourth issue of Picnic, featuring a new design and larger format, has just been published. It’s a vehicle for photographer Marcus Patrick Brown to showcase his interest in restaurant and dining culture.

‘Food is delicious,’ Marcus tells us as he shares his working week, ‘but really, it’s the least interesting thing to talk about and photograph.’ Instead, Picnic focuses on the people behind the food—the chefs and restaurateurs.

What are you doing this Monday morning?
Coffee, shakshuka and avoiding emails.

Currently I’m working on our issue five ‘Shot on iPhone’ special. Shooting issues  one to four on film I felt it was time for a new concept, I didn’t want to become overly reliant on the film aesthetic. I wanted to see how close I could get to the ‘Picnic look’ on an iPhone.


Describe your work environment
On the desk there’s a stack of the latest issue of Picnic Magazine issue four ‘Back to London’ starring Margot Henderson and Eddie Huang, a thermal label printer, an orange Le Creuset mug, La Cie external hard drive and a Canon Selphy printer for printing postcard size images that I mount on a stainless steel kitchen splash back that I have drilled into my wall.

It’s pretty leafy where I live in Crystal Palace so mostly I just see the postman doing his morning rounds or some neighbourhood foxes.


Which magazine do you first remember?
I remember reading a lot of The Beano and The Dandy growing up, iconic British comics. Later on I got into reading GamesMaster, mostly squinting at the nudey images on the back pages as a teenager. The Radio Times and the Argos catalogue were also great bits of literature.

I’d love to tell you I was reading The Face or Popeye but in reality it was Legend of Zelda walkthroughs and the Bash Street Kids.


Sandwich magazine issue 8 front cover

Which magazine matters to you the most this morning?
I had a look through Sandwich this morning, I always think it’s difficult to shoot famous people without the concept turning stale. But they nailed it with their Gordon Ramsay ‘idiot sandwich’ cover.


Picnic magazine issue 5, two covers as gif

Describe Picnic in three words
Stainless-steel, biros, Birkenstocks


What does Picnic do that is different to other food magazines?
Picnic isn’t really a food magazine. It documents restaurants, chefs, dining culture and everything in between but not the food itself. Food is delicious, but really, it’s the least interesting thing to talk about and photograph.


Issues three and four of Picnic magazine, showing the difference in page size

What prompted the change to a far larger page size for the fourth issue?
I worked with All Purpose Studio to redesign everything from the fonts and layout to the visual language for this issue. Ultimately Alex and Ted at All Purpose decided that a larger format would do the images justice and I agreed.

I’d love to re-release a collectors box edition with issues one to three in the updated format.


Please highlight one story from the magazine that sums up what you're trying to do with the magazine
There’s a feature in issue two titled ‘The Blue Role’ by Georgia Spanos that documents blue roll’s—the ubiquitous restaurant paper towel—adaptable nature from makeshift bandanas in hot kitchens to first aid kits and grease trap unblockers.

Alos, the new issue features an interview with Dara Klein, the head chef and founder of Tiella, a Pugliese Italian residency at George Orwell’s favourite pub The Compton Arms, you should go, it’s the best.


What one piece of advice do you have for someone producing their own magazine?
You need to gather a large amount of content and features before you launch your magazine. The last thing you want to do is announce your magazine then lose momentum after a few weeks.

Don’t waste time making reels or cheap throwaway content, do it slow and do it right. & be tight on your edit!


What are you most looking forward to this coming week?
I have a shoot with chef Abby Lee and her crew at Mambow in Lower Clapton on Thursday. She’s been killing it recently with Malaysian inspired dishes like Umai, Rempah fish and Lor Bak. It’s going to be fully shot on iPhone and will be featured in Picnic Magazine issue five.

I’ll also be shooting a new campaign with Delli.


Previous post Whitney Mallett, The Whitney Review of New Writing
Next post The Flatplan masterclass, 2024