How Top Chef creates food porn
"During both the Quickfire speed round and the weekly main challenge, each cheftestant is asked to make an extra "food porn" plate, which is whisked away as soon as time’s up. "We take them back into an area where we have set up our food porn area and there’s everything there, from Q-tips to Windex, to beet juice, to an entire toolbox full of things that makeup artists use," she said."
Food photography has been around for years, decades. and there is good reason for it.
Lighting - the right kind of lighting is crucial because without it you may not be able to see on camera what you would see if you are there in person.
Highlighting the ingredients. In order to really show of the ingredients they need to use depth of field, perspective, focus. etc. This can be hard to do in moving shots and I'm betting the the food photography portion is for the website more than anything else.
The tool box arsenal is there to help aid in getting the best quality image.
lets hope no dental dams or condoms need to be used. Of course you never know when someone breaks out the bananas and mayo.
Also I did notice Sandee listed, Wasn't she listed on Last season as well? I just hope the challenges are better.