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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Should Chefs Just Shut Up About Diners Snapping Pics?

Posted By on Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 5:14 PM

click to enlarge She totally let this get cold to take the shot. - AMANDA CHOU/FLICKR
  • Amanda Chou/Flickr
  • She totally let this get cold to take the shot.
Our favorite morsel from the blogs.

Camera oscura: Yesterday Eater National tipped us to a rant by Alinea whiz-chef Grant Achatz about how bloggers, Yelpers, or the merely food-obsessed taking plate shots pisses him off. Achatz:

Documenting the food is one thing. I understand taking a photo in the kitchen with the chef after the meal to frame and hang in your office, perhaps of a particular course that you want to remember because it was so amazing, so you can remember the presentation, or even the manipulation of an ingredient in way you have never seen before. Taking it to the next level many people take pictures of every course and some even take photos of the wines as well. I don't necessarily mind this, but I wonder why people so passionate about food would sacrifice the integrity of the courses, instead prioritizing the documentation. Courses get cold, or melt while the images are taken, and in extreme cases the intended effect of the dish is completely lost.

Now, maybe we're not the best ones to comment. We've let a carnitas burrito lose it's first flush of heat, we suppose, by carrying it outside to get enough light to shoot it. But when you're at Alinea, spending 150 large (225 for the 20-plus course equivalent of the happy ending) for extravagantly tweaked manifestations of kitchen artifice, well: We think you should be free to smear it on yourself if you want to, much less let it cool to tepid.

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