Photographing food is as much about timing as it is about composition and light. Bring out the hero plate too soon and the product is gonna start wilting under the lights from a window.
So, the food stylist usually starts us off with a stunt plate, a plated dish of the recipe, that is close enough to get the texture and the general shape of the product.
This project got even more interesting when we wanted the late afternoon sun sweeping in across the table and food, to give it that golden evening glow. The sun was out there, but it was 1 in the afternoon and no where near the window we were next to.
My assistant ran outside with a suitably gelled light and a branch from a near by tree.
We got the shot and then we made him watch through the window as the art director and I devoured the dish!
(just kidding. I am not that mean.)