Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyssa Noui.
Alyssa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I moved to LA from San Francisco as a French teacher and a nanny. In my spare time and evenings I would go to farmers markets, throw dinner parties, chat with chefs and experiment in my kitchen. I realized I was working in the wrong field! I knew I wanted to cook but didn’t want to go to culinary school or work in a restaurant. My options seemed limited but then the opportunity to work for the culinary team on a Food Network competition show appeared and I jumped on it. I loved learning about food and TV production at the same time.
One of the culinary advisors from the show and I started talking and he suggested I try being a food stylist. I didn’t even know what a food stylist was at the time but with his help I began assisting stylists for live TV Demos and working on all types of productions: photoshoots, digital videos… I never said no and I learned on the job how to keep food looking good on camera for hours, how to communicate with producers, photographers and negotiate rates, how to shop, organize and prep.
Once I felt comfortable enough, I started my own business for Food Styling!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Absolutely not! Taking a leap to run my own business with a small portfolio in the new digital video space was nerve wracking. Talk about feast and famine! One week you’re juggling five jobs and the next week there’s not a peep.
Learning how to negotiate was a major struggle. I was dealing with so much impostor syndrome that I would low ball myself all the time. I was so grateful to meet strong women in this space that mentored me and lived by example. Also learning how to anticipate disasters was done by… recovering quickly from disasters on set. From food not behaving, production not considering certain logistical needs, spills in the car driving food to set, every mistake and pivot becomes a new tool in your toolkit. You learn to spot possible pain points and communicate effectively.
SUPPINGOOD – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My company provides culinary visuals for brands and food companies. I specialize in moving pictures but enjoy the meticulousness of stills and editorial. I feel known for making set super fun and enjoyable, as well as sourcing great products. I love keeping people laughing and out of their heads while moving the day along quickly and getting the most out of the shots we take.
As a company, (besides finding a way to get paid for being myself and doing what I love, truly a privilege!)I’m most proud of providing another career avenue for my assistants I’ve trained from professional kitchens and the outreach I’m committed to.
I have a network of group homes and youth centers to where I can serve safe food and eradicate waste. I’m currently starting a non-profit called Serve Alongside (@servealongside) to build community by bridging Hollywood and Hunger.
My cultural heritage gives me a leg up on understanding subtle nuances of flavors, ingredients and dishes. I grew up with a Japanese mother and a French-born Algerian father. We ate in many different styles and those memories have always been useful pitching ideas in creative meetings and innovating recipes.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment professionally was probably working next to Quentin Tarantino in “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.” Unfortunately, the scene I worked on didn’t make the final edit but it was really fun and surreal being at a burger joint at 4am making messes and shooting on 70mm film.
Another highlight, actually the kickoff for my Serve Alongside idea was serving 200 breakfasts to the homeless in Venice after a shoot. Facing the possibility of all that food getting dumped was not an option to me at the time and miraculously a dozen helpful people rallied to make my vision to serve others a reality.
- Website: www.alyssanoui.com
- Phone: 4087811612
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @suppingood
Gabriel Sweet, Michael McLeod, Krizia Flores, Kamal Humphrey