So should restaurant owners be allowed to ban this âfood pornâ culture from their establishments? The debate took another turn earlier this week as a group of top French chefs launched a campaign to ban smartphone photography in their restaurants.
Michelin-starred chef Alexandre Gauthier, of the GrenouillÃ¨re restaurant near Calais, told local newspaper La Voix du Nord that he wanted diners to “disconnect and live for now”.
âI would like people to live in the present – tweet about the meal before, tweet about it after, but between stopping and eating,â Gauthier said. âSitting down for a meal should be a pleasant moment shared with us, not with the social network. Instead of taking advantage of the moment, they are elsewhere. But it is a minority of guests.
“They would come to take pictures of themselves and their family, their grandmother, anyone, as a souvenir. Now they take pictures of the food, they put it on Facebook or Twitter, they comment. . And then the food is cold. “
Gauthier’s frustrations find international echo. In New York City, several large restaurants have banned food photos altogether, with one establishment – Bouley – instead, only allowing kitchen photos and providing customers with a professional photo with the check.
Here in the UK, opinion on restaurant food photography seems mixed. Tom Aikens,Who runs Tom’s Kitchen said if its premises were smaller and more intimate, he would be tempted to impose a ban as it can “disrupt the dining experience”. During this time, Michel Roux Jr,The chef at Le Gavroche restaurant, two Michelin stars in Mayfair, recently told the Telegraph that it was “the height of bad manners”.
But for others, customer photos of well-presented plates are a great way to show appreciation, and their inclusion on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogs is a must have. a form of free advertising.
Tweet what you eat
Edinburgh-based chef Mark Greenaway,Who runs his eponymous restaurant in the city center and Newly opened Modern BistroIn the Stockbridge area, says “it’s something that’s here to stay, so let’s embrace it”.
âI spend a lot of time developing dishes to make them look attractive on the plate, so it’s understandable that some people want to take pictures,â Greenaway said. “So many of us are doing it now that I think, rather than banning it, we should embrace it as part of the restaurant culture of the 21st century.”
Greenaway actually plans to use the phenomenon to his advantage. On a date yet to be confirmed, the chef will be hosting a âTweet what you eatâ workshop at Mark Greenaway Restaurant, where he and a professional photographer will help foodies get the most out of their cameras and cameras. smartphone applications.
“I agree that a candlelit dining room plus a smartphone is a sticky situation,” he added. “Use your flash and the food loses all of its character, and without it the food turns into a dark mush, distorting the hard work that’s been done in the kitchen. So I want to help.”
Readers’ poll: should food photos be banned in UK restaurants?
Soâ¦ what do you think – should restaurateurs be allowed to ban food photos of their places with no-camera policies? Or should a customer, delighted with their meal, be allowed to photograph their plate and post it on Twitter as they please?
Perhaps the culture of “food porn” has had an impact on your restaurant or attracted additional customers. Vote in our reader survey and leave a comment below to give us your thoughts.
Should the photos of customers’ dishes be banned in restaurants?
YES – Food photos disrupt the dining experience
NO – Chefs should embrace free advertising