From Food Stylist to Successful Cookbook Author

Professional Food Stylist and Author of the cookbook, “If the Table Could Talk,” Alyssa Alia, explains where her passion of the culinary arts and food styling came from as well as how her daughters influenced her to create a cookbook.

6/3/17 #608






"Welcome to Life & Living. I'm Joanna Gagis. If the table could talk, what would it say? Only good things about my next guest, Alyssa Alia, professional food stylist, and author of the cookbook If the Table Could Talk - A Taste of Celebrations. Welcome to the program. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here. Okay. I'm excited because I'm looking at... well first of all, crumb cake. And I'm drooling. [laughter] But there are so many beautiful dishes right here that you prepared all this morning? Mm hmm. [laughter] All of which can be found in your cookbook. I'm so excited to have you here and talk about this. Tell us about If the Table Could Talk. Tell us about your book. Well what it is, Joanna, it's a conglomeration of my talents of being a food stylist, and also being chef certified. And it's based on memories of menus. For every occasion that I did at my home, I prepared a menu. And actually, my first menu that I ever did was for my husband and I when we got engaged, for our engagement party, and I had my in laws over for dinner, and I actually have the original menu right here for you today. This is that menu. It's dated March 30th, 1986. That is some foresight that you had, to know not only to write this menu out, and document everything that you served, but to preserve it and keep it in the way that you did. I just love saving memories. And I guess I'm just very sentimental. And after that, every time I entertain in my home, I saved the menu. So we have this from... in 8th grade graduation, in June of 2004? Yes, my daughter. What's this one right here? Yep. And this one is for my daughter's 6th birthday. [laughter] This is when we started using the computer? Yes. [laughter] Yes. Everything else was typed out. Yes. Everything all written out. Yes. So you were a food stylist for 31 years. What goes into that? What is a food stylist? What's the deal? Well a food stylist is the person that makes food look beautiful for the camera. When you go down your grocery aisle and you go to your supermarket and you see all that food packaging on either side of you, it's... somebody is hired to make that food look beautiful. And that is what I do. And it... people don't realize how much work is involved. You know, making food looking gorgeous for the camera. And it could take days of shopping, days of preparation, just to find that perfect apple, that perfect piece of..."