UPDATE on April 5th, 2007: Thanks to everyone who has commented here or written me emails. It has been very interesting to see how other foodies (blogger or non-blogger) handle this and we even had a chef in the discussion (thanks Sebastian!) who tried to show us the other side about swapping plates. Thanks to a non-blogging but well travelled foodie who wrote me about his concrete experience in the restaurant in question, I was very relaxed and took pictures without any problems. You can read about our heavenly experience in the next post,
coming up in a couple of hours already here!
Meanwhile, here are the guidelines I have now firmly developed and will follow from now on:
- I don’t think the chefs have a copyright on the presentation of the food, so I may take pictures.
- However, taking pictures in a very exposed way (big camera, flash, setting food up, etc.) can deter the experience of other diners, which has to be avoided, out of respect.
- Only in very upscale locations and only after I arrive on the premises (to see the situation) I might ask for permission beforehand. Most of the time I will just take pictures (abiding by the above code of conduct) unless explicitly asked otherwise.
- If the food in question is not just one bite (an amouse or something “molecular” like a sphere etc.) I will swap plates with my husband if we are having different things. Lamb on vegetables and jus is just that, and although the proportions of the different elements on the plate do have a meaning, it does not mean I can’t divide it in two.
I need your help!
In around a week, we will be having dinner in a 3-starred restaurant. It is even sometimes called the best restaurant in Germany and the chef the best in his guild. Of course I would like to take pictures of the food, even when I didn’t have this blog; I await the meal to be a memorable experience. There has been a lot of discussion about taking pictures in restaurants and this last one (in German) made me really insecure.
I almost always take pictures of my food in a restaurant (including a 3-star establishment in France) unless I am explicitly asked not to do so. I use a very unintrusive little digital camera, of course no flash, and take it out from under my napkin very shortly and only to take a picture of the plate in front of me. Not because I want to do it secretly but I don’t want to disturb any other diners.
So what do you think I should do? Start taking pictures until I am maybe “caught” and even thrown out, as stated in the last article? Ask beforehand? Not even bother? Please tell me your thoughts about this.
On a similar theme: What do you think of tasting your dining companion’s food, or even swapping plates? I have always done this unless I am having the same as the others, but I hear it is not that welcome in some establishments…