Read as Jamie Kimm talks about his career as a Professional Chef and Food Stylist. Find him at www.jamiekimm.com.
What do you do for a living?
I am a Chef and a Food Stylist.
How would you describe what you do?
Working with a creative team of photographers, art directors. Working from recipes to creating food images that we are happy with.
What does your work entail?
Creating beautiful food for us to shoot!
What’s a typical work week like?
5-6 days a week, prepping, shooting, traveling .
How did you get started?
I started as a chef, worked in the best restaurants. Came to America and continued as a personal chef. As a personal chef, I found myself with quite a lot of free time. So I started with assisting another Food Stylist, bringing my previous experience and training all together.
What do you like about what you do?
What do you dislike?
How do you make money/or how are you compensated?
I bill a client and they reimburse me.
How much money do Food Stylists make?
As an assistant you make around $200 per day. As a stylist around $6-800 per day, for ad work you make $12-1500 per day and similar for TV work.
How much money did/do you make starting out?
Starting out as an assistant, it’s not about how much you make, it’s about who you’re working with. Either way I earned more money back then by food styling than being a chef.
What education, schooling, or skills are needed to do this?
Start with a strong foundation. Learn your craft. Learn to cook! So many of the Food Stylists today can´t even cook and have no food background whatsoever. It is essential!
What is most challenging about what you do?
I suppose making something that is not beautiful, beautiful.
What is most rewarding?
The tired feeling after a long run of creative work…feels good inside.
What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
Get a proper education. You need to be able to cook extremely well. Try to surround yourself with as much creativity as possible. Art, beauty for the eye and mind.
How much time off do you get/take?
Freelance is often unpredictable. You have to find time to broaden your horizons and travel.
What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
All the food is inedible. And covered with goop. Not true!
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
Carrying on being as creative as possible. Keep moving on forward creatively.
What else would you like people to know about your job/career?
People should know that it doesn’t come over night. A problem with many people these days is that they don´t understand the time it takes to learn a craft.