Chef offers diners classes on ‘food porn’ photos

Mark Greenaway is hopeful lessons will improve the quality of food snaps. Picture: Getty

Mark Greenaway is hopeful lessons will improve the quality of food snaps. Picture: Getty

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A TOP city chef is to offer diners classes in taking photos of their grub – following the explosion of a craze which sees restaurant customers take “food porn” snaps and upload them to the internet.

The practice has caused controversy among some chefs who believe the practice disrupts other patrons – with some French restaurateurs even exploring a ban on smartphones in their establishments.

Concerns have also been raised that amateur snappers taking pictures on low-quality smartphone cameras in dimly-lit restaurants may not do justice to the gourmet cuisine on offer, and might affect trade.

But one city chef has decided to embrace the phenomenon by offering free classes in food photography at his city centre establishment.

Mark Greenaway, who runs his eponymous restaurant in North Castle Street, has announced plans to run a “Tweet What You Eat” workshop from the premises.

He said he came up with the idea after seeing a poor-quality photo one of his friends had taken of one of his creations on Facebook, which he asked them to delete.

“It’s something we see on a daily basis,” Mr Greenaway said. “It’s a great compliment and it’s here to stay, but some people think it’s a bit of an invasion.

“What we want to do is show people how to do it better, with a smartphone.”

The chef, who has more than 20 years’ experience, said he regularly tweeted food snaps, often provoking a big response on his own Twitter feed.

The class, the date of which will fittingly be announced over the internet, will incorporate advice on lighting from professional photographers who will suggest apps which can be used to enhance images.

“Food photography is an art,” he said. “If people just pick up a phone and snap away they’re not going to get the best results.”

Not everyone is as keen however. Leading French restaurateur Alexandre Gauthier, chef at the Grenouillere restaurant in La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, 40 miles from Calais, said: “Before they took photos of their family – now it’s photos of the dishes.

Our aim is to create a special moment in time for our clients. And for that, you have to switch off your phone.”

Putting it in the picture

HERE are our top tips to help you put good food in the perfect picture . . .

• Use natural light to avoid a yellow, greasy-spoon look

• Take pictures during the meal to make the viewer feel as if they are enjoying it too

• Focus on a particularly appetising section of the dish and let the rest blur in the background, so the viewer feels like they can almost touch it

• Use different angles to keep the viewer guessing