10 Question with Food Stylist Sandra Mahut!

A few months ago I was at a bookstore when I saw a book about little popular French appetizers and bought it right away. I'm usually hesitant to buy anything (remember, I'm frugal), but this little one just was too cute to pass up. Full of good ideas and great photos, I wanted to know more about the author and the lady behind the ideas. Recently, I got to do just that and interviewed Sandra (food stylist, author, now photographer) in her very charming studio in Paris. As soon as I walked into the studio, it was like time stood still. It's heaven for anyone who loves to decorate. Long shelves along the walls full of colorful bowls and plates, oriental spoons and forks, rustic wooden tables, a little kitchen, and even a comfy sofa to plop on after a long day of work. I didn't want to leave because I felt so inspired in this happy little studio where all the magic happens. We started the interview with some green tea, took a seat on her purple sofa and chatted about careers. Here are some fun questions I thought were worth sharing.

How long have you been working as a food stylist/author/photographer?
I started food styling 10 years ago and about 1 year ago I started to shoot my own photos for my book. I had a photographer who would come shoot, and one day I thought, I can do that.
The first book that I took photos for and wrote was Un diner a Bali for Le Petit Plat Marabout.

I recently went to Bali, a place I thought I would never go and really loved the food. It was nice to see this book on the shelves. It took me back to Bali. How did you get started in this industry?
I was at a food styling studio one day (randomly) with a friend and when I saw the stylist working, it just felt like pure magic for me. Everything. I instantly felt that food styling and working in a studio where I could get creative with different objects was for me. It felt right. After that, I started to assist the stylist for about 6 months and soon after I started to find more work and it all just began from there. Now it has been 10 years.

How many book have you written?
Roughly about 25

Which one was your favorite to write?
Papillotes - Assembler, plier, ficeler, au four et c'est prêt !

Being a food stylist seems cool. You get to work with different props and set your own time. What would you say is your favorite part about the job?
I'm free artistically when I write my books. I can create, design, and take photos. There is a piece of me in that.

The worst part about the job?
Client demands.  When I have shoots for brands. I'm very thankful for the clients I have, however sometimes it's challenging when the demands of the clients are a bit unrealistic.

What were you doing before working as  food stylist?
I was working at Canal Plus (TV Station) as a intern. After my internship, I was offered a permanent position which I took. I was in charge of show shootings and organization. I did that for about 3 years and then moved on to work as a producer in film. When I went to the food studio by random that day with my friends, it's what I wanted to do. I knew that.

If you weren't working in food/styling industry, what other job would you love to discover or have?
A makeup artist seems like it could be something fun! Why not.

Oh I'm a makeup artist! I can teach you! I always feel motivated when I can help someone learn something. Even if it's how to put on eyeliner or find the right color of foundation. Those simple things can make someones day. What would you say inspires you and your art?
I would have to say my travels. Definitely. 

Strangest and favorite food?
Strangest food? Chinese street food in China. It's just..different. Favorite cuisine in the world?
Japanese! No hesitation.