Mariana’s styling career has placed her alongside renowned chefs from all over the world but styling the recipe book for FLOTUS Michelle Obama was a definite first and a truly historic experience. She was selected among some of the country’s best to food style American Grown, a project that took her already successful career into new heights and into the White House kitchen and garden.
Nonna’s house is “the” epic Nonna cookbook, and among Mariana’s favorite food styling projects. This book tells the story of Enoteca Maria, a tiny restaurant in Staten Island through the recipes of 10 Italian born Nonnas (grandmothers) who collaborate and cook once a week to make this restaurant’s famous fare.
Cartagena is a place with a rich culinary tradition, filled with history, glamour and Caribbean spices. Mariana had the honor to work on the re-edition of Teresita Roman’s epic cookbook Cartagena de Indias en la Olla, an epic 3000 recipe cookbook originally written in the 1960’s. For this new edition Mariana collaborated with Sergio Londono, Teresita Roman’s grandson on selecting 200 of the best recipes and photographing the creations with new light. She wrote about her experience styling this iconic book and working alongside photographer Quentin Bacon for Diners magazine.
Mariana’s culinary career began with a stint peeling shrimp at Harry Sasson’s restaurant, one of Colombia’s most renowned Chefs and restaurant owners. Years later her success in New York city would bring her back to his beautiful restaurant in Colombia for a 12 day shoot to art direct and style his cookbook Harry Sasson Cocina Mediterranea, inspired by his travels along the Mediterranean coast.
A 2012 Winner James Beard Award, The Food of Morocco is described as the most life changing cooking experience of Mariana’s career. In 2011 she traveled with photographer Quentin Bacon, to Marrakesh to prepare more than 100 recipes in the kitchen of an old Riad in the Medina of Morocco’s capital. Her favorite part of the project was working with local spices of infinite varieties, shopping for props at the flea markets and rummaging through closets of the hotel to find the perfect platters and visual elements to make this book a timeless and authentic celebration of the food of Morocco.
Mariana was the food stylist for Radically Simple by celebrated chef, author, Rozanne Gold. Radically Simple was nominated by James Beard for best cookbook in 2010 and voted one of the best cookbooks of the year by the New York Times
The Soup and Bread Cookbook was photographed in a tiny town in the middle of the Berkshire Mountains in four days. Photography by Hector Sanchez, props by Hilary Robertson and food styling by Mariana Velasquez.
Food and prop styling by Mariana Velasquez and photographed by Claudia Uribe, the self-titled Myriam Cahmy, features the recipes of a local entrepreneur who began her career in the 80’s selling desserts out of her garage in Bogota who became the owner of several pastry shops and cafes. Myriam’s daughter Denise took on the task of putting together the recipes that have nurtured her family and customers for years.
For the book My Key West Kitchen, by Norman Van Aken Mariana styled more that 80 images of the most decadent Caribbean dishes by one of Florida’s best known culinary entrepreneurs. She worked alongside Penny de Los Santos and a team of chefs and students at the Culinary Institute that Norman Van Aken ran at the time.
Food and prop styled by Mariana Velasquez for Hermanos Rausch, celebreties of the Canal Gourmet is a referent of high end cuisine in Latin America. Their first book, Criterion Ediciones Gamma 2009 elevated Colombia’s appreciation for haute cuisine. The second, Cocina de Fin de semana, is a weekend journey where the brothers share their favorite dishes from weekend family picnics and casual gatherings. The third book Cocina de Sal Y Dulce is a more familiar way of cooking where Jorge the savory chef and Mark the pastry chef each tell the tale of their passion for food family style.