You readers who submit to the View From Your Table feature had better be careful when snapshooting in certain restaurants, says The New York Times:
Not every chef or restaurant owner is as accommodating, especially these days, as cameras have become as common as utensils. People are posting a shot of their quinoa salad online, or their ramen noodles on their blog. A growing backlash has prompted not only dirty looks from nearby diners, but also creative measures like Mr. Bouley’s and even some outright photo bans.
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.
Goodness. I know I’m encouraging this rude behavior, as well as engaging in it at times myself, but … well, look, be quick and be discreet about it. And don’t use a flash. Shots illuminated by a flash tend to look washed out. Besides which, you don’t want to be a food paparazzo, the Ron Galella of the chow hall.
That said, I have reservations at an intriguing restaurant this Thursday night, on my quick out-of-town trip. If you see the middle-aged twerp in the hipster frames shooting his victuals with his iPhone, please, in your charity, look away.
By the way, last night I looked at the menu of a particular high-end restaurant, and saw that among the delectables it serves are “Mangaliça lardo” (Mangaliça being a highly-prized breed of pig) land “kumquat confit.” I have this idea that Mangaliça Lardo and Kumquat Confit” are a pair of sultry strippers you can hire at restaurant tableside to hover lustily over your repast, thereby dressing up your food porn images and stiffening the giblets of the folks back home when you show them iPhone images of your memorable meal. As a matter of fact, the name of the restaurant where Mesdemoiselles Lardo and Confit perform is a raffish Heston Blumenthal canteen called The Stiffened Giblet. Just so you know.