Filed under: In the Media
To a certain degree, magazine photo shoots are all about smoke and mirrors. When you look at a magazine spread, it looks like the chef cooked the meal. Actually, it’s the food stylist who cooked the food off site and adds the finishing touches on location. Sunset Magazine took over Tilth on a recent Monday from 8 in the morning until 7 at night to do a Thanksgiving spread for the November issue. The place looked like a movie set.
There was quite the entourage: photographer, photo assistant, art director, food writer, food stylist. They brought the whole nine yards from the tablecloth to the apples used to garnish the turkey platter. The only things they used of mine were the silverware and stemware. They must have had eight bags of stuff from Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel. I can see why they went to the trouble, because they’re going for a certain fall color theme. They told me and my family each to bring two fall outfits. Then the art director told us which outfits to wear.
They also mixed up the shapes that appeared on the table, which was interesting. Instead of every platter being the same rectangle or square shape, they chose ovals and rounds and such to keep everything from looking the same. I didn’t realize how much work is involved in a photo shoot. It was all so carefully done and it was cool!
I gave Molly Watson, the writer, all my recipes about eight months ago. She personally tested all of them to make sure they worked. Then the food stylist used the recipes to create the meal for the photographer. We all had to wait around for them to finish photographing the food first before they took pictures of my family at the table. They were running a little behind, so we were three sheets to the wind by the time they did get to us. It was fun — even though we couldn’t eat the turkey because the stylist had painted it with some substance to make it glisten.