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Food styling tips + Pasta with Sage and Brown Butter // recipe {guest post}

January 23, 2015
Food styling with Katrín Björk via that nordic feeling

I’ve asked a hand full of inspiring and talented people to each write a guest post for the blog to keep you entertained while I’m off on holiday in Southeast Asia. Second up is Katrín Björk, a food & lifestyle photographer and the woman behind the food blog Modern Wifestyle.

Food styling with Katrín Björk via that nordic feeling

Katrín was born and raised in Iceland, she lives in Copenhagen and works all over the world. Her favorite food is French fries and she’s a firm believer that champagne goes with all food and every occasion. Now that’s my kinda woman! I have been a long time fan of Katrín’s beautiful universe and I followed her blog before I ever met her. So I asked Katrín to share some food styling tips with us and she also threw in a recipe (lucky us) – give it up for Katrín!

Food styling tips + a recipe

On top of cooking and photographing I do the food styling for my images myself. It has taken me years to learn how to style food properly. How to choose the right plate, when is messy ok and what type of garnish is photogenic etc.
 Styling and photographing food are two different things even though they often go hand in hand. I sometimes forget when I am the stylist and when I am the photographer, that is why I prefer to do both jobs at once.

I made a simple pasta dish and then I styled it 5 different ways to show you how background, props and camera angle can make a huge difference, even on the exact same food.
 Making a decision on all the things mentioned depends on the story you are telling, the season (spring, summer, fall winter), the food and sometimes even your own mood.

Food styling with Katrín Björk via that nordic feelingFood styling with Katrín Björk via that nordic feeling


My best advice for styling and photographing food

  • Personally I always shoot in natural light, I find it a lot softer and more smooth, and the food looks more “real” and therefore more appealing
  • Use a tripod so that your hands are free to move things around and you can style the picture better
  • Collect as many plates, bowls, cutlery, table cloths as possible. Be creative and look in your grandma’s kitchen, go to flea markets and invest in some basic things from designers you like. Mixing old and new designs gives your images a personal look
  • Use different backgrounds, both light and dark
  • Experiment with camera angles

Food styling with Katrín Björk via that nordic feeling

Pasta with Sage and Brown Butter

Don’t let the simplicity of this dish fool you because it is super yummy and delightful, it is after all a perfect combo of Italian and French Cuisine.
 I am not going to pretend that I invented the combo of sage and brown butter, that combo is forever a french classic, but I did add the lemon and pistachios for that little something extra.

Brown butter or Beurre Noisette is unsalted butter melted over low heat and allowed to separate into fat and milk solids. The milk solids naturally sink to the bottom of the pan and, if left over gentle heat, will begin to brown and caramelize. As the milk solids reach a toasty hazelnut color, the pan is removed from the heat.

Beurre noisette may be used in its liquid state, or cooled to a solid form. It has a nutty flavour and is often included in batters for french pastry. (Do not confuse brown butter with clarified butter which is not allowed to brown and always strained)

Food styling with Katrín Björk via that nordic feeling



This recipe serves two
200 g (7 oz) dried Fettuccine
A handful Pistachios
4 tbsp Unsalted Butter
5 fresh sage leaves
1/2 Lemon, juice and zest
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley for garnish

  1. 
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package
  2. Remove the pistachios from shells, chop them roughly and toast on a dry pan, then set aside
  3. Melt the butter over low heat, add roughly chopped sage leaves and let cook until butter has browned and smells nutty.
  4. Squeeze the juice from ½ lemon into the butter and then toss the pasta in the sauce. Salt and pepper to taste
  5. Divide into two bowls and top with lemon zest, shaved parmesan cheese, the toasted pistachios and some finely chopped parsley.

Food styling with Katrín Björk via that nordic feeling

Thank you Katrín. I for one wish I could style food like this, so I appreciate the tips so much. If you want to see more of Katrín’s beautiful photos and lovely recipes, go check her blog Modern Wifestyle and find Katrín on Instagram under @katrinbjork.

I am loving the guest posts while I’m away – more exciting ones to come, stay tuned!

Photos: Katrín Björk

© that nordic feeling

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1 Comment

  • Reply Melafrique January 23, 2015 at 08:42

    That pasta looks delicious . Will try this recipe definitely – thanks for sharing

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