I'm a full time food photographer working for one of the best food photographers in Scandinavia (www.kam.dk
). And before that I worked for this couple: http://www.skovdal.dk/portfolio/food.aspx
who are also amongst the best.
Of course taste is a matter of locality and "up here" we enjoy nordic lighting which is one big source of light with a touch of coolness to it.
In regards to styling... I find it very rare to find chefs who can actually style for photography. One thing is to style food that is to be eaten and look great in regards to that........ food photography is another territory entirely.
So here in Denmark we work with food stylists, who have the eye for setting up the food right, in the right amounts.
We as photographers can of course choose to rearrange the food to make the photo work, I know my boss is pretty darn great at that. And then we choose the things that accompany the food, such as the plate, cutlery, glasses etc.
My boss has a cellar room, roughly 30 m2 filled with different styles of plates and so on, it's amazing to walk through.
The only time I would let the chef entirely decide how the styling of the food is to be is if I was shooting something for a restaurent to be used by the restaurant to show the customers.
Apart from that... it's my game.
In regards to camera, I'm still not conviced Canons are even remotely close to being a proper tool for food photography. I grew up with technical cameras like Sinar and Hasselblad and we still use those for our work today. They have far superior color rendition and focal control. I can choose to place my focus diagonally across the product, all along the table surface or keep the focus on a pin spot to highlight a certain detail.
I know Canons have TS-E lenses but those are no where near the optical quality you get from Sinar lenses.
In regards to that Mark character.... imo, you can find better.
Following photos are unedited