A Look at the Food Styling Behind Julie & Julia The New York Times 7.29.09

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

More Julie & Julia! We know, we’ve written about this movie more than once, and it hasn’t even come out yet. But the Times has an interesting article about something that may play a bigger role than Meryl Streep: The Food.

For this movie, the eggs, whipped cream, de-boned ducks, and lamb stews are of the utmost importance. The Dover Sole that Julia ate for her first meal in France needed to look and sizzle like Dover Sole. And, if Meryl Streep has to eat it over and over again in take after take, it needed to taste good.

There are some great anecdotes about the lengths Susan Spungen, the film’s food stylist, had to go to. One involved simply finding a specific cheese that Nora Ephron insisted appear on the cheese plate in the scene above. Another required adding heavy cream to chicken stuffing so that it splatted cinematically when Julie dropped it on the floor.

The article also addresses food styling in other films, like the tricks stylists use when there isn’t a big enough budget to buy new food for every take and what they do when a vegan actor has to eat ham.

To those of use who struggle to get one blog-worthy photo of a dish we’ve made before it melts/congeals/cools/starts looking sad, these stylists are geniuses.