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  Graduate of C.I.A.
Student teacher at C.I.A. for 1 year

The New York Times
The Living Section

Food Styling: The Art Of Making the Basil Blush
"Most of it is common sense," said Sarah Greenberg, 32, a newcomer to the business in New York who worked previously as a pastry chef at Le Cirque.

With all those realities in mind, Ms. Greenberg was preparing for a television session for Ragu spaghetti sauce one recent afternoon. The commercial was to advertise a line of new sauces, and she needed to prepare a perfect bowl of pasta.

Not knowing exactly when the dish would be needed, Ms. Greenberg had been on her feet since about 8 A.M., cooking mountains of rigatoni and separating out any shells that had been torn during cooking. She rubbed the rigatoni with vegetable oil so the pieces would not stick together, and covered them with plastic.

It was not until 4 P.M. that the photographer was ready to shoot the pasta. And it was only then that the art director - the person responsible for the overall design - discovered that the rigatoni Ms. Greenberg had spent all day preparing did not have angular ends. (No one had told her to cook rigatoni with angular ends.)

So she started anew. Three hours and four pounds later, the shot was completed.

"This kind of thing happens all the time," she said cheerily.