Coming up with creative ways to make food exciting and fun for the holidays is a big part of being a food stylist — and for me, getting ready for halloween is one of my favorite projects! With fall just around the corner, here's a look back at some videos and recipes that I created for Real Simple last year.
I've been into origami for as long as I can remember, so I was super excited when West Elm asked me to style some napkins with origami-inspired folds. It's not exactly food, but the two go hand in hand (or hand in lap?)
My ongoing Instagram "Resist" series needed a little pep in its step, and I thought it would be helpful to add a little (stop) motion to help reinvigorate it.
I was asked by Stella Artois to create the food for a series of advertisements in which groups of friends were enjoying meals together. The shoot consisted of both still photos and video sequences, which was a recipe for long hours and multiple takes. The client was looking for food that felt elevated and elegant, and the talent had to interact with it in a way that felt natural. As a food stylist it is always challenging to create an environment that feels like the best version of real life, especially when the camera is constantly moving and the actors are (appearing to be) eating it... sometimes for 4 or 5 hours at a time! I'm quite pleased with how these images came out!
Ok, this one is a bit of a stretch because it's true there's no gingerbread here. I was commissioned by Hershey's to design and build this mansion entirely out of KitKats for a Facebook Live event. This is by far the largest "gingerbread" house I've constructed. It was so large, in fact, that I had to build it in four sections that could be pulled apart and reassembled on site just so it would fit through the doors! Although it was cold outside, keeping the chocolate from melting in my overheated Brooklyn apartment was a challenge. This project took me five very long days and used hundreds of KitKat bars, and it goes to show that the line between being a food stylist and an architect is not as bold as you might think.
Another day, another gingerbread house! Lord Abbett, an investment firm located just outside New York City, was looking for a food stylist to create a gingerbread replica of their office building to both be featured in their holiday greeting video and live in the lobby of the building for the holiday season. There were two major challenges for this project. First, the building has a huge amount of glass on the facade, which required some structural engineering. I also had to figure out a way to bake all the pieces in my tiny Brooklyn oven and piece it together like a puzzle.
If someone had told me when I was a kid that one day I would get to make gingerbread houses for a living, I never would have believed I'd be so lucky. In my years as a food stylist I've made more gingerbread houses than I can count in every shape and size. This one, a replica of Downton Abbey (we called it "Gingerbread Abbey"), was one of the first large-scale houses I worked on. It was designed for Martha Stewart in conjunction with PBS, and it turned out great!
When people find out I'm a food stylist, the first question they always ask me is about how I fake it. They want to know all about the secret tricks I use to make everything "just so", and I think they're a little disappointed when they find out that there really aren't any. Sure, I carry fake rubber ice in my kit (not only does it float; it bounces!), but aside from that the food I prepare for photo and video shoots is not very different from the food I make at home, and at the end of the day pretty much all of it gets eaten.