Not every food experience needs a photo.
Heresy to many foodies, I know.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m the master of food photos. The Food Channel even put out a blogger’s guide in the early days of food blogging, with some tips for how to gently and unobtrusively take a photo without a) bothering other diners; b) letting your food get cold; or, c) rearranging the tablescape.
And yet, somehow we fell into the mode that every dinner out, every special dinner in, and everything we tested in our kitchens needed a photo. We wanted to talk about it and share it more than we wanted to taste and enjoy it.
I went out with friends the other night and when my food came I dug in. They stopped me, saying, “Wait! Aren’t you going to take a picture first?”
I stopped and looked down at my meal. It wasn’t that it was uninspiring. It had a nice presentation—in fact, it looked good enough to eat.
So that’s what I did.
I ate it, enjoyed it, and did not memorialize it, dissect it, or share it. There just comes a point when it really is about the food. I came to eat and enjoy great food while having a great conversation with great friends.
For a while, the goal of chefs has been to create a plate that gets talked about and is “photo-worthy.” That’s all fine and good, but maybe just once in a while, we can honor that chef just as much by simply eating and enjoying.
Maybe it’s just because I work in the food industry. Maybe the non-professional foodie, so to speak, gets more joy out of the presentation than does the jaded food publisher. But it was freeing to not take a photo. It meant I would not turn it into work. I would just eat it, talk with my friends, and go home from the evening with a sense of contentment and satisfaction. Not an assignment.
If you find yourself similarly eating under a sense of obligation, give it a try.
Put the camera down, pick up the fork, and eat.
Publisher’s Corner is a weekly dive into the world of dining and food that you can find on foodchannel.com!