Apr 7, 2011

Working the Plate : The Art of Food Styling

 Summer Landscape made of fruits & veggies

Many of us eat with our eyes first, without realizing it takes a collaborative effort between an art director, a photographer, a food and prop stylist to make the food appearing in cookbooks, advertisements, packaging, television commercials, film and menus, as culinary masterpieces.

In the world of cooking, presentation is every bit as important as flavor but this is not the case for food styling. Behind every mouthwatering image is a devoted food stylist whose job it is to plan and perfect every detail from creating cloud like cake frosting to producing perfect grill marks on steaks, without actually using a grill.

A lot of training and experience is necessary for food styling because the job requires extensive knowledge of how food acts, both aesthetically and scientifically. Like a bratty two year old, food often does not behave. Therefore, a lot of culinary tricks are used to make food the star of the show but most of it is not tasty. For instance, dropping aspirin in champagne to create extra fizz, applying lipstick on strawberries to deepen their redness, or using sugar mixed with shortening mixed to simulate ice cream.

So boys and girls, today's lesson is:

  1. Creating appealing textures, shapes and color with food is basically brain surgery!
  2. Great food shots are a culmination of serious thought, creativity, patience and effort.
  3. The "caramel" oozing over the pear below may just be polyurethane. :-/

 Underwater Veggie World  & Land made of Fruit. Are these a fish made of red cabbage & kiwi?


 How effin cool is this?

 Broccoli Trees & Bread Mountains!

 Sheep made of cauliflower and black olives

Peep the Pickle Tail...LMAO

A Village made of Bread Sticks & Cold Cuts...Genius!


 Pumpernickle dirt mounds, Pink Salmon Sea, Potato Rocks & a Pea Pod Boat

 Breaded Hand

 Fruity Hot Air Balloons over Ice Cream Mountains

 Envelope Made of Dough

Sweet Rose

 images via Carl Warner, Deb McLean, Saxton Freymann, Lisa Edsalv

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