Education & Work Experience
I am “That Food Girl,” better known as Betsy Nelson within the food industry and I have been working with food, in one capacity or another, for most of my life. I am a graduate of the University of Minnesota and have degrees in Psychology and Studio Arts. My passion for food has been with me since early childhood and remained strong as I forged my way through college, working in the University of Minnesota’s Hospital Foodservice Department preparing healthy foods for patients, staff and visitors. After graduation I honed my culinary appetite by spending the next 10 years working throughout the Twin Cities in restaurants and catering operations that included Café Brenda, Azur, Tour de France, Atrium Catering, D’Amico Catering, Aveda Spa and Retreat Center and the Aveda Corporate Headquarters. I worked in a multitude of positions, gaining essential insight and learning the industry from the ground-up as a line cook, a Pastry chef, a Garde Manger chef, a Catering Manager, a Sous Chef and finally Executive Chef at the Aveda Spa before making the natural transition to Food Styling.
After 10 years of a successful career in the Restaurant and Catering sector, I attended a few food styling seminars only to find my food industry appetite newly whet. My decisive leap into food styling was as effortless as it was inevitable and I have spent the last 10, gratifying and productive, years impeccably servicing such nationally known clients as Target Corp., Hormel, General Mills and Pillsbury (et al.) in a multitude of capacities. I have done packaging, signage, print ads, recipe development and Print and Magazine media projects for an impressive array of clientele. In fact, one of my first experiences with print media was a shoot for Food and Wine Magazine while working as Chef at the Aveda Spa and Retreat in Osceola Wisconsin. It was an incredible opportunity to be featured in Food and Wine Magazine and an even more rewarding experience to have my own recipes highlighting the spread which, auspiciously and necessarily, resulted in my love for recipe development and leads us to the next section.
My love for all things food has been with me my entire life. As a child I would create and write my own recipes to share with family and friends, even when those tasty creations involved only snow and strawberry syrup. Believe me, I have evolved extensively since then … from a culinary standpoint at least. In my college years I developed a keen eye and palette for healthy cooking with fresh ingredients; and as I worked my way through some of the very finest Twin City restaurants I refined my style and technique always keeping these basics in mind. I have imbued my inherent passion and creativity with food into my food styling business, not only creating recipes for clientele mindful of the fact that the food must highlight the product, but that it also has to be as tantalizing with the prospect of taste as it is attractive. With today’s hectic schedules and active lifestyles, I understand the importance of keeping the ingredients simple and the prep and cook times easy and quick. I am at the forefront of growing trends for one-dish meals and ‘hand-held’ foods for active families on the go. My joy, passion, creativity, respect and love for all things food has moved me to the forefront of my industry and consistently propels my recipe development forward with new ideas, new trends and modern refinements!