Career as a Food Stylist

5 minute read
Food Stylist

What’s appealing to the eyes is always palatable for the taste buds! If you are a foodie and love documenting food, you can mould your passion for food into a successful career. Yes! you read it right. The emerging field of Food Styling holds a variety of opportunities for those passionate for styling and curating scrumptiously delectable dishes. Hence, if you are eager about entering this springing field and possess an innate love for cooking, here is a blog exploring the essentials of building a career as a food stylist.

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What Does a Food Stylist Do?

Food Stylist, Laura Goble; Courtesy: MLive
Courtesy: MLive

A food stylist is a professional who makes food look appealing for the purpose of a photograph. It is their job to ensure that the food appears visually striking in pictures. One needs to have a knack for designing as well as aesthetics in order to become skilled in this field. They collaborate with chefs who prepare aesthetically pleasing cuisine. They have to use creative substitutes that will make the food look aesthetically pleasing which might involve using innovative edible substances. The food pictures that you see on various billboards, magazines and videos look enticing because of the creativity and imagination of a food stylist and the photographers.

Skills Required to Become a Food Stylist

Since it is a highly creative and interesting career, you need to possess certain skills to master the art of food styling and food photography. Here are the skills you need to become a successful Food Stylist:

  • Attention to Detail
  • Excellent Photography and Photo-editing skills
  • Knowledge of Food Decorating and Garnishing
  • Understanding of Color Schemes and Aesthetics
  • Brilliant Creative Skills and Imagination
  • Knowledge of Advertising and Marketing

How to Become a Food Stylist?

With the ever-growing food industry, food stylist is becoming an essential part of the industry, especially for social media promotions. For becoming a successful food stylist, you need to pursue a professional course to learn about this field. A degree in Culinary Arts or chef courses can provide you with the required knowledge of food preparation as well as styling processes. There are several culinary schools that offer degrees, diplomas and certificates in Culinary Arts.

Mentioned below are the famous programs that you must consider to begin your career as a food stylist:

  • Diploma in Culinary Management
  • Certificate in Culinary Skills
  • BSc in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Culinary Arts 
  • Master’s of Arts in Teaching- Culinary Arts 
  • Master of Hotel Management in Catering Technology

Eligibility Criteria 

Being a unique field of study, the field of culinary arts welcomes hundreds of students every year from varied backgrounds. As the field does not involve any rock-solid conditions in the form of entry requisites, it is often regarded as the choicest option amongst the students of all streams. To enter the top universities in the world offering food styling courses, here are some general eligibility requirements you must fulfil:

  • For Diploma/ Certificate/ Bachelors courses: Usual formal schooling of 10 +2 form a recognized institution with minimum marks required 
  • For Master’s courses: A bachelor’s degree in a similar or related field along with minimum marks required
  • If you plan to study a degree in culinary arts abroad, then you must provide English language proficiency test scores like IELTS, TOEFL, etc. Some universities prefer candidates with work experience; however, it is not mandatory. Moreover, you will also have to submit Letters of Recommendation (LORs) and a Statement of Purpose (SOP) which are mandatory elements of sending an application for an academic program abroad.

Top Universities for Food Styling & Culinary Arts Courses

In order to learn how to make food look appealing as well as various styling techniques such as colour composure, substitutes, etc. you need to be professionally trained. Hence, you must carefully choose the right academic institution. Whilst selecting your university, you must have a look a the course structure along with the career opportunities available.

Listed below are the leading universities that can equip you with best global exposure to begin your career as a food stylist:

  • Niagra College 
  • Johnson and Wales University 
  • Culinary Institute of America
  • International Culinary Center 
  • Kendall College of Culinary Arts
  • George Brown College 
  • Red River College
  • New England Culinary Institute
  • Algonquin College

Online Courses in Food Styling

There is a plethora of online courses in Food Styling available on Udemy, Skillshare as well as workshops and classes that you can attend. Here are the top Food Styling courses online:

  1. Food Decorating on Udemy
  2. Styling Food for Instagram on SkillShare
  3. Food Photography on Udemy
  4. Minimalist Food Photography on SkillShare
  5. Story on a Plate on Creative Live
  6. Four Food Creativity Methods for Food Design on Udemy
  7. DIY Food Photography on SkillShare
  8. 7 Food Design Strategies for chefs and food designers on Udemy

Job Prospects

The demand for a food stylist in the market has exponentially increased with multinational food chains trying to expand their reach on social media. Although it is still a lesser-known career, a food stylist can enjoy incredible job opportunities in different sectors. However, the most prominent option that students consider is of opening their own restaurant or cafe. Here are the different areas where a food stylist can explore career prospects:

Hotel Chains 

A lot of international hotels hire food stylists in order to promote their latest dishes and for the pictures to feature in their menu as well as for other promotional purposes.

Recommended Read: Hotel Management Courses

Publishing Houses

Many food journals and magazines look for food stylists in order to click pictures for various articles, cookbooks, etc. Publishing houses that focus on books related to culinary arts have a great demand for food stylists

International Food Chains

Another field where a food stylist can thrive is in the various international food chains. Food companies hire food stylists to make their food look more appealing on various billboards and other places of advertisements.


Food Stylists are amongst the most creative and popular careers in the digital world surging with food blogs on social media and are hired across hotel, food, catering as well as the travel industry. As per Payscale, the average salary of a Food Stylist is $62174 [45,43,741 INR] while the average salary of a Food Stylist in India as per Glassdoor is ₹16,762 per month. With more experience and expertise in this field, you can further aim for a higher salary going up to ₹40,000 per month.

Thus, we hope that through this blog you are familiar with the key details of establishing your career as a food stylist. You will get to discover the visual aspects of food photography and how it has become important in the world of social media. If you are searching for courses to build a career in food styling, Leverage Edu experts can assist you in finding an ideal course that can equip you with the right skill set required to become a food stylist.

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