Do you ever wonder how the pictures of food in a magazine or an advertisement look so tasty? Do you ever wonder who cooks the food and makes it look so appetizing you could eat it right off the page? The answer is a food stylist! Food stylists are like artists, and they work to arrange food items to look as delicious and fresh as possible for pictures, menus, magazines, etc. Food stylists have to be extremely creative and have to have a clear vision of how the food can be arranged to look yummy, and appeal to the viewer, as well as keep that appealing look for the length of the photo shoot. Often times, they have to use several tricks to make the food appear fresher, hotter or colder than it actually is, sometimes even incorporating non-edible items into the picture that we would never know about!
Food stylists must have culinary training and many are actually professional chefs themselves. It is important that food stylists have a background in culinary training so that they know how different foods and ingredients work together, the properties of certain foods (which is helpful when deciding how to style the food), as well as have the experience of preparing food to look appetizing. It is also highly recommended that a food stylist have an internship assisting another food stylist for a good bit of time so that they can see and learn the challenges that can arise when styling food, and the quick fixes that can be used. Studying art, business or photography can also be helpful in becoming a food stylist.