We have covered a lot of detail and the best way to get to grips with this is to just get experimenting for yourself.
The best way to learn and improve is by practising but also by watching and learning from others. Consider contacting local food photographers to you and asking if you can attend a shoot just to observe. Generally, they won’t mind as long as you promise not to get in the way. Look at cookery books and magazines and find out who did the shoot. You will normally be able to track them down on social channels and once you explain why you want to learn, most will be willing to help you out.