The Art of Food Styling: Tricks of the Trade

Have you ever wondered how billboards, magazines, websites, commercials and cookbooks make food look so delicious and meticulously perfect? It is all thanks to food stylists around the world. A food stylist is someone who prepares and masters the art of creating the perfect dish all in the name of good photography. A food stylist needs to be able to translate the perception of aroma, appeal, and taste to the viewer's eye in one photo. Certainly an art form!

The food stylist scours the neighborhood to find the best looking fresh market vegetables, strategically finds a good venue, and has to master how to make that stir-fry look even more delicious then the next. This type of styling is of a very meticulous nature as they not only need to correctly proportion the vegetables in the stir-fry but also need to ensure that the crispness, sauciness, and deliciousness of the dish is showcased.

There are various styling techniques that the stylist takes into account depending on the food they are trying to make perfect. As noted in "The Dirty Tricks of Food Photography" there are many mindboggling tricks of the trade to create that perfect dish. Try some of these tricks out to master the art of food styling, spray deodorant on grapes to give a frosty veneer to them, use hairspray to give new life to a piece of drying-out cake, or use brown shoe polish to create that 'just-out-of-the-roaster succulent appeal to raw meat. The list goes on and on to ensure a food stylist's next meal is crafted flawlessly to ensure that product is sold in seconds.

Take a look at anyone of our recipes to see if you can figure out what food styling techniques were used for each of the photographs. I bet the food stylist for the Blackberry and Apple Crumble Recipe used a blowtorch to ensure the crumble had the perfect amount of 'crumble' to the photograph.

How would you rate your food styling abilities?