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How to: styling a turkey

Christmas Turkey Styled On A Plate

Styling a turkey for a Christmas TV-commercial was one of my first assignments as a food stylist. It was going to be on national TV! OMG.

So to be honest I had no idea how to start making that turkey. I had never even made a turkey in my entire life. So I did my research. The first question is:

Does it have to be real or fake

The answer to that depends on many factors including what the use for the turkey will be. If you are going to put someone’s head in it, I suggest you ask a set dresser to get you a rubber turkey. If people are going to eat the turkey, you better make sure it tastes delicious and you don’t get anyone food poisoning.

a flaying croquette with mayonaise

So on with styling that turkey. Say you are making a turkey that is sitting on set all day and no-one is touching or eating it and the camera will not go close on the turkey, you can use some tricks like undercooking and coloring it.

A real turkey will always look a lot tastier than a fake turkey. So cut the crap with shoe polish and motor oil. Just let it sit in the oven while it’s turning golden brown. Baste it from time to time and serve it while it is still warm.

A turkey is one huge beast so make sure you have a plate that is large enough to fit. Surround it with some spruce twigs, cranberries or other leafy greens and red berries.

Got yourself caught in a situation with a turkey that needs styling?

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