I was invited to attend an event to meet Chris Oliver, food stylist for Saving Mr. Banks at her kitchen studio, Hollywood Food Styling. Prior to meeting her, I hadn’t really heard of a “food stylist” before. I overlooked that someone was actually responsible for the way food was presented in a movie. Oliver prepared 1950’s styled food for us in addition to demonstrating a few tricks for getting the best food photos.
Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks is based in the 1950s. That decade’s staple foods included fruit cups, bacon-wrapped foods, various dips for veggies and chips, deviled eggs, party pinwheels and creme filled desserts. In Saving Mr. Banks, Jell-O makes an appearance which was also featured at our event. The foods that Oliver prepared for us can easily be modernized and made in your own kitchen with the help of your children! Here are some of the foods that were prepared at the event.
Tuna Pin Wheels
Pin Wheels were a popular finger food in the 1950s. Oliver used crustless white bread (she flattened the bread with her hands) spread tuna, added tomato or red pepper and lettuce for color and rolled. She then sliced them and secured with tooth picks. Since attending the event I’ve made Tuna Pin Wheels with my daughter. We also made turkey and PB&J versions. The Pin Wheels are bite-sized and look super cute in her lunch box.
Get creative with fruit! Fruit Kabobs are super easy to make and a perfect treat during the summer. Just slice your favorite fruits, then add mint and cherries for extra color! Hawaiian buffets were a popular in the 1950s, so add pineapple to skewers if you’re going for that theme. Kids can help by adding the fruit with adult supervision.
This dish is also known as Eggs Mimosa or Dressed Eggs. Deviled Eggs were definitely a 1950s staple. They are simple to make using a few ingredients. All you need are hard boiled eggs, mayo or Miracle whip, seasoning and sometimes mustard. Remove the yolk, mash it with your other ingredients and then use a bag to fill and decorate the white egs. Your kids can fill the eggs then serve them at your next dinner party!
Mini Creme Pies!
Dessert was on every table in the 1950s from pound cakes to coconut cake and other delicious creme pies. Mini Creme Pies are a neat option to making an entire cake! They are the right size to serve to guests or even as an after dinner dessert. Your kids will love filling little pie shells with custards or pudding and then top with whipped creme!
Fondue with trimming
Attendees were broken up into groups and given a recipe to create. My group was assigned to cheese foundue. We created the fondue from scratch, then cut up pieces of bread and veggies. Kids can experience cheese in a whole new way. Why stick to cheese sticks and mac and cheese when they can have fun dipping! Kids can get involved by breaking apart bread to serve or even by decorating the veggie plate. Can you find my “hidden” Mickey?
Are you a food blogger or an Instagram foodie? Here are some tips to improve the look of food photos.
1) Placing food on solid colored dishes makes the food pop! I think the mini pies look scrumptious against a red plate!
3) Garnish can be added to finish a food presentation. Citrus rinds and parsley were popular garnishes in the 1950s.
4) Oliver speared her Fruit Kabobs through apples! What a fun way to display!
Saving Mr. Banks is now out on DVD and Blu-ray.