Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



A Feast for the Eyes

Rachel Bachrach

Blowtorches, artists’ brushes, dental tools, and crinkle cutters. Food stylists use an eclectic set of instruments to prepare food for photo shoots. How they make any food look appealing, and some tricks you can try in your own kitchen

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

David Kolotkin and Ezequil Vasquez stand side by side in 80-degree heat. Outside, a chilly winter rain is soaking passersby, but in the kitchen of The Prime Grill, in the narrow space between the countertop and the row of stoves, ovens, and ranges, it’s toasty warm.

Ezequil watches as David, the executive chef at the midtown Manhattan restaurant, demonstrates how to serve the soup of the day, which is garnished with a parsley and mint pesto.

David squirts some of the paste into a bowl. “This is good for pasta, but not for soup. Thin it out,” he says. He squirts some oil into the bowl and mixes rapidly. “That’s not enough. Can you get me some extra virgin olive oil. Please.”

“For the soup, I want to drizzle it,” he says, adding the olive oil someone passes to him. “We need it thinner.”

He mixes. Ezequil watches.

“We’re breaking this down, almost there.”

He’s still mixing. “Do it till it’s broken.”

He lifts the spoon, takes a closer look at the paste, then drops a spoonful into a bowl of soup.

“Place a crouton on top.”

Ezequil does, and the bowl of fava bean soup with curry topped with parsley and mint pesto and croutons is ready to go.

The point, says David, is that anything a customer orders has to not only taste good, but also look good.

Chefs like David, along with recipe creators, food photographers, cookbook publishers, and food-product marketers, are all concerned with presentation.

“You’re trying to make someone react, to make someone hungry,” explains Dan Engongoro, photographer and owner of Studio E Imaging in Lambertville, New Jersey. “You want people to see the picture and think, ‘I want to make that.’ ”

People in the industry say they work with a pretty cooperative subject. “Walk into any grocery store, stop and look around the fruit and vegetable aisles. The colors are just breathtaking — there’s so much to work with!” says Estee Kafra, a Toronto-based food stylist and photographer and editor of Cooking with Color, Kosher Inspired, and e-magazine KosherScoop.com. “From an artistic point of view, food is intrinsically beautiful. It’s just a matter of presenting it properly.”

 

 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you