Basic Food Stylist's Kit
by Denise Vivaldo
Basic items that every food stylist should have in their kit:
- Angostura Bitters—an orange-brown coloring agent for food or beverages.
- Bamboo skewers—to move small pieces of food onto and off of a plate or adjust food once on the plate. Skewers can also be used to hold different foods together.
- Can opener.
- Cookie cutters—round, in various sizes.
- Cosmetic sponges, wedge-shaped—use as a wedge to help angle and adjust pieces of food.
- Cotton balls—same use as above and as non-collapsing stuffing for foods like omelets.
- Disposable lighter with adjustable flame, or a barbecue lighter.
- Exacto Knife or matte knife—used to cut a multitude of things.
- Forks, table and meat.
- Fruit Fresh anti-browning powder—edible white powder that dissolves in water. Dip cut fruit and vegetables into the solution to prevent browning. Also use for reviving wilted greens and herbs.
- Garnish tools.
- Gloves, tight-fitting latex—for cutting hot chiles or handling stinky food.
- Glycerin—use straight or add to water for making long-lasting water droplets (example: controlling the exact placement of water droplets without them moving or disappearing).
- Kitchen Bouquet.
- Kitchen towels, cloth—buy lint-free bartender's towels, or use old cloth diapers.
- Knives—paring, bread slicer, meat carver, and chefs knife are the basics.
- Ladles—in a variety of sizes.
- Metal skewers—heated on a stove and used to create grill marks on different items such as steaks, grilled fillets of fish, chicken breasts, grilled vegetables, etc.
- Museum Wax, Quake Hold putty or florist clay—to hold items very securely in place. Museum Wax is our preferred material and we use it on every shoot.
- Needle and thread—white, beige, brown and black thread to stitch up tears in meat or poultry before cooking.
- Piping gel, clear—can be used as a lightweight food glue or thickener for sauces.
- Ruler or tape measure.
- Sharpening or diamond steel for knives.
- Spoons, assorted sizes and materials.
- Squeeze bottles—for placement of larger amounts of sauces and liquids.
- Tape—transparent, gaffer's, electrician's (in various colors), duct, and painter's.
- Timer, standard kitchen.
- Thermometer, instant-read and oven.
- Tongs—in a variety of sizes.
- Turkey baster—used to extract or add liquid to a dish, keeping the mess to a minimum.
- Vaseline—for gluing food together.
- Vodka—an excellent cleaner of surfaces, it also slows down the browning of avocados.
- Windex—don't leave home without it.
The Food Stylist's Handbook
- by Denise Vivaldo
- Gibbs Smith 2010
- Hardback; $50.00
- ISBN-10: 1423606035
- ISBN-13: 978-1-4236-0603-1
- Reprinted by permission.
Buy The Food Stylist's Handbook
Also check out Food Styling by Delores Custer
This page created October 2010