The questions I’m asked most about my job (aside from how I try to avoid gaining weight from eating all day, for which the answer is taking incredibly small bites) is about food styling. Readers are curious as to whether the food that appears in the magazine is made by us, the answer is yes and no. Chatelaine’s test kitchen staff (including moi) create, test and write all of the recipes but we don’t style or photograph anything that goes in the magazine. Instead, we hire a food stylist to prepare the recipes for our photo shoot, and we worth with photographers who specialize in food photography. (What great jobs, eh?). I’m also asked about the food and if it’s fake food. The answer is no. There’s no paint or shellack on our shoots, I promise you that. Which leads me to question three – who gets to eat the food after a shoot? Sadly, usually no one gets to eat it – most days, it’s been smiling for the camera way too long, food shoots are often 9 to 5 day. And now for a sneak peek: We test our recipes several times, then take shots of the last test so we can show other staff, our photographers and our food stylists in preparation for the photography shoot. Here’s what one of our tests and (amateur) photos look like… And here is a photo of a dish that one of our food stylists (the fabulous Ettie Shuken) prepared on set. Both pictures are of the same recipe. Can anyone guess what it is? It’s being printed in our October issue, so you’ll find out soon enough.
FILED UNDER: In the Kitchen