It's all about different flavours: #Foodporn debate gains steam

  • Snigdha Ahuja, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 10, 2015 13:48 IST

If you are a food-selfie addict who lets the camera eat first when served an artistically plated meal at a restaurant, here's some food for thought.

Recently, celebrity British chef Heston Blumenthal introduced a no-flash policy in his restaurant, The Fat Duck, prohibiting re-arrangement of the table setting for the purpose of photography and a 'no standing up' rule for the guests when clicking food pictures.

Last year, French chef Alexandre Gauthier banned photography in his restaurant, stirring a debate on how the hashtag business affects the hospitality industry. As chefs across the globe take a firm stand against #foodporn, experts closer home also agree that clicking pictures obsessively and posting them online ruins the joy of having a meal.

"I lose my cool when I see a guest clicking pictures rather than eating the food and enjoying it," says chef Ritu Dalmia.

Agrees chef Manish Mehrotra, "I want guests to enjoy a dish that I worked hard for. I do want my dishes to become popular but not at the cost of spoiling the guest's experience. Certain dishes have a short shelf-life, so I would like guests to start with their meal right away, lest the taste is ruined."

However, restaurant owners are not in the favour of laying down such rules.

"I can only encourage guests not to click pictures while dining," says Mehrotra.

"While I'm not a social media fan, I can't impose my opinion on my guests," Dalmia says.

Restaurateur Atul Kapur seconds her, saying, "Prohibition will not work because you will end up offending the guest."

Restaurateur Priyank Sukhija believes that it's a guest's own choice and must be left that way.

"It's free publicity for us. Our job is not to tell the guest how he should eat his food," he says.

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