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LUIS CASTRO, Food Stylist/ Property, IATSE Local 44

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Watch Luis's Demo Reel

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Puerto Rico. Then I moved to California when I was 15 years old. I also lived in NY in my 20’s. Both my parents are Puerto Rican. What are your responsibilities or roles in your department? As a food stylist my role is to create, advise and execute the vision of a scene that has food scripted. I work closely with the Prop Master. When the scene is more complex I might work with writers, directors and actors. Part of my responsibilities is to prep the food needed for that scene taking under consideration resets. On the day of the scene I set up a make shift kitchen area near the set for easy access where I’ll have what I need from kit and any necessary kitchen equipment. During the shoot I’m on set doing resets and assisting for a smooth completion of the scene.

Are there any films that inspired you to start working in film and television? As far as a particular movie that inspired me to get into this career. I don’t have one. Although after getting started in the industry the movie Chef became one of my favorites. I sort of fell into it by luck when I answered a Craigslist ad for a food stylist assistant position. How did you begin working in the industry? Before becoming a Food Stylist I was a professional Chef for over 25 years. Then I started assisting a former Food Stylist for several years. I overheard on a set about local 44. In further looking into becoming Union I found the program Hollywood CPR that help me get my hours to get into 44. What has been your favorite project to work on? My favorite project thus far that I’ve done has been This is Us Season 6 . Specifically the episode titled Miguel. It depicted Miguel’s Puerto Rican culture and food. I never imagined I would be cooking my food for an award winning show such as This is Us.

Are there any peers or mentors that have inspired you?

I think the people that most inspire me in this profession are the newcomers. There is really no specific pathway to get to it but by doing it. You might be able to get a start assisting an established Food Stylist and that might mean you might be doing unrecognized work for a few years until you get an opportunity to do it all on your own. It’s a competitive field. I like to mentor others when ever possible and share my knowledge

What advice would you give someone starting out in this industry

The advice I would give someone starting in this profession is.

1. You need culinary education and experience. Work in the food industry before leaping to styling. 2. Assist an established Food Stylist and absorb the most you can.

3. Don’t be afraid to start doing it on your own when you feel you’re ready.


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