If you're looking for a brighter, "product" looking shot, then I would recommend a really large softbox placed over top. You want the light really diffused over a large area so the light 'wraps' around the edges and contours of the food and the plateware.
So, to answer one of your questions, leave your 70-200/2.8 at home. Shorter focal lengths are more appropriate for this kind of work. How short depends on the working distance, so if you only want to bring one lens, make it the Beast.
As far as lighting is concerned, all of the above were taken with natural light with the camera tripod mounted. But they predate my participation in the strobist blog. These days I'd use a remote flash or two, and fire them through white umbrellas.
And speaking of the Strobist, I found this article in his archives.
Excellent Frank, thanks! The lighting where i'm going to be is not very good, I will probably setup 1 or 2 AB800's with umbrellas and shoot them at the ceiling. I'll have time to setup and do test shots before we get to work.
Yeah, I'm shooting for a Korean BBQ. I have been going there weekly for lunch for 6 or 7 months now. The owner told me to bring 2 or 3 people with me to eat all the food....boy am I excited!!! :biggrin:
I'm not sure if he's retired yet but Mr. Rich at Chisholm, Rich and Assoc. is/was one of the premier food photographers I believe. As far as I know he did all the work for Mahatma Foods and other clients. If you could find him I'm sure you could learn huge amounts.