Don't you hate it when food doesn't look as good as it was advertised? There you are at a drive-thru, getting ready to mow down on what you think is going to be a super model of a burger, only to find a smashed up butterface on a bun. Though you, the consumer, may be dismayed by this food trickery, you, the filmmaker, may be interested in knowing how food stylists manage to make dishes look so damn appetizing on camera. This video shares ten techniques you can use in your own work.

Food styling is certainly an art form that requires a lot of aesthetic decisions, like item placement, color scheme, and food sculpting. However, these artists will need more than that to get these dishes looking camera-ready. In fact, they'll need to use materials that are (ironically) inedible, like shaving cream, motor oil, and shoe polish, in order to make their superstar food look delicious. Here are ten tricks food stylists use to work their magic:

  • Heating up water-soaked cotton balls is great for creating steam.
  • Mashed potatoes are used for everything: plumping up turkeys, giving better consistency, and as a stand-in for ice cream.
  • Glue is used instead of milk.
  • Food stylists use shoe polish to create grill marks.
  • Whipped cream? Nah, use shaving cream.
  • Spray deodorant makes fruit look nice and shiny.
  • Colored wax helps make sauces look thicker and more vibrant.
  • Use cardboard to separate layers of cake and burgers. Use pins to hold it all in place. 
  • Barely-cooked Turkeys and other birds are stuffed with paper and mashed potatoes and then painted golden brown.
  • Want to capture the perfect pancake stack? Spray them with Scotchgard and use motor oil instead of syrup.

Kind of disgusting, but also kind of amazing, right? What are some other useful food styling tricks you use to make food look delicious? Let us know down below!

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