Instagramming Food: Fun Or Faux Pas?

instagram food - Questlove in TokyoA big topic around the water cooler Twitter this week is a New York Times story on restaurants and food photography. Some chefs like David Bouley encourage snapping photos of your dishes, even going so far as letting you in the kitchen to get the best shot, while others like Momofuku‘s David Chang have outright banned cameras. Restaurateurs argue that constantly whipping out your phone to document each course distracts from the meal, your dining companion, and even the chef. Instagram-loving patrons feel it’s a “tribute” to the chef, and even gives the restaurant free advertising.

We’ve discussed Instagram and travel photography before, and how all those fun filters can be considered “cheating” at getting a great travel picture. You could say the same about food photography, that using effects can alter the presentation of the food, to say nothing of how it alters the dining experience. It’s another symptom of the cult of foodie-ism and the tendency to not live in the moment while you try to share your experience with the world. But are some meals worth remembering past the dessert course?

This week, hip hop legend and Roots drummer Questlove made a pilgrimage to Tokyo‘s Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant – subject of the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” and the start of Questlove’s obsession – and Instagrammed the whole meal. He respectfully asked permission and even took a pic of another photographer nearby. His photos are nothing groundbreaking, but his refreshingly unpretentious and conversational commentary makes you feel like you are right there with him, enjoying some $300 sushi. It’s eating vicariously through social media at its best.

Do you Instagram your meals? Where do you side on photography in restaurants?

[Photo credit: Instagram user Questlove]