[learning the basics of food styling at THE MAYA KITCHEN]

Don't you just love looking at food that is so picture-pretty in glossy magazines? Well, I do. :)

Though I know how to cook simple dishes, with pasta meals & desserts being my forte, it's the food presentation that piques my interest. Just like interior styling, I love picking out items, getting them all together & capturing the overall look. :)

Aside from doing interiors, food photography & food styling are what I have been meaning to study & do. In fact, I almost signed up in a workshop last year but never got around to doing it.

But a chance came up two Saturdays ago. I got signed up in such a class at The Maya Kitchen thru an opportunity sent our way by Mommy Bloggers Philippines.

The Maya Kitchen  is located at Level 8 of the Liberty Building in Makati City.

I was one of the early birds so I had time to take photos of the venue.

Near the main entrance door, there was a window display of all the products they carry, from all types of flour, cake mixes & even cookbooks. This also serves as their in-house store.   

Entering through the glass doors, I came to this dining area which also serves as a holding area for their visitors & workshop participants. 

This was  demo kitchen #1 for the Korean cooking workshop. 

I caught a glimpse of their spotless, modern, high-tech kitchen.

This is the classroom in the same kitchen. I love the graphics on the wall! :)

At the other end of the hall was  the demo kitchen for our 'summer treats makeover' class

which we entered through these accordion capiz-panelled doors.

And this is Ms. CLEONE BARADAS, our teacher that morning. She is the former art director of Martha Stewart Weddings Philippines & food stylist at Summit Media.

She generously shared lots of info on the subject, like how you should do your homework & learn more about the client. There is also what she called the 'art of the dish' where you work around the shape, height, color, texture of the dish & turn it into an artwork. She also let us in on more styling tips & what tools to use, like water spritzers, tweezers, gelatin, powder pigments, colorful placemats, etc. to be able to achieve the look of a more delectable dish.

After the short lecture came the cooking proper. We did 4 dishes : a salad, two kinds of soup (hot & cold) & a dessert.

Here are the dishes Ms. Cleone styled.


a soup made of raw vegetables & served cold, usually with a tomato base, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia 


a thick soup made of pureed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, & chicken stock. It is traditionally served cold but can be eaten hot


a spicy salad made from shredded unripe papaya


a popular Filipino dessert with mixtures of shaved ice  and evaporated milk  to which are added various boiled sweet beans, jello and fruits, and served in a tall glass or bowl.
Ingredients include boiled kidney beans, garbanzos, sugar palm fruit (kaong), coconut sport (macapuno), & plantains caramelized in sugar, jackfruit (langka), gulaman, tapioca, nata de coco, sweet potato (kamote), cheese, pounded crushed young rice (pinipig). In terms of arrangement, most of the ingredients (fruits, beans, and other sweets) are first placed inside the tall glass, followed by the shaved ice. This is then sprinkled with sugar, and topped with either (or a combination of) leche flan, purple yam (ubeng pula), or ice cream. Evaporated milk is poured into the mixture upon serving.

At the end of the cooking & food styling class, we learned a thing or two about The Maya Kitchen from Ms. Rory Subida, TMK's manager. 

With fellow mommy bloggers & other participants, we all had a great time learning food styling 101.

**Check out The Maya Kitchen's forthcoming classes this summer.


  1. This looks so much fun! I love food styling, too! But so far my go-to is just parsley on the side that kinda thing. I would have loved to have attended this class. :)

    Mars M.

    1. you should have signed up. ;) maybe when the next opportunity comes along, mars! :)

  2. I hope they will also have a run here in Cebu!

    1. hi jhanis! why don't you email the maya kitchen. maybe they can come up with workshops in the provinces. :)


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