Forget Trump vs Clinton, Leave vs Remain, white and gold vs blue and black (remember that dress?!), the new biggest difference in opinion is between professional chefs and food bloggers. And what does it concern? Instagram, of course – this is 2017 after all.
The whole #foodstagram culture has been attracting grumbles for a few years now, especially among the long-suffering partners of those who are addicted to posting #foodporn shots and are fed up with having to microwave their dinner after it has gone cold. Because, apparently, simply taking a photo of a plate isn’t enough; the entire layout of the table needs rearranging too, the lights need to be dimmed and your elbows are in the way of the shot. *Sigh*.
If this sounds like you, you’re not the only one who’s had enough. Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux has put his foot down over the whole issue and introduced a ban on diners Instagramming food at his Berkshire restaurant.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, he explained that constantly snapping photos of food can be distracting to other diners and that it doesn’t allow others to get a complete idea of the restaurant’s offering.
“What about the flavours?” he said. “A picture on a phone cannot possibly capture the flavours.”
Good point. But food bloggers believe differently and think banning #foodstagram pics could lead to restaurants missing out on valuable marketing opportunities. We get that too! We see #foodporn burger snaps all the time that make us want that thick, juicy meat patty in our mouths immediately, so it works.
But we guess if diners sitting near the foodstagrammer are having their meal ruined so they can get that perfect burger shot, that would be annoying and off-putting. It’s a tricky issue, that’s for sure!
Another problem with the whole #foodporn trend is that it can lead to style over substance. We all know how crushing it can be when Paul Hollywood utters those words on GBBO – no one wants style over substance. We think a few of the mooted top food trends for 2018 could be risking a cold steely stare from ol’ blue eyes; edible flowers in cups of tea, for example. Tea is for warming us up and solving all of life’s problems, not fishing out petals. But it’ll look good on Instagram…
Some high-profile chefs are actually fighting this trend, with the recent Nigella: At My Table series seeing The Domestic Goddess favouring rustic, homemade-looking dishes rather than picture-perfect meals in a bid to show us that we can make tasty grub for ourselves and there are more important factors affecting a meal than how it looks on Instagram. Really, there are.
So, which side of the debate do you fall on? Do you believe you’re doing restaurants a favour by spreading the word about their delicious dishes? Or are you of the opinion that #foodporn is only okay if it’s Valentine’s Day and there’s squirty cream involved?
As for us, we can see the points of both sides, but we have to admit that anything that stops us from having to eat a cold restaurant meal ever again does sound like an appealing prospect…