Food Styling Tips from Chris Oliver

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I always assumed the food in TV and movies were… inedible.  That those dishes had to be plastic food props that were painted really really well. Wrong! I recently spent the day in Food Stylist Chris Oliver’s kitchen learning tips and tricks on how to make that magic happen for the camera. Chris Oliver is the master at making food on-camera ready and delicious, having recently been featured on Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks.



When I arrived in her kitchen last week, I took in all the racks of seasonings and spices, shelves of cookbooks, counters of fresh fruit, veggies and props on props on props. To set our day in motion and how I knew Chris is the real deal, she casually reached in her freezer and pulled out two bags of snake – one was real and the other she made. Yes, hand crafted.      

The following is just a few tidbits of what I learned during our experience. My biggest takeaway from Chris Oliver: food is playful and simple. She took what she had on hand and made me envision my own plates and tablescapes with stuff I have in my kitchen already.  Just saying that she makes food art just isn’t enough. You need to see the Saving Mr. Banks food universe for yourself when the blu-ray/digital comes out on March 18th. Take a closer look at the food scenes and maybe even hit the pause button. I think you’ll look at everything in a mouthwatering new light. 


I need a chalkboard wall in my kitchen, stat.  This was our menu for the day, yum!


Research!  Pick up vintage cookbooks and build a small library!


Make your deviled eggs fancy by using a piping/pastry bag!  


“Layer” your dishes by using curly parsley in the center, cutting cherry tomatoes in half, adding black olives, slicing celery and sprinkling paprika!  


Use what you have!  That’s a sliced apple as the base for the fruit kabobs!


Even one grape to tilt your dishes!  Tilt those plates – makes the display a bit dramatic and gives depth!


Color makes food pop!  Red plates…


And red peppers in tuna sandwiches!


Caryn, Tee and I were on the fondue team and I was inspired to make cute veggie trees!  Add your own touch!  

Coverage brought to you by Surf and Sunshine Contributing Journalist Xenia. (You can visit her blog at Raised by Culture). Thank you to Disney for inviting us to learn about food styling from Chris Oliver. For more info on Ms. Oliver visit All opinions remain original.

33 thoughts on “Food Styling Tips from Chris Oliver”

  1. That’s such a great idea about the deviled eggs. I love deviled eggs and make them the plain old boring way. Thanks for the tips.

  2. I want a chalkboard wall in my kitchen too. I have an old easel from the kids that I need to repurpose

  3. Those are some great tips, I’m actually going to share this post with some food bloggers I know. I also didn’t know that the food on movie sets was real!


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