Food Stylist: Martha Foose

March 27, 2017

Today in Food Styling  we had Food Stylist Martha Foose come do a demo for our class, and teach us some of her trick of the trade.


Allie, Nolan, and I got to class at 7:30 to help Chef Mary Helen and Chef Martha get all the ingredients gathered and measured out. Chef Martha made three different pineapple/ blueberry up-side-down cakes. Here is her recipe straight out of her second cook book: A Southerly Course.


  • 2 Egg yolks, large
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Almond extract
  • 1/3 cup Water, boiling
  • 1 1/4 cups Cake flour, sifted
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 stick Butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup Dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon

Fruit options:

  • 1 cup Fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 2 cups Fresh blueberries
  • 1 can Pineapple rings
  • 6 jarred Maraschino cherries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In the bowl fitted to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat the egg yolks for about 2 minutes or until thick and lemon colored.
  3. Gradually sprinkle in the sugar and salt while the mixer is on low, then add in the extracts. Increase the speed to medium and continue to beat for another minute.
  4. Slowly add the boiling water with the mixer is on.
  5. Stiff together the cake flour and baking powder, then add to the wet mix in two installments using a spatula.
  6. In an 8-inch oven-safe skillet (she used cast-iron) set over medium heat, melt the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together. Cook and stir for one minute or until the sugar is melted.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and arrange in your chosen fruit in a single layer over the sugar mixture.
  8. Pour on the cake batter and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cake springs back lightly when touched. Let cool for about 6 minutes.
  9. Invert the cake onto a serving platter and let cool completely.

Martha Foose made three different cakes: fresh pineapple, blueberry, and canned pineapple with cherries. After she made these cakes, she showed us how to style them for different clients.

This one, perhaps marketing for the canned pineapple company. With the can fuzzy in the background, or a fresh pineapple in the background for a fresh pineapple company.


If the client were for Swans Down cake flour, something like this would be appropriate. Some flour sifted on the counter with the sifter and measuring spoons. Down home and Southern.


This would be an example of a menu picture for a fast-food restaurant with plastic laminated menus.


She then introduced all of us to Dream Whip! I had never heard of this before and was really intrigued. She explained that Dream Whip is much cheaper than making fresh whipped cream and it holds up better and longer.


*Side note: my pictures are kinda blurry because I was using my phone and zooming in.

She used the dream whip on a slice of cake, possible for nicer dinning establishment, and also took out the “perfect bite.”


She actually got Allie to come down with her camera and take the pictures as she directed her.


So if you want to see some of the close up images she took with her professional camera, check out her blog at

Chef Martha then went on to explain about her experience in the food styling world, working with other chefs on cook books and working on the movie The Help. She told us about how much food she had to make for the movie and about making a fake chicken leg, because the actress that needed to bite it was a vegetarian.

She showed us all her cookbooks and let us ask questions. Today was super interesting and I learned a lot.

I’m going to have to go back and watch The Help again to see if I can spot everything she talked about!

Next week we have a photography lecture getting us ready for our upcoming photo-shoot that is worth HALF our grade!!

~ Holly O




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