Food styling is an essential component of the food industry, somehow your eyes does eat first then your tongue, but the importance of food styling goes far beyond just eating.
Food styling does have an ancient history and it’s not just a trendy subject that emerged lately, Food styling could be traced to the year 1800 in which food was illustrated in paintings even before the industrial revolution and the invention of cameras.
And if you think that food styling is somehow related to plating then it could be traced way back as it would be connected to the civilization of mankind.
But the need for food styling did boom in the recent years especially with the rise of social media platforms and its influencers.
So food stylist jobs is no longer limited on Cook books and media production as shooting ads or Restaurant menus etc..
Now adays the process of being a foodie or a social media food influencer does require food styling skills, what would a picture of a tasty meal do if it’s not styled well.
And since there was no available materials for a long period of time to depend on to learn food styling techniques you either had to experiment or learn from a pro during working on projects.
But lately to face the dire need to learn and proceed in a career of food styling entities like the cooking school starting providing a space and content for amateurs to learn food styling and become more professional.
Either through standalone courses that just focuses on different food styling techniques and photography tips, or that are included in longer cooking courses as the diplomas.
One essential skill that food stylists needs to be good is cooking. If a food stylist doesn’t understand how the procedure of cooking a plate or a meal goes, he won’t be able to fix and style it to be well prepared for a camera. The stylist needs to make a plate eatable for the eyes and for that a stylist needs to know how it’s eatable from a cook perspective.
Beside skills and knowledge tools and kit are very important in making a good food stylist, but what are the essential tools that one might need?
- Tweezers are very handy in handling garnish or into placing your food items exactly where you want
- Chopsticks also are handy not just while styling Asian food, but also it helps placing items that couldn’t be handled by tweezers.
- Paint brushes are important to brush food with oils or help removing crumbs
- Spritzers are needed to spray water on fresh veggies and help make them look fresh
- Glycerin is a secret ingredient that could be added to water to make the drops last longer
- Ascorbic acid when added to water will help prevent vegetables from turning brown
- Olive oil could be used to glisten food keeping some with a food stylist will be of a great help
- Small spoons will help stir ingredients together
- Small kitchen torch for browning the food to make it look freshly out of the oven
- Syringes is handy when you need to use sauces which will help putting them exactly where you need
- Eye droppers also are handy for dropping sauces
- Tooth picks are food stylist friends they will help anchor tall food which will make your job much more easier
One more important issue that defines a very good food stylist is eliminating food waste, food waste is already a big issue facing us, and food being wasted because of styling isn’t helping. so a good food stylist will make the right call on what to use and how to use it in order to eliminate food waste, so for example a stylist will know how to use food oil instead of car engine oil and will face no obstacles replacing them.
In conclusion, food styling is a very important dimension of food industry and the need for a talented food stylist is increasing, and to be a good food stylist you need knowledge, good tools and combination of skills to keep you on the right track.