Rishon shows us the tricks food stylists use to make a sandwich look picture-perfect. Here, she takes on a sky-high, three-layer club sandwich featuring crisp lettuce, juicy red tomatoes, and crisp, wavy bacon. To keep this architectural wonder intact and looking its best, she focuses on three key elements: texture, color, and stability.

Texture
When you bite into a fully loaded club, you expect a symphony of crunchy, soft, and meaty textures. To achieve that balance, you need extra crispy bacon (which Rishon shows us how to make in Food Stylist vs IHOP Pancakes), fresh leaves of lettuce, layered stacks of thinly-sliced deli meats, and perfectly toasty bread. Our food stylist recommends toasting the bread in a skillet with olive oil to achieve a golden brown, griddled look with a lower risk of burning the bread. As for the tomatoes, slice them on the thicker side to preserve some of the natural, juicy texture, and cut them with a serrated knife for clean, non-smushed slices.

Color
Between the creamy white mayo, bright red tomato slices and vibrant cheddar cheese, the club sandwich is practically designed for its visual appeal. For the most contrast between each layer, alternate between boldly-colored ingredients, and make sure to bring each layer to the very edge of the bread slice (if not past it). Our food stylist puts her sandwich at eye-level while stacking it to make sure each lovely layer comes through. When picking out meats for your club, opt for smoked deli meats, which have preservatives that will keep the color of the meats looking fresher for longer. Pair your sandwich with crisp potato chips and a vibrant pickle spear to round out the plate’s color scheme. 

Structure 
Between the height of this towering sandwich and the weight of the ingredients, some of your toppings will start to slump down on the edges as you build. To give the sides of the sandwich more support, break a toothpick in half and gently place the skewers underneath the sloping layers. Toothpicks can also be used to make sure the sandwich stays picture-perfect as it’s transferred, just like the classic colored toothpick you’d find in your deli sandwich. Use more toothpicks as needed so that your ingredients don’t topple off the sandwich mountain, but make sure you’ve removed them all before digging in.    Food Stylist vs IHOP Pancakes

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