By Perry Lefko | Photography Paul Alexander
As someone who has an extensive background in modelling and acting, food stylist Christine Tizzard is playing the latest role in her ever-evolving life.
Tizzard, whose career credits include host of CBC TV’s food show Best Recipe Ever and background work as a producer for similar programs, has created her own YouTube channel called The 3 Way Chef. It’s all about taking a single item of food and cooking it three ways. It’s representative of Tizzard’s life and the many ways she has been able to reinvent herself.
“I have a very diverse background,” she says. “I’m always juggling between a couple different things. I’ve never really hunkered down and just immersed myself so fully into one thing.”
She started modeling in her teens and appeared in beauty campaigns around the world. That evolved into an acting career and various credits in films and TV shows, but about 10 years ago the mother of two decided to pursue her life-long passion for cooking by enrolling in the George Brown Culinary Arts Program.
“I just couldn’t sit around waiting for auditions to come around,” she says. “The only thing that I really loved to do was cook and shop for food and learn about food and eat food. I had idea what I was going to do. I just knew I needed to do something so I signed up for chef school.”
After graduating with honours in chef training, she began working on and off for free in a trendy Toronto restaurant.
“I just want people to cook at home and have fun with it. It has to make you happy!”
She continued modelling and acting on the side, and while on set one day luck turned her way when one of the producers was frantically looking for a food stylist. Once she was told what the producer needed, Tizzard said she could do it.
“Because my whole life was being on set and working with photographers, it all totally made sense to me,” she says.
She was then able to combine her entertainment background and culinary skills as a food stylist for TV food segments. She auditioned to become the new host of Best Recipes Ever and landed the job. When the long-running series was cancelled due to budget cuts a year or so later, Tizzard reinvented herself again working for advertising clients that required food to look a certain way to appeal to consumers.
“That’s my day job,” she says. “I have an eye for that. I love pretty pictures, but food isn’t perfect. Life isn’t perfect. Life’s messy. Food’s messy. I live that dual sense of pushing and pulling between my life being so messy and working out so perfect sometimes.”
In 2016, she had her first book published. It’s called Best Recipes Ever, More Fresh Fun And Tested-Till-Perfect Recipes From The Hit Show.
“I have a very healthy approach to food, but I’m not preachy about it,” she says. “If there’s anything I just want people to do is cook at home and have fun with it. It has to make you happy. My definition of food styling is I’m just making food look pretty for pictures. It’s knowing how to develop recipes and then making it look mouthwatering and great and beautiful for the camera.”