Top New York cooks, who are tired of seeing customers setting up camera tripods on their tables, or slapdash iPhone photos portraying the food in a bad light on social media, have banned photography in their premises.
Restaurant-goers, who were once content to enjoy the flavours of their meals, now seem unable to enjoy their evening without taking smartphone photographs of every dish and uploading them onto Facebook or Twitter.
“It’s hard to build a memorable evening when flashes are flying every six minutes,” the Independent quoted Michelin-starred chef David Bouley as saying.
At the three-starred Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, pictures are banned altogether.
While such bans are rare in the UK – photography is discouraged at The Ivy, but mainly to ensure the privacy of its celebrity clientele – some leading British chefs say they share the frustrations of the US counterparts.
Camera phones aren’t the only weapon in the food blogger’s armour. He claims that his front of house staff were recorded to see if what they said “matched up to the food that came out”.
Tom Aikens, who runs Tom Aikens Restaurant in Chelsea, said that if his premises were smaller and more intimate, he would be tempted to impose a ban because it can “disturb the dining experience”.
Though generally pleased by the photos of his dishes that appear on social media, he said he’d seen “some pictures that don’t do the food justice”.
However, some chefs derided the “primadonna” Big Apple restaurateurs and their pretentious photo policies.
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