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Enjoy the Food with Eyes and Mouth
Doh Sang-youp Reporter  |  quowoo@yonsei.ac.kr
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승인 2004.10.15  00:00:00
트위터 페이스북 구글 카카오스토리

FOOD, CLOTHES, and shelter are three basic elements that people need in life. Especially, people hardly save money to buy food. The food industry becomes larger and larger every year. According to this trend, new jobs related with food appear every year. "Food stylist" is a job becoming famous recently. For this month, The Yonsei Annals interviewed food stylist Kim Sun-hee (Dir. of Feel & Life), and Hwang Jee-hee (Prof. of Dept. of Food styling in Chunkang Univ.).

Activities of food stylist

   What is a food stylist? Food stylists prepare food not only for eating but also for trade shows, commercials, movies, dramas and photographs. While food stylists do overall things: researching about food, coordinating table, developing new food, setting drama and movie's table. Their aim is to make food look fresh and delicious. This job includes sommelier (a wine expert) and table stylist.

How to be a food stylist

   Kim and Hwang pay close attention to the food industry when they consider their job. Kim's major is food and nutrition, so she always has concerns about her job. Hwang's mother was a chef in a hotel. Her mother's job was similar to food stylist in that she arranged food, and always paid attention to decoration. She was concerned about food and food styling in childhood. These things motivated them in selecting their jobs. Food stylists are concerned about cooking, decorating and art. At first, food stylists worked mostly as cooks. They also studied table setting in Korea or in Japan. After coming back, they started as the food stylist.

The sources of ideas

   Creating new ideas is hard work in every area. Food styling is not an exception. After food stylists receive an offer, they start to design concepts according to the offer. They usually read many magazines about food and interior design, and various kinds of books. These books give inspiration about food. Kim said, "I participate in dish exhibitions held in France every year. The arrangement of dishes gave me inspiration about decoration."

Difficulties and rewards

   Food stylist is not always an interesting job. Kim said, "When I prepared dramas and movies, I had various feelings about my job. After filming, I have to clean up all the used kitchenware. Many people in broadcast knew me just as an assistant-staff. Still people do not know my job well." But they have certain self-confidence to their job. Kim said, "I have opened a new food market. New jobs related to 'food stylist' are coming out. My happiest moment as a food stylist is seeing the smile of a customer who is satisfied wih my work."

Abilities needed

   Food stylist must be flexible because their work is always changing. Particularly, at drama and film's work, demands are unsettled as the situation flows. Food stylist needs adaptation to circumstances and staying calm under stress essentially. Artistic ability, creativity, and attention to visual detail are also needed. As the amount of food stylist's work become larger, the team work is increasing. Food stylist, sommelier and table stylist consist of one team. Teamwork is needed for this reason.

Possibility of food stylist and advice

   This job is a kind of fusion work. At food stylist's academy, attendants' major is various. One whose major is composing and art prepares a new kind of food styling and table styling there. Kim said, "In three or four years, jobs related to food stylist will become more popular than it is in the present."

   "Knowledge about various fields can help you to make creative food styling. Do not see the world from a narrow view. See everything from a wide view. If you want to be a food stylist, you should not study only food and cooking, but also pay attention to works connected with art," Hwang said.

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