Right off the bat, I have to say that I'm a big fan of food porn. I can spend hours looking through cookbooks and food images online. You know those pictures you find in cookbooks or magazines that stop you in your tracks and make you drool? It doesn't matter what's in that recipe, you want that food in your mouth. Check out a copy of bon appetit sometime; they are the Playboy of cooking magazines.

It's food porn because just like pornography with people, much of it's fake. Magazines and cookbooks hire "food stylists" to make the dishes look their best. Similar to what the cosmetic surgery business has done for pornography; food stylists have their own bag of tricks that oftentimes means making the food inedible. They can spend hours at a photo shoot doing whatever they can to make the food look AMAZING. It doesn't matter that real women don't look like pictures from a magazine, so why should it matter with food? It's all about making nice pictures people want to look at.

Well, I'm not a photographer and I don't have that kind of time (or patience). In my typical class day, I have about 2 minutes after the dish is complete and the instructor starts digging in. That's my only window to catch a photo. I don't have a fancy camera (I use my Droid), and I can't change the lighting; I have to worry about taste, so I can't use cheap substitution tricks; I don't have a nice backdrop or props--I just have the food. I know they aren't getting published in any magazines or cookbooks, but at least  they are real. I will admit that occasionally I may forget to take a picture and I will use



    Rachel is a culinary management student at the Art Institute of Seattle.


    January 2011



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