Northwoods woman talks about her unusual careerSubmitted: 08/13/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Northwoods woman talks about her unusual career
EAGLE RIVER - Parents often tell their kids not to play with their food.

But one Northwoods woman has made a career of it.

"Food is visual and it's an art form," says Food stylist Cyndy Lagerhausen.

Ever wonder why you can never make a dish look as good as in a cookbook?

That's because you're not a food stylist like Chef Cyndy Lagerhausen.

"A food stylist is actually a person who prepares the food for photography. I make the food look really great so that the photos look really good," explains Lagerhausen.

Cyndy thinks cooking is the easy part of her food styling job.

"I actually troubleshoot. I have to make things work like pours, like to be able to pour food. I have to be able to make cereals stand up instead of sink down, so those are the kinds of things that - that's the expertise that I bring to the business," she says.

Food styling may sound crazy, but it's a lucrative business.

"My clients include Kraft. I work for Sarah Moulton from the food Network. I do a lot of things with her. I work a lot in network television on the food segments on the morning shows. I do infomercials which is kind of interesting," she adds.

Cyndy also teaches classes.

"I try and teach and stress in my classes, not only is it how food tastes, but it's also very visual. What looks good actually tastes better."

After 20 years in the business, Cyndy decided she could do her job from anywhere.

She moved to Eagle River from the Chicago area.

She still teaches food styling to international students and also styles for morning newscasts in Chicago.

"I think that's the primary draw for me is that it's just artistic and creative," Cyndy says.

And it's also challenging.

Cyndy had a fear of bugs until she had to style chocolate covered tarantulas and sauteed garlic scorpions for an exotic food event.

"It's always different. It's ever-changing," she says.

And she wouldn't have it any other way.

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