Saturday, February 02, 2013

NYTimes - Restaurant Turns Camera Shy

Everybody in the office knows that I love food. And of course, I like taking pictures of food before I eat. I somehow mentioned to our big boss (who is a foodie) that I am planning to go to NYC this september to meet my pinay-turned-Bri-ish friend Schmenten and we are planning to go to this famous restaurant Le Bernardin. 

Last Thursday our big boss handed me over this NY Times article - Restaurants Turn Camera Shy. 

After reading the article, i really don't know how to react to it. Mixed emotions. LOL. As if the article is talking about me. hahaha

  • There are the foreign tourists, despite their big cameras, tend to be discreet (sometimes discreet. most of the time I don't care)
  • There are those who use flash and annoy everyone around them. (When I went to ink in LA, I think, when they saw my flash, the hostess immediately came to me and told me that they do not allow flash photography. Another thing happened to me in Foreign Cinema, San Francisco, when I used my flash, the hostess came to our table and told us not to use flash photography. Same thing happened to me in Pig Bistro, Seattle. So I learned my lesson. LOL. I always use my iPhone's flash light app to give light to the food. Come to think of it, flash does not give justice to the food. )
  • There are even those who stand on their chairs to shoot their plates from above.( so what?)
  • Emma Kate Tsai, a Houston-based editor, said her 64-year-old father drives her family crazy with the food photos he shoots with his large, cumbersome camera strapped across his chest. “It’s really irritating,” she said, “because we can’t take a bite unless he takes his photo.” (HAHAHA this is so me. THE DAD. not the irritated person. I hope my friends are not irritated when i do this. :P)
This is the part of the article that really pissed me off.

"On a visit to Momofuku Ko, one diner thought nothing of subtly raising her iPhone and snapping a picture of her shaved foie. Like tens of thousands of others, she takes photos of her plates constantly, sometimes to the annoyance of her spouse, a chef.
“It just seemed very casual at Ko,” she recalled. The host was wearing jeans, hip-hop was on the playlist and a 12-year-old was sitting next to them. And this — this dish was the famous, fabulous shaved foie from the star chef David Chang. It only seemed natural to record it for posterity.
Then came the slapdown. A man in the open kitchen asked her to please put her phone away. No photos allowed.
“I was definitely embarrassed,” said the woman, who was so mortified that she spoke on condition of anonymity. Because the Michelin-starred restaurant is small — it seats only 12 — everyone at Ko witnessed the exchange. “I don’t want to be that person,” she added, stressing that she never, ever takes flash photography, never stands up for a shot and is always respectful of those around her. Since she is a part-owner of several restaurants, she knew why she was being chastised. “But I was caught off guard,” she acknowledged.

After reading this, I want to call first the restaurant that I want to go if they allow photography. I don't want to get embarrassed. And for me, I paid for this expensive food, I think I can do whatever I want with it. And I can assure everyone in the restaurant that I won't disturb them while taking pictures. And i usually eat alone, so what shall I do while waiting? LOL talk to myself? Momofuku Ko is one of the restaurants that I want to go in NYC. but since they are prohibiting photography I am not sure if i still want to go. 

I think we are safe with Le Bernardin since they just don't allow flash. But I will still ask when I make my reservation. Oh well.

I haven't experienced this kind of hostility here in Portland. Simpatica offered that if I want to take pictures in their kitchen while they prepared their food, just ask them whenever. :)

Taking pictures of the food I eat is my hobby. May be bragging as the other people look at it. This is the way I can remember what I ate and did. I just love food and photography. Period.