Two things we absolutely love here at Seventh Bixel are food and styling. Combine the two and it’s a magically styled moment made in ‘Foodie Heaven’. Meet Becca Marie, the food stylist and chef behind the Instagram account Cooking with Confetti who combines both of these loves. Her beautifully curated Instagram makes you want to jump right into the kitchen and whip something up. We recently got to chat with Becca and ask her some questions regarding her life as a food stylist. We got to know what’s behind the confetti and learned a few tricks to styling food as well as a new drink recipe that we of course, had to try.
Q: What is a food stylist for those who may not know?
[Becca] A food stylist is simply someone who creates a beautiful setting with food. As food stylists, we have to consider the environment the food will be served in and what type of food is being served. We also need to take into consideration the season. As the seasons come and go, produce does too and you have to know how to cook seasonally all the while translating that to the table. It has to pair with the décor, the linen colors, floral choices, and beverage pairings. Most importantly, we have to make sure that the food looks good enough to eat right out of the photo.
This past Valentine's Day, A Savvy Lifestyle reached out to Becca for her take on a perfectly paired Valentine's Day dinner menu. Together, with Speak Wines they created a beautiful menu and wine pairing that translated perfectly to the season and tablescape. Head over to their blog for all of the recipes.
Q: Do you always cook the food that you style?
[Becca] Yes and No… Yes, I cook all of the food I personally style. The kitchen is genuinely my happy place. It’s a place I get excited to spend hours in, putting my spin on a dish I recently tried, or tasting new sauces I’m making. When It comes to baking, No… I am still learning to bake, so I tend to go out to my favorite local baking joints and grab the latest and greatest pastry they have behind the counter. I do style those and make sure that I capture them in the same essence that I would my own preparations.
Q: If you could offer an easy food presentation tip to our readers what would it be?
[Becca] ALWAYS GARNISH! If you’re serving pasta, chop up some basil and sprinkle it all over. If you’re serving pie, add a dollop of fresh whip cream or chocolate shavings to the top. To me, it’s so important to add that finishing touch to your dish. It really adds freshness to the dish.
Q: Where do you draw inspiration from when meal planning?
[Becca] I draw a lot of my food inspiration from traveling. Typically, I eat my way through a town and really immerse myself in the culture by eating what they eat. I also eat out a lot and try new local restaurants to see what other chefs are cooking. Their dishes and the presentation give me a sense of their inspiration. I think by doing all of this it has helped to expand my pallet. I can taste a dish now and recognize the spices or ingredients that were used, which is helpful when I am home and trying to recreate that dish.
Q: For all of those people out there who love to take and share their food photos what advice do you have to offer on styling their food to appear appetizing?
[Becca] A couple tips I have for all the “foodgramers” out there would be to try to shoot in natural light and limit the amount of shadows. Make sure that if you are shooting a hot dish that the food looks hot and steamy or some of it is melting. If you are serving a cold dish, it should look frosted or wet. Also, COLOR, COLOR, COLOR. Shoot vibrant colored foods. Make sure that if you are shooting a bunch of food that you give the readers eye some breathing room. You don’t have to capture all of the food into one photo. Have one main focal point and let some of the other dishes get cut off.
Q: What got you into cooking and styling?
[Becca] Ever since I can remember, I have been watching the Food Network. I would spend hours on end watching, just in awe at what people were creating with food and how the food brought people together. Ironically, my parents were never big cooks. In fact, my Mother hates cooking. She did always love to host and throw a good party, but they would always have the event catered. I remember one Christmas my parents hired a chef. He came to the house a day before the party to start food prep. He made these desserts out of molded chocolate. I was mesmerized. That was really the moment that I wanted to cook all of the food and be the one to host the party. I really believe that food is at the center of all gatherings, and I love how it brings people together
Q: What is your favorite springtime cocktail?
[Becca] My favorite go-to springtime cocktail is my take on the old time classic Tom Collins. I love citrusy and acidic drinks especially in spring and summer because they are so refreshing.
Becca was kind to share with us her spin on a Tom Collins so of course we mocked some up and did a little taste testing.
Recipe (Yields 1 serving)
1 shot of Gin
½ Lemon (juiced)
½ lime (juiced)
3 oz club soda
3 mint leaves muddled
Stirred NOT shaken… pour on ice in a tall glass. Add the wedge of a lime and garnish with a sprig of mint
Q: What is something that we may not know about you from just following you on social media?
[Becca] This isn’t something that I share on social media or necessarily with people I am just meeting, but I think it may be inspiring to someone out there. I was the first person diagnosed at birth with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Doctors told my mom that I would have limited mobility in all of my joints, hands, knees and feet for the rest of my life. Through eating the proper anti-inflammatory foods and through physical therapy I went into remission at 10 years old and I have full mobility in all of my joints. I still get the occasional flare ups here and there, but I think that cooking has really helped to keep my joints in constant motion and it keeps me active. Knowing that I have more control when cooking over what I put into my body helps. I am proof that there are healthy alternatives aside from just medicine and those alternatives start in the kitchen.
Becca is currently in the process of building her website, but in the mean time you can follow her on Instagram and Snapchat(@beccamarie1). Recipes for the images used in this blog can be found in the comments section of the photo in Becca's Instagram feed.