Instagram Is Changing Professional Cooking

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cookDINING HAS REACHED its Instagram era, when a camera is as central to the experience as a fork and anyone with a decent eye is making magazine-quality photos of food.

People have always loved eating, and photographers have long recognized the inherent beauty of food. But smartphones with pin-sharp lenses and apps that make editing as easy as swiping and tapping turn anyone into a food photographer. There are more than 178 million photos tagged #food on Instagram and 56 million tagged #foodporn. People are obsessed with photographing what they eat, something professional chefs are catering to?and learning from.

?It?s all about exposure,? says Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco. Crenn, who was among the chefs I interviewed at the Terroir Hospitality symposium in Toronto, is the first woman in the US to earn two Michelin stars. ?Instagram came to give a voice to chefs and to the food they serve.?

Chefs are embracing this in a big way. A shot of a new dish posted to their own accounts, or a diner?s, can cause reservations to spike. Stunning dishes, daring ingredients and thoughtful presentations add to the experience, and encourage people to post post post photos on their social media accounts.

Of course, chefs don?t set out to create viral dishes, and others abhor the very idea of it. More than a few chefs ban cameras from their dining rooms, as French chef Alexandre Gauthier did last year at La Grenouill?re. But many others are well aware of the power of social media, and embrace it. ?I?ll be honest. If I have a better looking dish, I give that one to the people taking photos,? says Benedict Reade, the former chef at Nordic Food Lab in Copenhagen who recently opened a pop-up restaurant in Scotland.

Read more at?WIRED