How to Take a Bite Out of #TasteOfAmerica2020 by Suzanne Clark
Updated: Mar 10, 2020
It’s baaaacckkkk … WFC’s LARGEST online recipe qualifier, #TasteOfAmerica2020!
And since the Ultimate Food Fight will be returning to the BIG D this November, we’ve decided to make this popular contest even BIGGER by awarding up to 250 Golden Tickets (5 per state) versus last year’s 150 (3 per state).
News Flash: That means ONE HUNDRED more aspiring #WFC2020 competitors have the opportunity to put their culinary skills to the test and join the food fight through this qualifier!
I know you are anxious to participate, so here are seven tips to help you get started.
Tip #1: Lighting
Is the lighting good? Can we really see your dish?
Harsh shadows and poor lighting can really be disappointing and doesn’t show your dish in its best light, pun intended. I always recommend taking photos outside under a canopy or a piece of cardboard to help eliminate harsh shadows. Indoor lighting tends to not be as appealing, and can change the colors of your food. If you run out of time in the evening, take your picture the next day in daylight. This might take more time, but in the end it is well worth it!
Tip #2: Title
If you title your dish as a cheeseburger, the judges need to see the cheese in the photo. If you decide to make a chicken pasta dish, we want to see Springer Mountain Farms' chicken. If you have a featured sauce, let it drip over the sides, or at least put enough on your sandwich, so we can see!
Before photographing, run through your recipe and make sure all elements are visible in your photo. Show the judges your story of how that Brown Sugar Bourbon really is the perfect glaze on your bacon. They want to see the beautiful toasted slices of Martins Famous Potato Bread on your breakfast sandwich, stacked high with Wampler’s Omega-3 Sausage. These are things that will impress the judges. Your photo should serve as a sneak peek to your recipe. It needs to represent the elements you are showcasing.
Tip #3: Appetizing
Is the lettuce wilted,? Does the chicken look dry? Is your plating a mess?
If so, the judges will notice and it will affect scores. All ingredients need to be appetizing.
Tip #4: Visuals
In the past, judges have seen many pictures zoomed in so close, or pulled back so far that they cannot tell what you made. Make sure to “visually edit” and review your photo by looking for dead space, shadows, and the perfect angle. You should basically put on a full-fledged photoshoot from your phone!
Tip #5: Plating
Is your photo drool-worthy?
Instagram is a great source for finding ideas for food styling and plating. Do some research to give yourself some ideas. Look at colors, textures, and different photo angles for inspiration. The TOA sponsors are paying close attention on social media. When choosing your photo, pick one that a sponsor would be proud to display on their social media pages. Make your recipe “smile!”
Tip #6: Recipe
Make sure your recipe is written correctly. Follow proper recipe writing guidelines, and use correct punctuation. Before submitting, double-check that you included all ingredients presented in your ingredient list and directions. You don’t want to leave anything out!
Tip #7: Grammar
Proofread! This sounds obvious, but many people will be reading your recipe, you want to make sure everything is correct. Having someone else read your recipe not only can help you avoid mistakes, but it can also help make sure you conveyed your message correctly and it is an easy recipe to follow.