Good Food Blog
Behind the scenes at the magazinePosted at 11:00AM, 11 March 2010 by Emily Boyce - Sub-editor, bbcgoodfood.com
Barbecue season has arrived - in Good Food land at least. Earlier this week, on a windswept balcony in Elephant & Castle, I posed in a summery dress (tights-clad legs hidden under the table, scarf and puffa jacket removed just before the shot was taken) as John Torode barbecued lamb chops, bottle of beer in hand.
The risk of hypothermia was worth it. Mainly because I got a sneak preview slice of the most delicious frozen cheesecake imaginable (you'll have to hold out til the July issue to get the recipe, but believe me it'll be worth the wait).
But also because Lis Parsons' photos conjured a feeling of summer out of nowhere. Cleverly positioned bamboo plants created an instant garden; a screen blocked the tower blocks opposite from view; and a device reminiscent of a large sheet of tinfoil diverted the few faint rays in the wintery sky to bathe the scene in something close to sunshine.
There was no trickery when it came to the food. I helped food stylist Lizzie Harris to prep and cook all the recipes, just as they'll appear in the mag. A bit of clever positioning on the plate, a careful scattering of herbs, a drizzle of oil to make the lamb chops glisten, is all that's done to show off the dishes at their best.
A lot of thought goes into presentation - a props stylist sources everything from platters to pepper grinders according to art editor Andrew Jackson's brief.
Have you had any behind-the-scenes experiences with food, or any surreally unseasonal meals?
A food stylist's toolkit, including spray bottles for freshening up food that's been sitting around waiting to be photographed; tweezers, to manoeuvre herbs to just the right spot; and tiny paintbrushes to tidy up edges and brush away stray crumbs.
John oversees the unveiling of the frozen cheesecake - would it have thawed out enough/too much?
Lizzie puts the finishing touches to the sublime cheesecake.
John and Andrew enjoy the blazing sunshine between shots.