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Restaurants Ban Tableside Photography

January 25, 2013

Dining out has evolved to the point where your food is often served with a complimentary side of camera flash, courtesy of the diner-turned-photographer seated next to you. I've seen it all when it comes to amateur restaurant photography, from using a white napkin to bounce light onto a plate, to propping up a smartphone on a salt shaker for a selfie with the 2-pound pork chop you're about to slice into. And in the event the above portrait I took of baked ziti and eggplant Parmesan during a recent meal at Parm doesn't admit me to the "guilty as charged" club, I'll be the first to confess: I am a tableside food photo addict. Instagram, you are my kryptonite. I realize this admission isn't bound to win me many fans, and as it turns out, it may get harder and harder for me to feed my restaurant photo habit. The New York Times reported this week that chefs and restaurateurs are beginning to establish policies against photos being taken in their restaurants. The number one complaint: It disrupts the dining experience of other paying customers. While some chefs, such as David Chang of Momofuku, have strict policies against dining room snapshots, other chefs are finding creative ways to satisfy diners' photo cravings without banning cameras from their establishments. Chef and restaurateur David Bouley created an inventive workaround, offering diners a trip to the kitchen to snap their shots out of the eyesight of fellow customers. Only time will tell if other chefs are as accomodating. Do you ever take photos of your food in restaurants?

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