Selfies are Now a Side Dish

‘Food porn’ photos are the latest fad and a top city chef is actually offering classes in the art.

Although talking on your phone or even having it on while dining is frowned upon, whipping it out to take a photo of your food is quite all right. In fact, it has become the latest craze in the United Kingdom; so much so, that a top city chef is actually offering classes in the art. Dubbed “food porn,” the snaps are then uploaded to the Internet.

The fad has caused some controversy among some French restaurateurs who believe the practice disrupts other patrons and they are considering banning smartphones in their establishments. Some chefs are also concerned that the low quality, amateur photos taken in dimly lit restaurants does not do the gourmet cuisine justice and might affect trade.

But one city chef Mark Greenaway, who runs his eponymous restaurant at 69 North Castle Street, Edinburgh, has decided to embrace the phenomenon. He is even offering food photography lessons at his city centre establishment. Greenaway has recently announced free “Tweet What You Eat” workshops that will be run from the premises. He came up with the innovative marketing idea after seeing his friend’s poor-quality photo of one of his creations on Facebook, which he then asked him to delete.

“It’s something we see on a daily basis. It’s a great compliment and it’s here to stay, but some people think it’s a bit of an invasion,” said Greenaway. “What we want to do is show people how to do it better, with a smartphone.” Greenaway, who has been in the restaurant business for over twenty years, often tweets food snaps on his own Twitter feed and has had great success in doing so. The class will incorporate advice on lighting from professional photographers and will show students apps that can enhance the images. “Food photography is an art,” said Greenaway. “If people just pick up a phone and snap away they’re not going to get the best results.”


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