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Why Food Stylists Hate Burgers, and More Bon Appétit Photo Shoot Secrets

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If you, like me, have ever cooked through a BA recipe and thought, Uh, why does theirs look so much better than mine?, Rebecca Jurkevich is the woman you want to talk to. Jurkevich is one of the food stylists who make the 40-plus recipes we publish each month look their most delicious. Her job is to turn a real-life dish into a two-dimensional image so mouthwatering it looks like it’s about to leap off the page and into your mouth. Believe it or not, this is incredibly hard to do well, and involves way more than sprinkles and a hot-glue gun. We hung out with Jurkevich at a recent photo shoot to see how the magic happens—and learned a few food-styling secrets along the way.

Think pizzas are a cinch to style? Not so much. Photo: Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott

The Simplest Foods Can Be the Hardest to Shoot
Consider the burger at the top of the page: Patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato, bun—seems pretty straightforward, right? Actually, Jurkevich says burgers are one of the more difficult foods to style. (She had to style 10 versions of a burger featured in our 2013 grilling book to achieve the perfect look.) Every component from the patty to the lettuce leaf on top has to look great, and once the burger is styled and ready to shoot, it’s a race against the clock to get the perfect shot before the cheese starts to congeal, the meat looks cold and dry, and the bun gets soggy from soaking up burger juices.

Other tough foods include sandwiches, which often require lots of individual components that all need to look perfect, and pizza. Or grilled cheese. Or nachos. Really, anytime cheese is involved, things get a little trickier to style into that perfect …read more

Source:: Bon Appetit