David B Townsend
Food Styling- telling a story, tasting with Eyes Wide
~Food Styling & Photography
~Menu Layout and Web Design
~Visual Marketing & Branding a food-service
Food styling is about the presentation of food on a plate. You create this presentation in the placement of items, variations of color through sauces, condiments, vegetables, even the shape and color of the plate itself. Steak on a plate with white potatoes and a few green beans may be a classic ''blue plate special" of days past, but it doesn't fly with today's sophisticated diner.
It begins before any element of cooking begins. Deciding how to build the presentation will dictate some of the methods you cook a particular item. Creamer potatoes in skin add a dark rustic accent, while the same potato peeled as a delicate white orb sitting in a pool of cranberry sauce is an entirely different look.
Your menu becomes the signature of your particular style or cuisine. According to Global Restaurant consultants Aaron-Allen Associates: "the menu is the single most important piece of marketing collateral that a restaurant has." Giving some fairly in-depth thought to how you present each item on your menu will make you realize that even if a guest takes a badly lite Instagram shot of your best dish, it still will look better than your competition due to an excellent presentation. Better yet, having professionally executed photography of the best items that you put out on media is the best way to 'brand' yourself and your menu.
Restaurants can benefit from hiring a food stylist to revamp their menu, update their social media presence, and have the potential guests find intrigue in your visual presentations. As a tactic to highlight your best qualities, Townsend creates your 'brand' by focusing on food styling, fine-photography, and compelling copy-writing to tell your story in social media and web design & content.
In the pictures below, 'steak on a plate' is boring, unappetizing and does nothing to entice. The 'Nimen Ranch' meal in terms of description and presentation almost makes ones mouth water.