Where Nourishment and Deliciousness Coexist
A Profile on CNC food stylist and photographer Laura Arnold
From culinary producing ABC’s “The Chew” to food styling for the CNC, Laura Arnold unites excellent flavor and thorough nutrition.
Laura Arnold regularly and eagerly dips her toes into various culinary adventures: she’s an Emmy-nominated freelance culinary producer, she’s authored four cookbooks, and more often than not, you can find her collaborating with celebrities, chefs, brands and other food professionals to bring their next great cookbook to life. To no one’s surprise, Laura has always known this type of collaboration and exploration would forge her path.
“In culinary school, I always knew I wanted to be in food media and tell people’s stories through food,” she says. “It’s a uniting topic that allows you to nurture yourself and others.” With this inclination to nurture, Laura’s path also led her to the Cancer Nutrition Consortium (CNC), where she tests, styles and photographs some delicious recipes in an effort to give back.
Laura was connected with the CNC through an industry colleague. Having seen family members battle cancer, Laura was thrilled to deploy her food styling and photography expertise to give back. “I’m a big charity and volunteer person in general, but to be able to use my own skills to do that is really exciting.”
Exciting is the perfect word for Laura’s work, too; she’s well aware that cooking helps you find joy, and in the age of the internet, that joy of cooking goes hand-in-hand with a great picture of a delectable dish. “You eat with all your senses, and your eyes are first!”
Laura also understands that there may not be a specific point at which culinary exploration for the joy of it and culinary exploration for physical nourishment intersect (though she is sure deliciousness and nourishment can co-exist). It just depends on the person. As a culinary producer, Laura tests foolproof prep instructions. In her personal work, she prioritizes approachable health recipes. As such, she’s learned that recipes are guidelines written in water, not stone.
“Especially when you’re healing, try those new fruits and vegetables and see how you can incorporate them into your diet with a recipe that excites you,” she says. “You may not like it the first time, but don’t be afraid to twist that recipe into your own liking to make something delicious that still has that nutritional value.”
As far as her experience with the CNC goes, Laura says it was just wonderful. One of her favorite parts of the experience was learning about the unique range of chefs and the diverse index of recipes they brought to the table. That being said, it wasn’t just the remarkable recipes that captivated her. “I get to work on amazing recipes for people during a really difficult time in their lives. I get to help them find joy.”