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Get Your Hands on Your Future
A graduate student at UW-Stout is enjoying seeing the fruits of his summer labors — and hearing from family and friends that they are seeing it too.
Kurt Anderson, a food and nutritional sciences major, worked as a food stylist last summer at Taste of Home magazine in Greendale, near Milwaukee. Taste of Home, which publishes reader recipes, is one of the world’s largest food magazines with about 3.5 million subscribers. Taste of Home is owned by Reader’s Digest.
Anderson styled food for various photo shoots for Taste of Home and its sister publications, but one project stood out. He helped prepare recipes for the magazine’s special newsstand issue called Christmas Cookies. The issue came out last week. It is being sold around the country.
The cover of the issue features a bright red Santa Claus cookie, called the Roly-Poly Santas. Anderson was in charge of making the cookie and making it look as good as possible for the photo, including suggesting a couple of alterations to Santa’s outfit.
Making the butter cookie is time-consuming, Anderson said. It has 12 parts, which must bake together, and uses lots of red dye along with white frosting.
“It’s pretty cool when you can walk into WalMart or Target, see the magazine and realize you did that,” said Anderson. The cookie also appears inside the magazine.
Anderson even received credit for his work on the inside cover of the magazine, the first time the magazine has done that for an intern, he said.
Anderson broke another barrier. He was Taste of Home’s first male intern. A native of Minong, he always has been interested in food and photography. He graduated from UW-Stout in 2006 in hotel, restaurant and tourism management and worked in food service management for several years before deciding to go to graduate school.
His goal is to become a professional food stylist. Along with publications like Taste of Home, career opportunities exist in food-based corporations such as McDonald’s, in the TV or movie industry or as a freelancer. “The internship reaffirmed that I’m good at it. If I can make money making food everyday in a nonrestaurant setting, I would do it in a heartbeat,” he said.
At Taste of Home, he worked with photographers, editors and culinary experts. “It was really impressive to see behind the scenes. I sat in on meetings where they posted up the entire magazine layout on a wall and discussed changes. It was nice to see how a major publication works.”
Anderson’s position at Taste of Home was coordinated through UW-Stout’s Career Services and the Cooperative Education program. He worked at the magazine from June 5 through Aug. 17.
He enjoyed one other benefit of working at Taste of Home, which he said has a laid-back but also dynamic environment. The magazine prepares all the recipes it publishes, some several times including three turkeys on one occasion. “We ate well,” Anderson said.
For more information on the Master of Science food and nutritional sciences program, go here.