Food Stylist

Created by Kelsey Hagen

What is a Food Stylist?

A Food Stylist pans and prepares food for product demonstration on-air.

What does a food stylist do? A food stylist is a culinary professional whose job is to prepare food for photography, video or film. Making food photogenic is no easy task, and the best food stylists come to the job armed with an array of techniques to make meals look their best.

Essential Functions:

Reasonable accommodations maybe made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  1. Plans, prepares and styles food for product demonstration.
  2. Interacts and educates show host and guests on food preparation tips.
  3. Organizes and keeps kitchen clean and free of safety hazards.
  4. Interacts with buys regarding product list and determines what foods are needed to be presented.
  5. Shops for food items to be demonstrated on-air.
  6. Work closely with photo stylist to execute food production demonstration.
  7. Inventories all kitchen items and ensures they are placed back in the proper room after use.

Job Duties

Duties: Food stylists have to understand both art and science when preparing food for photography/commercial ads..

Responsibilities: Making notes of the placement on the set and of what order the client wants things on the set.


Competencies: are the measurable or observable knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors critical to successful job performance. Choosing the right competencies allows employers to Plan how they will organize and develop their workforce.

  1. Collaboration Skills.
  2. Leadership.
  3. Communication Proficiency.
  4. Project Management.
  5. Thoroughness.
  6. Time Management.

Work Environment

  • Operates in professional office environment.
  • Routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets and fax machines.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently exposed to fumes or airborne particles, moving mechanical parts and vibration.
  • The employee is occasionally exposed to a variety of conditions at cooking/kitchen/studio job sites.
  • The noise levels can be loud in the work environment and job sites.
  • This position is at times performed in outside weather conditions.

Physical Demands

  • Representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • Employee is frequently required to stand; walk; use hands to handle or feel; and arms and hands for reach..

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work & Travel Requirement

This position regularly requires long hours and frequent weekend work.

This position requires up to 50% travel. Frequently travel is outside the local area and overnight. Some of the travel is international.

Required & Preferred Education and Experience


  1. High school diploma.
  2. Two years' food preparation experience.


  1. Culinary degree.

**** If you don't have any work experience/a portfolio it maybe a good idea to invest in a culinary arts diploma. **** It takes 1-2 years to complete depending on which program or school you choose. **** Culinary diplomas are available in culinary schools, chef colleges, and some trade/technical schools, universities and colleges.


* Starts out with a solid culinary education, and spends several years working as a traditional chef before working in the field.

* The best way to break into the market is to work as an assistant to a well-established stylist, and then branch out into having your clients.

** Being a Food Stylist is an excellent way to combine artistic vision with culinary skills.

** Food Stylists can earn anywhere from $450 to $850 a day .

* * * Employers usually look for at least 1 year of prior food styling experience.

* * * Initially a food stylist must work as an assistant for another food stylist in order to gain work experience.

* * * They may also be required to buy tools and equipment.


* * All sorts of sorts of courses or seminars available in a variety of different states and cities.

* * Lengths of these programs could range from 2 days to 2 weeks.

* * Seminars are available in culinary schools/chef colleges, and can also be taught by a private instructor.

* * A 2-day workshop in food styling (for example) could cost up to $700.

* * Other week-long seminars cost $500.

* * There are food styling workshops online that cost between $400 and $500.

******* *

Degrees | Jobs | Salaries


*** A degree is not always required . Food stylists tend to get work by providing a portfolio.

*** No actual "food stylist degree"

*** Some bachelor's and associate's programs may have coursework related to food styling, such as plate presentation, food science, and how to keep food warm for long periods of time .


*** Magazines

*** Cookbooks

*** Advertising companies

*** Television commercials

*** Film and TV sets

*** Restaurants

*** Casinos

*** Spas

*** Resorts

*** Hotels


*** Food Stylists can make between $30,000 and $50,000 a year (this depends on whether they're doing editorial work or advertising work.

Carrer Path

Apprenticing with established food stylists is a common way to break out into the industry. In addition to receiving culinary arts training through a culinary institute or trade school, aspiring food stylists can also take courses in art, design, and business.
Food Stylist - Inside Job