Internship FAQs

Want to find out what a food stylist does?

Denise Vivaldo Group, Inc. has stage and internships available. For more detailed information please read our FAQs below. To be considered for a stage or internship please email us at: denise@denisevivaldogroup.com


What are the pre-requisites for a stage or internship?
  1. A credit card. You will be doing a lot of shopping. It is not unusual to purchase $700 or more of groceries in a day. You will be reimbursed that same day but you must have the credit necessary to make the purchases in the first place.
  2. A car in good running condition. We will be relying on you to be on time and to complete errands.
  3. A cell phone.
  4. A local place to stay. We are located in Beverlywood, which is just south of West Hollywood and north of Culver City. We are about halfway between the beach and downtown Los Angeles. Your residence while working with us needs to be inside the area bounded by the Santa Monica Mountains on the north, the ocean on the west, the 105 FRWY on the south, and downtown Los Angeles on the east. We have had stage or interns from farther away and it does not work.
  5. Money to live on. This is not a paid stage or internship. You are expected to take care of your own lodging and transportation.

What can I expect to get out of a stage or internship at Denise Vivaldo Group, Inc.?
  1. Staging or interning with us will give you a chance to see exactly what goes into keeping a small culinary business afloat.
  2. While you are with us you may have the opportunity to work on photo shoots, commercials, and TV shows.
  3. Your time with us might coincide with a cookbook we’ll be developing.
  4. You might be assisting us when we teach food styling classes.
  5. This is a great opportunity to see just how a successful small culinary business like Denise Vivaldo Group works.
  6. For someone who wants exposure to alternative culinary careers this is an excellent stage or internship.
  7. A great way to get an overview of the business.

What kind of hours can I expect to work during my stage or internship?
  • It is quite possible that one week you will work only 20 hours and the next week you will work 40 hours in three days. Some days you might work from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., other days work might start at 2:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. This is not a misprint, the hours can and do vary widely. We need stages and stage or interns that can go with the flow of this chaotic schedule.

What’s the difference between a stage and an internship?
  • The length of time. Although a stage is something that anyone can do anywhere at anytime (usually between 1-5 days), an internship is usually required by another entity, like a school, for completion of a curriculum (usually between 6-12 weeks).

How long will my stage or internship be?
  • That depends upon our schedule and your schedule and is open to discussion.

Will I work weekends?
  • Most weekends you will not work but there is a chance that a particular client will require us to work over a Saturday and/or Sunday.

Is there a possibility of full-time employment after my stage or internship?
  • No. Due to the nature of this business, there isn’t such a thing as a full-time food stylist. Most stylists also work as recipe developers or testers, writers, personal chefs, caterers, cooking teachers, etc., to make up the shortfall in income. Anyone looking at this field as a career needs to have a very entrepreneurial personality.

What kind of work will I be doing?
  • Shopping, errands, washing lots and lots of dishes, keeping work areas clean, schlepping loads of stuff back and forth, prepping mise en place, and generally just being willing to jump in and do just about anything with good humor. Some office work is also required so you will need to know, at the very least, how to use Word on a PC, and any additional computer knowledge is a plus.

What other type of knowledge is a plus?
  1. The more you know about food the better.
  2. The more experience you have with a wide variety of cuisines the better.
  3. Photography and/or design experience is a great thing to have.
  4. Knowledge of how sets and productions work.
  5. Having a “MacGyver” gene and being able to creatively solve problems is a tremendous help.
  6. Being able to write well is very helpful.

How physically demanding is this work?
  • There is a common misconception, mostly among chef instructors, that food styling work is not hard. This is why chef instructors make really bad food stylists. If you’ve ever run your own catering business you will know how physical this type of work can be. This is not for the weak or the slow. When a production company is waiting on you, and every minute of their time is costing them $10,000, you’d better move fast. When on a shoot or a show you will be on your feet for anywhere between 10-14 hours. The 14 hour days are few and far between but they do happen and you must be physically able to do the work.

What type of personality is ideal for this type of work?
  1. People who can’t sit still and need to be constantly busy are a great fit.
  2. Lazy people who like to complain when things get rough are a bad fit.
  3. The more you know about and love food and the more interested you are in the whole job process, the more you will give and get from this opportunity.
  4. If you can join the “we’re all in this boat together” group and work together when everyone is tired; then we welcome you. If you bitch when you’re tired and ask to go home early then the only thing you’re accomplishing is to remind the rest of us how tired we are, which sucks the energy out of a room faster than anything.
  5. You should be able to find humor in just about any situation.
  6. You should not take things personally.
  7. You should not be a picky eater.

Is there anything else I should know?
  1. This is a physically and intellectually demanding stage or internship. We must stress the importance of being able to work fast and think on your feet.
  2. You should be aware of how film/television sets operate. When we are on the set of an expensive production we are very low on the production hierarchy. Our job is to simply get done what we’re being paid to get done without drawing attention to ourselves. These productions are run with an almost military chain of command, which means the privates don’t speak to the general unless directly addressed. If you were to come to their attention by acting out, being loud, or offering your un-asked-for opinion, they will find out who’s fault it is that you are there and ask that you not come back. This reflects very badly on our business and we cannot afford this. If you need attention and constant feedback then this is a bad stage or internship choice for you. It didn’t occur to us that we needed to explain this but it has happened before and it is only fair to you and to us that you are made aware of it.
  3. It is important that you don’t use work time for personal calls or to take care of personal errands.
  4. Much of our work is proprietary and confidential; our clients expect confidentiality from us and will be required to sign a statement to that effect.

Please consider carefully the information above before applying for a stage or internship with us. We will all get more out of this if you know what you are getting into beforehand!

If you would still like to be considered for a stage or internship please email us at: denise@denisevivaldogroup.com

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