News / USA

Stylist Gets Food Ready for its Close Up

Making meals appear tempting and delicious

Food stylist Lisa Cherkasky preps a sandwich during a photo shoot.
Food stylist Lisa Cherkasky preps a sandwich during a photo shoot.
June Soh

When people think of stylists, it's usually a fashion or hair stylist. Many haven't heard of food stylists. But if you've looked through a cookbook, a newspaper food section or at a restaurant advertisement on TV, you have seen evidence of their work.

To food stylist Lisa Cherkasky, every detail makes a big difference. Her job is to make food look tasty and tantalizing for a photo shoot. At the moment, she is looking for just the right position for the garnish on a salmon bagel. After numerous tweaks, the bagel is ready for what she hopes is the final shot.

“It helps to have a good eye, being able to look at an image and see if it needs a different color, needs to be balanced another way," she says. "Also you need to understand food. You understand how it works chemically, how it works gastronomically. It is sort of like making a painting, I think, or a sculpture, so it has to be appealing aesthetically.”   

Today, Cherkasky is styling bread from the Gold Crust Baking Company. She gathers the ingredients, cooks the dishes and garnishes them so they're camera-ready. She often uses tricks or employs gadgets intended for other things.

“It might be a paint stripper because it produces heat but it does not blow like a hairdryer so you can warm something," she says. "It might be a grill starter that is used to make grill marks. I use Armor All (car product) that I spray on to keep things moist.”

Cherkasky began to explore food in her family's kitchen when she was in high school. She went on to study at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and worked as a chef for more than 10 years.

“Then I was looking to make a change to get out of restaurant work and I started working for Time-Life books in Alexandria (Virginia)," she says. "I started there doing recipe development and styling was part of the job.”

She's been a food stylist ever since and now partners with food photographer Renee Comet.

“We are all working as a team. If I don’t have a stylist I can’t concentrate on what I need to do," says Comet. "It is what makes a great photograph. Lisa and I probably have done maybe 30 cookbooks together over the years.”

Food stylist Lisa Cherkasky has produced numerous cookbooks with her partner, photographer Renee Comet.
Food stylist Lisa Cherkasky has produced numerous cookbooks with her partner, photographer Renee Comet.

Cherkasky has clients at magazines, cook books, newspapers, bakeries and food companies. Nausika Lyubinsky, a co-owner of the Gold Crust Baking Company, is watching the step-by-step process of today's shoot. Her company is planning a website to showcase its products.

"They see things that we are not used to seeing and it is wonderful," says Lyubinsky. "What we wanted to do is make sure these photos are attractive, that the chefs say 'I want that on my menu, mmm' or 'That looks good, I can make a sandwich out of it.' So, it is very important.”  

Cherkasky says in the beginning there was a lot of trial and error. “You could not really read anything. Now you can read. There are tons to read about food styling, but 25 years ago, right, you teach yourself. You can now take classes, and you can take it online. ”  

Cherkasky believes it helps to love food. She loves to look at it, eat it and even read about it. She says food pulls people together and it's essential.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid