Food Styling at The Maya Kitchen

It was a unique lecture and demonstration that well known food stylist Chef Theo Zaragoza shared with students and the media recently at The Maya Kitchen. The event started with a very informative talk which touched on the whys and hows of food styling.
According to Chef Theo, food styling is the art of bringing food to life, of preserving the natural appeal of food to ensure that it looks its best in front of the camera.

Chef Theo Zaragoza

The chef also differentiated between food styling and food presentation. Whereas food presentation requires that hot food is served hot and cold food is served cold, food styling, in most instances, require room temperature.

garden salad
Fresh Garden Salad

Food handling is kept to a minimum in presentation while in styling, food is meant to be held and not eaten. In the pursuit of perfection, food styling invariably leads to food wastage, something that is not allowed in presentation. The most glaring difference is that food is half cooked or not cooked at all in styling.

Fruit Trifle
Fruit Trifle

To further illustrate his points, Chef Theo held a hands-on workshop by dividing the class into four groups. He then did step-by-step styling of fresh vegetable salad, pizza, fruit trifle and roast chicken. Chef Theo shared his styling secrets for each dish like how to create height and achieve the right color for the salad; how to create the thick, rich cheese strings seen on TV when a pizza slice is lifted; how to perfect the layer-by-layer look of a refreshing fruit trifle and how to achieve that appetizing rich brown color of a roasted chicken.

Roast Chicken

Chef Theo Zaragoza was a student of internationally-renowned stylist Dolores Custer. His very own Resultado Gourmet Designs, Co. is now an in-demand food styling firm in the advertising industry. They have done cook books, TV and print ads and editorial work for some of the country’s biggest food brands.

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