Food-Styling 101: Pro Tips To Level-Up Your Lockdown Cooking

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Food photography is becoming increasingly popular amongst home-cooks during lockdown, as the nation is re-inspired to practice their culinary skills and share their home-made creations with family and friends.

Recipe box company Gousto is bringing the nation together at the UK’s biggest virtual dinner party, Table for 1 Million this Friday 22nd May. Ahead of this exciting free event, Gousto’s top food stylist Jenny Brown has revealed her top tips for making those dishes look extra delicious on-screen to share with followers! 

Hosted by Nick Grimshaw with star guests Katherine Ryan, Paloma Faith and David Haye, the Table for 1 Million event dinner party is available to everyone and free to attend. 

Jenny’s Top Food Styling Tips

Take your foodie photos in natural lighting. It’s all about lighting when getting that perfect dinner shot – try placing your plate down next to a window, and never use your build in flash. Natural lighting shows all the delicious details and highlights the vibrant colors of your dish.

Don’t overcrowd your plate. Piling your plate up will look messy, keep it simple! Find a focus point on the plate and add ingredients around to complement. Looking a little basic? Have a change of scenery and introduce your dish to a jazzy table cloth or tea towel to balance the shot. 

Pick the perfect plate. From size to color, your plate should complement your food – choose a high contrasting color like white for your colorful dishes. And pick matte over glossy, we want to avoid a shiny surface.  

Experiment with layers and height. Transform a basic dish by introducing different levels and layout of food. Try stacking different elements of your dish, to create that wow factor! 

Surround your dish with complimentary props. If your dish is looking a little lonely, try placing related ingredients and cooking utensils around the plate such as herbs, jars, tins and cutlery. Reveal the tools and ingredients of your dish, to set the scene and reveal how you achieved your tasty meal. 

Have a play around with angles. Achieve that dinner party shot by moving around the plate and taking a variety of different images – this way you can see which angle your dish looks the best from. Every dish will have a preferable angle.

Be prepared. Although you want to achieve that perfect shot, eating it is far more important – don’t let your dinner go to waste, always have props, table setting and lighting set up in advance. Keep your herbs in cold water, to keep them fresh before the final shot! 

Don’t forget the garnish. A sprinkle of chives or a pinch of parsley can add life to a dish. The finishing touches will transform your meal into a virtual dinner party-worthy plate. Make a little mess to show how raw and real your dish is! 

Presentation is key. Mop up any spillages with kitchen paper – just like restaurant chefs, wipe around the edge of your plate for final touch-ups. And finish off with a drizzle of olive oil to keep things looking glossy. 

Join Nick Grimshaw and three dream celebrity dinner guests at Gousto’s Table for 1 Million on Friday 22nd May at 8pm. @goustocooking #Tablefor1Million

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Jenny Brown

Jenny Brown

Hi, I'm Jenny. I am an avid foodie who has been working in the food industry since 2014. I've styled the following cookbooks: London: The Cookbook by Cara Frost-Sharratt & 500 Stir Fry Dishes by Michelle Keogh.

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