forum: Gardening / Growing

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#1 Wed 10 Oct 07 3:02am

GeoffP

Forum champ
Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Food Stylists ??

Just watched the latest Jamie@Home - and noticed the credits.

Why on earth did Jamie need 3 Food Stylists, and a Senior Food Stylist to produce the series?

WTF is a Food Stylist anyway?

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#2 Wed 10 Oct 07 5:07am

stuvik

Member
Occupation IT - Programmer
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Tue 22 May 07

Re: Food Stylists ??

I'm guessing the food stylists make the dishes more presentable for when they're doing artsy shots.

Last edited by stuvik (Wed 10 Oct 07 5:07am)

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#3 Wed 10 Oct 07 11:12am

Georgie

Member
From Jamie's office
Member since Thu 06 Jul 06

Re: Food Stylists ??

Hi Geoff!

ok, where to begin! Food stylists are an integral part of any food magazine/ book/ publication/ programme. They are there to prepare, cook and 'style' the food that is being demonstrated, photographed and filmed. Also, on some occassions, they test the recipes and organise the props.

With regards to 'Jamie at Home', it was filmed at a rate of 1 programme per day. As you can imagine there is a lot of filming, re-takes etc which is then edited down to 1 x 30 minute programme.

At every stage of the recipe Jamie will need to have ingredients ready and prepared to that particular stage, this is where the food stylist gets involved. You need one food stylist to be on set with Jamie to watch him and keep tabs on what he is doing for continuity (make sure that with every re-take the process looks the same, fluid) then someone needs to be on hand for running, then you need on average 1 or 2 stylists to prepare the food, cook each recipe to each level, clear away etc.

The difference with Jamie, compared to a lot of celebrity chefs, he gets very involved with the styling, he has the control on style, and styling the dishes and works along side the senior food stylist.

I hope that makes a little more sense! when i first started working in TV i couldnt believe how many people work backstage to ensure smooth running of filming etc, but it is incredible and very much needed so that filming goes as smoothly as possible. if you look at the credits for other large budget cookery shows you'll notice then use on average 3-4 food stylists/ home economists also.

Georgie
x

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#4 Wed 10 Oct 07 1:34pm

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Food Stylists ??

Soooo....it's a fancy word for a go-for?

I've worked (if you'd call it that) as an extra a couple of times, there are always loads of people around. You know you are low on the rung when you only get the 4th assistant director talking to you.

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#5 Wed 10 Oct 07 1:55pm

Georgie

Member
From Jamie's office
Member since Thu 06 Jul 06

Re: Food Stylists ??

its so true!

but nope, there are also people who are employed as 'runners'. these people literally run around, getting things, teas, coffees, fetching things, etc etc...

the job of an assistant food stylist is similar to a runner but specifically for food and the head stylist/ home-economist. There is quite a lot of cooking and food know-how involved.

the day can vary from chopping, washing up, cooking up several of each dish, collecting props, sorting flowers etc...

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#6 Wed 10 Oct 07 2:31pm

Alex G

Forum champ
Occupation Student/Commis chef
From Brighton/ Bournemouth
Member since Sat 29 Oct 05

Re: Food Stylists ??

There is so much behind the set on these types of things, I helped out on a few scenes for a local indie film. Whilst it's low budget they still had a behind the scenes cam operator, someone to hold the boom mic (which was me aswell as a runner), camera operators, the script guy was there, lighting assistant and of course the director.

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#7 Wed 10 Oct 07 2:37pm

GeoffP

Forum champ
Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Re: Food Stylists ??

Thanks for the explanation Georgie!

I was surprised about two things - the name / job description of "Food Stylist" and the number of people so employed, given the "accessible" nature of Jamies cooking.

As a comparison, I looked at what is very much a parallel series "James Martin Digs Deep". JM is in much the same position as JO (experienced TV chef and novice gardener, demonstrating that it is possible to grow and cook your own food, using your own kitchen garden). Sometimes even the recipes parallel esch other!

The "cast list" for "J M Digs Deep" does indeed include a "Home Economist" - just the one, and she is sometimes heard on the set.

What struck me rather forcibly was the contrast betweem Jamies style of "down home" cooking, accessible to anyone, and the apparent necessity to have a large staff to present the food!

Perhaps I am just too unsophisticated (being a Northerner), but it did seem to me that employing "Food Stylist" somehow devalued the series.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the series - but felt very uncomfortable with the idea that Food Stylists were apparently necessary.

I assume, though that Janmie is actually cooking in his own home, with produce from his own garden - or am I wrong about that too sad

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#8 Wed 10 Oct 07 3:49pm

Georgie

Member
From Jamie's office
Member since Thu 06 Jul 06

Re: Food Stylists ??

no, not at all!! please dont be disheartened... we are very lucky, as Jamie's garden really does have an immense amount of produce and everything you saw did actually come from there  smile

its different for different shows... I can't comment on JM's show as i havent seen it, but the programme that followed Jamies, 'cook yourself thin' also had 4 food stylists. Both big budget Channel 4 shows...

Jamie is great in a sense that he styles his own food, so what you see him doing is actually him  smile  it really is accessible! but as you can imagine, if he is showing you how to slow cook a leg of lamb, they cant wait for 4 hours to come back to the shot once it is ready, there needs to be a 'ready dish' ready and waiting.  This is where the home economist steps in. If he is making a cake, there  needs to be a baked cake ready to come out of the oven. If the production process waited for every recipe to bake/ cook/ roast/ it would be an incredibly lengthy process. each programming could take days!


also, with regards to the title, Food Stylist is a funny one  tongue  sometimes refered to as Home Economists (more traditional) a FS is literally what it says on the tin. Someone who cooks the food and makes it look nice  smile

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#9 Wed 10 Oct 07 3:59pm

stuvik

Member
Occupation IT - Programmer
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Tue 22 May 07

Re: Food Stylists ??

Thanks for the clarification Georgie smile

Now, where can we find our OWN Food Stylists? wink lol

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#10 Wed 10 Oct 07 5:14pm

Mrs Gibba

Forum champ
Member since Thu 14 Apr 05

Re: Food Stylists ??

I've got one who helps me on the occassions that I cook big_smile  Rest of the time he's my chef.  More commonly known as my husband big_smile

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