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The Gross Stuff Food Snappers Use To Make Food Look Delish

Vaseline, Polygrip, motor oil and microwaved tampons. These things, you’d agree, are as far removed from food as you can get.

Or are they?

Food stylist Denise Vivaldo says her profession is both "meticulous work, and ridiculous work. A wrinkle in a hamburger bun is a disaster, a cut in a chicken breast is the Grand Canyon on camera," she told Fairfax.

"People think it is a glamorous job, but you can spend a morning chasing a pea around a bowl of soup with a pair of tweezers. Flexibility and a sense of humour are essential in this business."

Her ‘kit’ is made up of stuff you’re more likely to find in a pharmacy or at Bunnings than in a MasterChef mystery box.


The steam from a “hot” bowl of soup is just a tampon soaked in water and microwaved. Liquid soap is mixed with shaving cream to create the perfect head of beer foam. Motor oil is added to sour cream to guarantee a perfect dollop.

And that eyebrow pencil? Perfect for char marks on a steak. 

Vaseline fills holes in fried eggs, salmon and chicken.

Denture adhesives like Polident are used to make food stick to the plate.

Dressmaking pins helps to stop ingredients running away.

To stop syrup soaking into pancakes, Scothgard works a treat.

Nail polish is applied to pale prawns to increase their lustre.



    Photo credit: Brianne Makin


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