Friday, December 5, 2008 | 01:51 PM ET
By Elizabeth Bridge, CBC Digital Archives writer
Food styling was a calling I was only vaguely aware of before I met someone who makes a living at it. Until then I had no idea one could combine lard and icing sugar to make something that passes for ice cream but won't melt under a photographer's hot lights.
Then there's the work of London photographer Carl Warner, in which food is styled almost beyond recognition. Dubbed "Foodscapes," his painstakingly assembled scenes recast crusty loaves as craggy hillsides, tropical fruits as hot-air balloons and silvery fish as the waves they swim under.
The UK newspaper The Telegraph has a captivating slideshow with 14 of Warner's images, including not just landscapes but cobblestoned villages, seascapes and pastoral scenes. It's fun to see how many elements you can identify - hey, those cliffs are blocks of Parmagiano!
Accompanying text explains Warner's process, from initial sketches through food assembly, photography and digital retouching.
On another level (which is mentioned in brief), it's troubling to see all that food become mere decoration in this era of food insecurity. Warner says he tries to salvage as much as possible to share with his crew, but some still gets thrown away.
What do you think? Are Warner's Foodscapes an inspiring reminder of the possibilities of food, or a frivolous waste of precious nutrition?
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About the blog
From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.
About the writers
Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.
Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.
Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.
Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).
Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.
Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.
Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.
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