My story of food stying starts with ingredients and how it memory plays an important role. In my journey of food styling, there have been a few kitchen staples that come handy now and then. These ingredients help me tell a story and, in the process, make the image look beautiful. Even though every component can be used as a key ingredient, there are a few who can stay as a sidekick in a picture.
Here is a list of my top favorites (Click on each ingredient to take a look at how I used each of these in my styling) :
- Chilli flakes: I need this for Italian food, mostly. Chili flakes come handy when it comes to styling toasts, especially the ones with eggs and avocado.
- Fresh herbs: Basil leaves, coriander, mint leaves, chives, parsley, etc. It is not possible to have all these. So, I usually plan early unless you are blessed with a kitchen garden. I usually keep a pot of Basil. Depending on what I wish to make, I buy the rest. Keeping them fresh is a challenge. I will share a separate post for tips to keeping them fresh longer.
- Salt: yes, you read it right. Salt flakes over cookies, chocolate bars, or in some desserts look impressive. Action shots with salt being sprinkled over meat make the dish looks beautiful. The current obsession is for pink salt (Himalayan pink salt), it looks pretty
- Whole spices: Like for example, cinnamon sticks, star anise, black or colored whole peppercorns, etc. Warm spices like cinnamon, star anise, etc. help tell a story and style drinks and desserts.
- Seeds: Sesame seeds(black and white), Pumpkin seeds, cumin seeds, Mustard seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Nuts: Slivered and crushed pistachios, sliced almonds, whole peanuts, etc. are my pantry staples. They come handy while styling desserts, cakes, breakfast, etc.
- Berries: add a dash of color texture to your dishes.
- Exotic spices: Vanilla beans, saffron, rosebuds, etc. for specific dishes.
- Eggs: Cooked in different ways eggs look beautiful with a bright yellow center. My favorite is the soft, centered eggs. They add a speck of color. Even a dull picture of any dough (especially pasta) looks stunning with an egg in the center.
- Powdered sugar/spice: spices like cinnamon, cocoa, powdered sugar are great for action shots. A simple cake, cookies, any baked goodies look heavenly with a sprinkle of these.
Please feel free to share your experience and suggestions.