Whether you are a food blogger, a restaurant owner, or just a foodie with an Instagram, captivating food images are not out of your reach or capabilities.
Start with lighting; you will need a soft even light to avoid distracting and unappetizing shadows. Use natural light over on-camera flashes and overhead lighting. If you can compose your image near a bright window and use a reflector to bounce back some light you will have a more ideal light. If shooting in a studio or larger space you can also use softboxes with strobes or continuous lighting. You can also use a diffuser to help reduce shadows from overhead lighting, or a ring light for macro photography.
When setting up your subject, explore various angles and pay attention to the background; even if it will be blurry watch out for distractions. Keep your table clean and with minimal clutter, generally you want to set the table for two. Be careful with your depth-of-field, make sure you are getting enough focus on your subject. Use a tripod to help you compose a better image and always turn off your images stabilizer when on a tripod. Live view can be helpful when arranging your scene. Use a custom white balance for perfect color.
There are many industry tricks to making food look more appetizing, some of these examples include painting burgers with shoe polish, adding soap to coffee to increase foam or propping food up with sponges. These are the extremes and used mostly when trying to sell food, but at the very least, take time to style your food, clean plates, arrange garnishes, etc. Pack yourself a kit os q-tips, cotton balls and tweezers to help with your shoot.
These are all general rules for food photography; style your images appropriate to your clientele. Perhaps a dark and moody pub would prefer images with deeper shadows, or a company that sells spices may want a messy counter, in Mexico, this also applies to tacos. When is doubt, shoot both styles.