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How To Plate Up Instagrammable Food With Taylor Cullen, Head Chef at Chiswick


Crafting a good-looking plate of food takes some serious nous, as Taylor Cullen, Head Chef of Sydney institution Chiswick, knows. He dishes on how to up your Insta-friendly plating game. 

Dial up the colour

“Our tuna crumpets and spring pavlova are two dishes that have done spectacularly well on socials because of their incredible palette. I try to find colours that complement each other – for example, a roasted carrot, cut to show its vibrant orange centre, pops when shot with a red or orange nasturtium flower.”


Go au naturel

“I love shooting vegetables, fruit and flowers. Think of how appealing a peach sliced in half looks; the centre is a dark red, moving from yellow flesh into pink. Vegetables have interesting colours and textures too, while flowers – which are so complex and beautiful – bring fun patterns and a pop of vibrancy to your photos.”


Cheat (a little)

“I keep a water spray bottle with me for herbs – little droplets on greens and garnishes make the dish appear really fresh and vibrant on camera.”


Keep it simple

“Things don’t need to be complicated to look great on Instagram – sometimes the simpler, the better. When things look too busy it’s hard for the eye to focus. Clean lines, moisture, colour and a nice background and lighting will make the photo look great.”


Think beyond the food

“Choosing the right plate is important; a dark plate with dark produce is going to take away from the dish. And getting the right lighting and background is essential. I love shooting in indirect natural sunlight – like in a window on a sunny day with the lights off; there’s going to be a good amount of natural light, and you can avoid shadows, glare and reflections.”

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