Saffron Walden food stylist's feast of fun on Game of Thrones set
PUBLISHED: 08:22 18 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:31 18 April 2019
A food stylist from Wicken Bonhunt has revealed that working on the set of TV hit Game of Thrones was a "surreal experience".
Sue Townsend prepares food that appears on TV, adverts and films.
“In films it's used to set the scene or era - blink and you might miss it but the detail has to be spot on,” she said.
One of her more unusual jobs was to prepare food for a funeral feast for Game of Thrones in series five. There were five huge tables of food and more than 500 colour co-ordinated fantasy canapés that had to be edible for the 120 extras on set.
“Working on the Game of Thrones set was a surreal experience, the attention to detail for the props is astounding and the sets are truly beautiful and majestic,” she said. “It's always fast paced on filming days and you have to be prepared for last minute changes to the food or the schedule.”
Filming days for commercials, magazines or packaging are less hectic but require real attention to detail. Every tiny bit of rocket or grain of pepper can be under scrutiny and can move back and forth several times over before clients are happy with the result.
“You need a steady hand and a long pair of twisters along with an endless supply of fresh ingredients and patience,” Sue said.
A lot of people think it's all about making ice cream out of mashed potato.
“I've actually never done that, great food speaks for itself and food is shot so much more quickly these days that it's much easier, on most occasions, to use real ice cream and always if it's for a commercial for ice cream,” she said. “I'd only use fake on a film set where no one is eating it and to keep running on and off set to replace the ice cream would slow up filming too much.
“It's actually more about being in the right place, with the right food and equipment and being prepared to do a long days work,” Sue said.
“I often end up in the middle of a field, under a gazebo with a fridge, a generator, a trestle table and a bowl of soapy water,” she added.
Sue gets to see her work most days, whether it's a trip to Saffron Screen, the supermarket, flicking through a newspaper or magazine or watching TV.
Her work will be on show again in the upcoming Stephen Poliakoff BBC drama, Summer of Rockets.