I’m not sure if you have seen an Oliver Twist production. When I get excited by good food, I remember vividly, the scene as the cast bursts into singing Food glorious food! Only for them, it was as they could close their eyes and imagine the food, not what was really before them.
I grew up in a house where food was a priority. Correction, ‘I grew up in a house where good was a priority’. Good food being wholesome, eclectic cooking with experimenting. It was a treat, as both my mom and dad were cooking wizards. Food was a priority second only to education. We glorified it more than other material possessions.
I did not have an Oliver Twist upbringing, but I still love to celebrate good food. I used to frown at when people they took photographs of their food, but that has changed now.
People taking pictures of food and sharing it on social media should be the last of our worries. As consumers, we have demanding preferences and use our mobile phones more for texting and taking pictures, than for talking. Since we all have to eat, it goes without saying that food will be part of that conversation, in pictures.
We have smart phones, with effective point and shoot cameras and there is proliferation of filters available. In the past, the mediocre cameras on the phone, with an amateur photographer behind the camera gave the food no chance of looking tempting to the rest of us browsing! Today, we all have a fair chance to tantalise taste buds with the images of food we share.
I am quick to take pictures of food now. It’s actually quite fun, and I would guess the only person worse than me in my family, is Jordan. Chomba has got used to it. It used to drive her nuts. Yet today, even she will throw out the odd comment about, “hey, I don’t see any cameras flashing!”.
It’s at restaurants that I need to up my game in food photography. Such a pity, considering the work of art that chefs put on our plates. It is great marketing, which is free for the restaurant and chef (us sharing their culinary skills). They have now embraced the little ritual. The world’s best restaurants have given up the fight against phones.
Gaston Acurio, chef-patron of Astrid & Gaston in Lima (Peru), nailed it with this observation, “We don’t like much the idea of everybody using their phones in the restaurant, either for talking or photos, but we like the idea of telling customers what to do even less”