#Foodporn by @TomCenci

Foodselfies as they are apparently known (the art of taking pictures of the food you’re about to eat) are almost common place now, a guilty pleasure that I’m pretty sure were all a little guilty of, but is it really a bad thing?

As you may or may not know, it has been quite a talking point in the food press that many a Michelin starred chefs (albeit French ones) are banning customers taking photos of their food through fear of the dish getting cold. That and to stop the diner becoming disconnected from the meal.

Like most people I know when dining at a Michelin starred restaurant is that’s its usually a special occasion and doesn’t come around too often, so savouring the moment by taking a picture of something that has been beautifully presented should, in my opinion, be encouraged. How often will that same person be dinning again at that same restaurant eating the same dish? If you’re like me and you want t to try as many different restaurants as possible then taking a picture is a great way to not only remember but also share something great – I mean you don’t see many people instagramming pictures of Big Mac’s do you?

#Foodporn is one of the most popular hashtags used on social media sites worldwide, with those posting pictures of food generating an enormous amount of interest- not only from likes, retweets, reblogging or instagramming but also comments ranging from high-praise to low-criticism – it can have a huge impact. What’s more, as I write this very piece, the restaurant in which I work has been tagged over 12,000 times on Instagram alone – not bad considering we’ve not even been open two years, that’s on average 17 tags a day.

It’s been hugely beneficial for us to be out there on social media and has gained huge interest in our unique brand of cuisine. Yes, sure it can be a little annoying when someone snaps a bad picture with terrible lighting at a bad angle then posts it all over a blog, or someone posts a picture of a microwave meal at home that makes it look edible. That said there are so many good pictures being posted online every day that it can only be a good thing. That is as long as you have nothing to hide, right? I’ve always been proud of the food I cook and would want nothing more than it to be shared with everyone.

What I can’t get is that a chef or restaurant would want to ban people taking pictures of the food, as if to say it’s too good for that? Imagine if an artist didn’t allow their work to be captured? What if Leonardo da Vinci banned snaps of the Mona Lisa? (I know the camera wasn’t invented for another 100 years, I’m just saying) And call me cynical but taking a picture of the dish your about to eat probably takes about 10 seconds max, it’s hardly going to get cold.

Remember copies can be made but it will never be as good as the original and next time you take a picture of the food your about to eat, don’t forget the flash, I mean say grace.


Tom Cenci is Head Chef @duckandwaffle who can be found tweeting from @TomCenci, blogging from anotherfuckingfoodie.tumblr.com