I spent a whirlwind morning following TODAY’s head food stylist Bianca Henry – who arguably has one of the coolest jobs -- to get a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse of what she does. The morning I joined her, I arrived at 6:30 a.m. and she greeted me with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, sweeping me into what I'll dub the "TODAY tornado." It is a constant cyclone of food prep, operating under tight and unforgiving time constraints. Bianca and her team execute their work efficiently, seamlessly, and – what’s most impressive – with unerring smiles on their faces.
Bianca knows how to cook everything from baked goods to steak, and her most admirable skill is the ability to make everything look mouthwateringly appealing for millions of viewers, while making it taste good. She takes her responsibility of representing the guest chefs quite seriously, saying that it is her first priority to maintain their intentions.
Cooking demonstrations need to show three stages of each dish for the live show: the raw ingredients assembly, the halfway stage (the "swap-out") and the final product (the "beauty"). Every morning is different for Bianca, who handles two to four food segments each day and must coordinate with a chef or nutritionist for each. To handle the demand, she has the help of two talented food stylists Lish Steiling and Alli Simpson, who work the same 12-hour days as Bianca.
In case you were wondering, the food you see on the show is edible. So when Matt Lauer or Meredith Vieira dig into the "beauty" with a guttural “mmmm,” they have Bianca to thank for making celeb chefs’ recipes come to life. No wonder the TODAY talent and crew absolutely adore her!