The Oysters Are Usually Fake: An Interview With A Hollywood Food Stylist

Melissa McSorley whipped up an estimated 800 Cubanos on the set of the 2014 film Chef. Sexy-looking camera-ready ones, too. That's her job: making good food in this case, famed L.A. chef Roy Choi's pork sandwich recipe look great on screen. In an interview with NPR's "Morning Edition," the Hollywood food stylist (whose credits also include such popular TV shows as Mad Men and True Blood) talks about her chosen craft, which involves tasks like making fake ice cream using "a knob of butter covered in sugar." Then there's the tricky matter of oysters:

"Oysters are always scripted into scenes because they're very sensual, but many actors don't want to slurp those down on camera," she says. "So I tend to make a lot of fake oysters, which I make out of flan — a custard — which I then color and air brush, and I shape it. It perfectly slides out of the oyster shell."

McSorley isn't dishing up all her secrets, however. For the upcoming film Danny Collins, starring Al Pacino, for instance, she was instructed to assemble a foot-tall mound of caviar that "needed to last all day." She declines to say how she managed that one.

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