Dana Bonagura is a food stylist in New York City who discovered her love for food at an early age. Food and art
remained her passions through the years and in college she found herself jumping from behind her
canvas to behind the stove with great frequency. A few years after graduating from The George Washington University,
it was the organic move to enroll and later complete her culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education.
Dana's opportunity to live in food-centric cities from New York, Washington DC, San Francisco to Rome
have provided her with international inspiration and a style that can transcend borders. Her perfectionist nature
with a twist of imperfection provides for a unique style combining simplicity with rusticity.
Her fervor for all things food has lead Dana's styling experience to include all forms of media: editorial,
advertising, catalog, packaging, commercial, television and satellite media tours. Through the years, photo shoots
for Bon Appetit, People Magazine, Redbook Magazine, Food Network, and Bed Bath and Beyond, as well as
for chefs including Emeril Lagasse, Marc Forgione, and Marcus Samuelsson have leveraged her skills and
employed her creativity. Dana also contributes her Food Styling skills to help lead a Food Photography
Workshop through the International Center of Photography.
Dana lives on the Bowery, in the heart of downtown Manhattan and all things culinary. She has spent 10 years
styling around the country and continues to love the industry more with every new city and cuisine she experiences.
How long have you been a food stylist? * Seven Years
Who are some of your more recognizable clients? Burger King, Weight Watchers, Bon Appetit, Anheuser-Busch InBev
What did you do before you were a stylist? I was a Creative Director for a boutique Merchandising and Branding company.
What initially attracted you to food styling? The opportunity to join my hobbies of food and art into a career that I love.
How did you start your career as a food stylist? I attended culinary school with the intent to get into Food Styling. I apprenticed throughout school, did my externship under some brilliant stylists in San Francisco, and had a full year of experience under my belt by the time I was ready to apply for assisting positions.
What do you like best about being a food stylist? The ability to collaborate with such creative people every day. I love the constant challenge of working with different photographers and art directors. It keeps the process fresh.
Who are some of your favorite food photographers? It has been a real pleasure working with Sarah Anne Ward, Quentin Bacon and Andrew Purcell over the years. But I admire so many photographers, its hard to name just a few.
What's your favorite food to style? It is not so much a cuisine that I prefer, but more of an ambiance. I love to create a scenario that a viewer feels they are apart of; as if they just sat down to eat.
What's the key to being a good stylist? Patience. Versatility.