1:48am | July 11, 2011



What do you think about diners whipping out their iPhones and snapping photos of each plate as if comes from the restaurant’s kitchen? On the one hand, I think this trend makes Bottega stand out, judging from the photos I see on the internet. On the other hand, I’m old-school and I like to surprise a guest with a plate that holds something unexpected. It deflates my sails a little when one of the diners, just before a dish comes out, describes it in detail to everybody else at the table and holds up a photo on their phone.

This trend reminds me of watching a tourist in San Francisco; he was so intent on getting that perfect snapshot of the Transamerica Pyramid that he didn’t notice the people walking past carrying their pink plastic bags from Chinatown, the aromas of food from a street cart, the color of the sky, the architecture, the way the light was falling on the buildings. There’s no way the iPhone can record all of that; it just gets one tiny slice of the experience.

What do you think? When people at the table next to you are snapping away with their cameras, does that change your dining experience? Is a meal lacking if you don’t get a few photos of it? And for all those of you who like snapping photos of the food you eat, do you photograph for the main purpose of putting it on Yelp or Chowhound? Are you recording it so you can re-create the dish at home? Do you have photo albums (virtual, of course) of memorable evenings, including the food?

I go back and forth about cameras at the table so would love to hear from you: tell me why you like the food photography trend or why you don’t.







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Leave a Comment

  • Posted by Anna - November 14, 2011

    Hi Michael!

    I’m guilty for taking photos of food…. but I have to clarify that I will take photos of meals that mean something special. When I’m on vacation and my dinner comes out looking beautiful…. I hate to dig in without making it a memory. I think in my case… I take photos in order to reminisce the meal, the people I’m with, the ambiance, and the chef’s talent. I appreciate food in that way and I know that I won’t be able to taste that particular meal more than once…. so I like to visualize it. When I look through pictures later, I remember that moment and the flavors come back to me.

    But, I completely see your point as well…. I personally wouldn’t mind if others took pictures of their plates…. to me it means that the food must be pretty darn delicious. :)

  • Posted by Dennis Zampella - November 14, 2011

    Dear Michael- Just returned from a six day trip to Napa and Sonoma. During our trip we visited 26 Vinyards and ate some of the finest food I have ever experienced. Needless to say, our evening at Bottega was an amazing!!! The food and service was truly outstanding. The reason for our trip was to celebrate my 60th birthday and our 30th wedding anniversary. The crowning of the evening was when you took time from your busy evening to speak with us for a few minutes. It is something we will always remember.

    Dennis Zampella

  • Posted by phil - January 1, 2012

    I admit taking a photo or two of my meal at Bottega. However I think I won’t do this anymore… the next night I had the steak tartare at Bistro Jeanty. Well it was delicious, but the photo is downright disgusting! LOL! I do however always take a photo of the bottle of wine I drink, that way I can remember it!

  • Posted by veronica - March 6, 2012

    Michael, I agree with you. We sometimes miss the forest for the trees. To experience a meal, for me, is to live in that moment. I remember a meal I had at Commanders Palace in Louisiana many moons ago when a young chef named Emeril Lagasse just getting noticed for his culinary skills. I didn’t take a photo of my food;yet, I remember the entire experience -from the wait staff to the food. I lived in that moment.