Updated: Apr 12, 2022
I liken my work as a food stylist to the thoughtful story that begins when a guest list is associated with a exquisitely designed invitation. An invitation provides the first step in belonging, just as an advertisement appeals to and draws the attention of a certain audience. Don't we all love to hold a place in a grander story, where we work to bring out the best in
one another and draw upon each other's experiences as we build a compelling story? What fun to pick up a cheery call recently from Amanda Eyre Ward, a writer for TRIBEZA who shared an invitation with me to talk about my styling, how my career started, where I received my training, a few thoughts about my philosophy as a stylist, and the clients I serve. I was delighted to visit with her!
I believe the mission of my work as a food stylist is to draw people to the table. By making the table attractive, we honor those around us in a way that grants them the knowledge that they are welcome. A chair pulled out, a verbal gesture to join, a written note requesting the honour of one's presence....a telephone call from one who'd like to get to know you - each one an invitation that begins a new story shared across a table. As hosts we are ministers of the gift of hospitality, and we prepare well because we want others to be at rest in our company. That's my mission as a food stylist. By creating a spread of food that draws others into a restful, enjoyable, trusted source of refreshment, a particular brand or adventure is captivating the attention of an audience.
By the way I carefully design each shape, color, and texture of the elements within the spread of food to play off one another, the guests are drawn in, and invited to eat with their eyes first. Sometimes a plate is meant to evoke celebration, and other times to rather soften concern and soothe those who come to the table. No matter the goal, when others gather across a meal, a trade route so to speak opens up where we all experience tastes, thoughts, conversations, and emotions that grant us unique appreciation for others around us, far beyond the flavors of the food presented. This understanding is what reveals the most important piece of knowledge that comes from my initial conversations with a client. Who is their target audience, and what is the transformation they are hoping their audience learns to appreciate because they have responded "yes" to an invitation?