The Easiest Ways To Make Your Meals Look Fancier, According To A Food Stylist - Exclusive

HBO Max's "Julia" features beautifully prepared food, from decadent dinners to sweet confections. The series is based on the prolific life of culinary icon Julia Child, and her meals that are highlighted in the show are replicated with incredible attention to detail. The food stylist who makes these stunning dishes come to life is Christine Tobin, who told us in an exclusive interview that countless hours are spent creating the actual food that Child made famous — and not by using any artificial products to get them camera-ready.

"I have some ability to enhance things a little bit, but I like her food to look like her food," she revealed. "That's what people are going to be making if they're [inspired] and they go to the cookbooks."

While some sets use items like hairspray or wax to make their cuisine look more aesthetically pleasing, Tobin explained that she uses actual food-based ingredients to make entrees look fancier. She likes to put her meals "on a beautiful platter and add some herbs and some texture, maybe if it needs it, or a splash of a really nice olive oil to give it a bit of sheen." And when it comes to baked goods, Tobin added that she likes to think of it like architecture and does a little sketch to conceptualize how she'll create it. While you may not need to draw your meals before you make them, you can still enhance their appearance by similarly using herbs, oils, and textural ingredients.

How to use her advice to make your own food the star of the show

There are a variety of meals that can benefit from Christine Tobin's suggestion of adding dried or fresh herbs to create layers and make your dinner more visually stunning. For example, our roasted root vegetable recipe is a dish that's simple to make yet incredibly flavorful and will leave your family or guests wanting seconds. It features beets, potatoes, and carrots that are drizzled with olive oil and baked with rosemary and thyme. After it's cooked thoroughly, you could easily add chopped Italian parsley or basil for a tasty and beautiful finish.

Her other recommendation of tossing some olive oil on an entree is an easy way to brighten up a dish. Whether you're making steak, chicken, or fish, this ingredient can create a wow factor. We recommend trying it with our roasted lemon chicken recipe that features lemon zest, crushed garlic, and dried thyme. After it has come out of the oven, let it sit, then brush a little extra olive oil on your poultry to really make it glisten. If you're doubling down on Tobin's advice, this would also be the perfect opportunity to sprinkle some extra herbs on top for a meal that even Julia Child herself would find visually impressive.

New episodes of "Julia" premiere Thursdays on HBO Max.