Feast Your Eyes: A Food Sylist Waves Her Magic Wand

How to make brown foods look good on film, without using shoe polish.

Over at her blog, Running with Tweezers, the food stylist Tami Hardeman works her magic on curried lentils. The dish falls into a general category she calls "brown foods"—foods that are slow-cooked and flavorful, but frustratingly un-photogenic. Without the help of the motor oil, spray deodorant, and shoe polish that some glossy magazine and cookbook stylists use to get food ready for its close-up, Hardeman takes us through her pimping process, from plate choice to pea placement. You can see the final appetizing result below, and all the steps in between on her blog (while you're there, don't miss her previous adventures with egg salad).

What I like about food styling is the idea of thinking very purely about how to optimize food for one sense, and one sense only. What, I wonder, is the sonic equivalent of painting glycerin on seafood, or the olfactory analogy to choosing between a black or white plate?