Food Stylist: Vivian Lui

Photo By: John Kernick
1. Any one in your family come from a food background? 
No but my mom is a really wonderful cook.

2. How did you start your career in food styling? 

It's career number two for me and a complete departure from the first (which involved too many excel spread sheets).  I moved to New York to go to culinary school.  Afterwards, I met some very talented food stylists who cooked beautiful food and was very fortunate to have worked with them.

3. What are your inspirations for projects?
Travel, farmers markets, movies, art, restaurant  
Any notable stylists you admire?  The stylists I assisted

4. Have you ever done film or commercial styling? Is that of interest to you?
Commercial yes but not film. Always interesting to mix it up so definitely would be interested.

5. Was there something you styled that was harder than you imagined?
I can't think of one specific thing but it's always a little challenging when recipes aren't tested or don't work.  You definitely need good knowledge of cooking to be able to foresee any issues beforehand or to fix the problem.

6. Is a lot of your work word of mouth or do you constantly market yourself?

In NY it was mainly word of mouth.  Now that I'm in LA, it's a bit different.  Still trying to work it out.

7. Have you traveled for jobs?

If so where is the farthest you’ve been?
Yes, a little bit around the US.  Exploring the food culture of a new city is always a good way to get a feel for it. Years ago, my fiance worked in Asia for a short period and I took some time to explore food styling over there.  The industry was still emerging and it was an interesting experience.  The markets were fantastic and developing recipes with new ingredients was a fun challenge.
Photo By: Christina Holmes

8. Must have tool on set.  
An apron and a kitchen towel to keep me from wiping my hands on my jeans.  A small paint brush.  Patience.