Masterchef Winner Courtney Lapresi, Finds Love in a Kitchen

Kitchen engagement shoot
Masterchef winner, Courtney Lapresi finds love in a kitchen

When I first became friends with Courtney Lapresi, I knew she was many things. Stunningly beautiful with a quick wit, fiercely competitive, and a soul stirring, classically trained dancer. What I didn’t know, and I’m not sure she did either, was that she was capable of creating mouthwatering dishes and pastries that would drive her to win Fox’s cooking competition Masterchef with notoriously tough chef, Gordon Ramsay. That somehow she would survive the pressure of a nationally televised competition and the scrutiny of Joe Bastianich, Graham Elliot, and Gordon Ramsay critiquing her food, although she had little experience other than cooking for her friends and family.

Courtney couldn’t share with friends that she had been cast and sequestered away for the competition. Even after winning, she had to keep the biggest secret of her life from everyone she loved. As the season aired and it was clear she was a real force in kitchen, she became the victim of vicious on-line bullying, and handled it with unimaginable grace. So when Courtney told me that she had found love in a professional kitchen with chef Dave Notartomaso, I was thrilled to see her so incredibly happy in this new chapter in her life.

“We met right after I finished filming masterchef so the first part of our relationship was me hiding out in his apartment and writing my cookbook, Everyday Fancy (but he wasn’t supposed to know I was writing it) I just told him not to ask me any questions when I needed him to taste a recipe I was testing. He didn’t like that I was on a reality show so he started giving me tasks at work that were more advanced, testing my ability, and then was really surprised when I was able to complete them. Also, one of our first interactions in a kitchen was him scolding me after I reached for his knife to use- “NEVER touch another chef’s knife” so I went and bought the same one he had just to piss him off 😆 that’s actually my knife he’s holding in the photos- I guess when you’re married there is no more ‘mine and yours’ “

Courtney and Dave are currently living in Colorado where she works at La Fillette Bakery continuing to focus on her main focus, lovely pastries and desserts, while getting her Yoga Certification. Dave’s found a home for his culinary talents at Epicurean Catering, the largest catering company in Colorado, where he plays competitive hockey and makes sure Courtney’s knife skills stay sharp.

For their engagement shoot, we started at Milk and Honey, a cafe near Dave’s old apartment that holds special memories for the couple. We stopped in Old City where we discovered that Dave is capable of the perfect romantic dip, after which I’m pretty sure we made him dance all over Philly. They wanted a few shots with the Ben Franklin Bridge, so Race Street Pier became our dance floor and backdrop. 

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We spent the rest of the afternoon at Grace Winery where chef Scott Megill allowed us to use his beautiful kitchen for some shots of the chefs-in-love with their personal knives, a Nenox and a Nenohi Kiritsuke they  purchased at Korin Knives in NYC and had flown to Philly just for our shoot. I wanted to kitchen shots to be moody and romantic, a contrast to all the bright city images we had gotten so far. We then strolled out to the vineyard, when the two snuggled, lifted and kissed among the rows of juicy grape clusters.  

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And just when you think your friend/dancer/chef/future bride is the most graceful and magical creature on the planet, she headbutts her fiance.  Like all day, in the most romantic and picture perfect moments. ‘Cause they’re complete goofballs, and I couldn’t love them any more.


6 thoughts on “Masterchef Winner Courtney Lapresi, Finds Love in a Kitchen”

  1. Seriously, you brought Courtney Lapresi’s passion for both love and the culinary arts to life in this session!! I love your engagement photography style and how you use the absolute best spots of Philadelphia to show case your skill. Best Philly wedding photographer for sure!!! Black White and Raw always delivers variety in photography and that is exactly what we all need to see. Great work!

  2. Melanie Weitzenkorn

    I love these engagement photos with Courtney Lapresi and her hubby so much! The wind blown romantic dancing and dip photos at Race Street Pier are amazing! Your photos have such life to them. I love they just keeps dancing all the way to the vineyard at Grace Winery. The photos of them cooking together is so cool because you don’t usually see couples engaging in activities together, let alone one they both love to do. They are so lucky to have Black White and Raw Photography capture their Philadelphia engagement photos!

  3. cathie berrey green

    What an adorable engagement session with this winning of Mater Chef all over Philadelphia. I actually watch the show as well. It is so obvious how in love they are and you captured that so nicely with their engagement photos.

  4. This is such a sweet engagement session. I love all the different set ups. The one in the kitchen is so fitting with her being Master Chef. The last set is my favorite I am a sucker for a horse in any photos. They all look amazing and this couple looks amazing and in love

  5. What a phenomenal blog write up and AMAZING images to match! I’m so blown away by the diversity and art direction in these images, it’s so hard to pick a favorite!! I love all the kitchen shots, as well as the ones by the maroon door at the end.. this is such a memorable engagement session!

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