Why Max's Julia Food Stylist Only Uses Real Food On The Set - Exclusive

From recreating Julia Child's classic take on perfectly cooked seafood staple loup en croute to a decadent chocolate soufflé, Christine Tobin has an eye for creating beautiful dishes. The food stylist for Max's "Julia" told us in an exclusive interview that she spends hours getting all the details right before they film the show. "I owed it to her [Julia] and also to all culinarians that would have this work under a microscope," she revealed. "I stayed true to her, especially with what was scripted."

The Massachusetts native said that she is mindful about protecting Child's culinary legacy. "I have some ability to enhance things a little bit, but I like her food to look like her food," she explained. "That's what people are going to be making if they're [inspired] and they go to the cookbooks."

While some in the industry may use things like hairspray or wax to make recipes look more aesthetically pleasing on camera, Tobin is not one of them. She admitted it's important for meals to be real on set, because you never know if a script might change and it needs to be cut into or eaten by an actor.

Challenges she's faced working with authentic recipes

Tobin has previously worked on multiple award-winning films from "American Hustle" to "Little Women." She told us she's thankful that the movies and shows she's been a food stylist for have allowed her to make real recipes and not use items like shaving cream. This product is sometimes used in place of actual whipped cream since it won't melt under the hot lights on a set. "I've never been asked to go that route," Tobin explained. "I'm lucky to have the ability to make real food on each project I've ever been on."

That hasn't come with its own problems, though. She revealed that when they portrayed a baby shower scene for "Julia" that featured desserts made with real buttercream and it was humid outside, the frosting started to melt. Tobin said she loves that scene for its authenticity because "that's exactly how it would behave in that setting, in that time."

As far as what's been the most challenging dish to film overall, Tobin admitted it was recreating Child's famous bûche de Noël. The confection features webs of spun sugar and a very hot liquid caramel that had to move very quickly so it could be laced and put around the cake in real time. She explained that they had to practice in advance with the crew and cast to make sure it went smoothly and nobody was injured in the process.

New episodes of "Julia" premiere Thursdays on Max.