"Don't Shoot!" New York Restaurants Don't Want You "Foodstagramming" Their Eats
When you consider the food-related restrictions in New York, you should cry fat, giant tears of joy that you live in Miami -- a city that considers rules and regulations mere trivialities of no concern to locals. Restaurants in the Big Apple have instituted an "unofficial" ban on food photography, furthering the once great city's decline into a police state run by Mickey Mouse.
I'm not sure how tall Bloomberg is, but there must be something diminutive about a man who acts less like the mayor of a world-class city and more like the second-class dictator of a third-world country. He's banned smoking in parks and beaches. He's banned large sodas. He's banned food donations to homeless shelters. He's got his eye on milkshakes and popcorn. He's a Nazi and he's contagious. New Yorkers might as well be marching in step and wearing arm bands, the way they're swallowing (and now promoting) his anti-civil rights agenda. He's infected the rest of New York with his totalitarian food agenda and diners as well as restaurants are sporting "Team Food Nazi" t-shirts.
That snapshot you took of your meal and quickly posted online via social media sites like Twitter and Instagram is called a "foodstagram" and New York restaurateurs want you to stop taking them. Upscale restaurants such as Fat Duck, Le Bernadine, and Per Se have made it clear that they "discourage flash photography" from their guests.
As reported on ABC News, Per Se's official statement is that it, "does not have a no-photography policy, although if guests do photograph, Per Se asks that they refrain from using flash and be discreet so as to not disturb the experience of other guests."
"Flash photography disturbs other diners," according to Le Bernadine's statement.
The funny thing is, although I also engage in the production of food porn, I understand how other diners may become slightly annoyed by people constantly getting up from their chairs, rearranging their plates for the best angle and lighting, and click, click, clicking away around them as they are trying to savor some particularly delightful morsel on say, their wedding anniversary. Much like one may cringe when being sat next to a crying baby on an airplane.
But, seriously -- c'mon, folks. Have we become such a wimpy, whiny people that we're demanding rules to regulate people taking pictures of their own food? That someone snapping away next to us is enough to disturb our entire dining experience? I've eaten meals with plenty of foodstagrammers, and the people they annoy most are the ones dining with them. Crying babies upset everyone within a two-mile radius.
Of course, every regime has its detractors. David Bouley, head chef at Bouley, invites diners into his kitchen to take their foodstagrams. While the restaurant doesn't ban or encourage foodstagrammers from taking pictures inside the dining area, a Bouley representative says, "If there are people that are taking pictures then they take pictures in the kitchen. [Bouley] makes customers a part of the dining experience. He's always welcomed people into his kitchen. They love it. He loves it."
Vive la résistance!
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Miami dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.