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What Chefs Think of Your Food Shots at Their Restuarants

By Kevin Pang, Chicago TribuneMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

June 14, 2012--What do chefs think about cameras in restaurants?

Chefs I spoke to view photography in restaurants as the new normal, and brief annoyances from a camera flash are outweighed by the powerful word-of-mouth effect.

Because most food shots find their way onto social networking sites, many chefs call it the best type of free advertisement.

"It's priceless," was how chef Johnny Besh of Evanston's Bistro Bordeaux described it. "I used to work at L2O, and there was a lot of photography happening there. You'd think a place that's super fine dining and formal, their approach would be to refrain flash photography. Actually, we strongly encouraged it, because the food was so beautiful."

Said GT Fish & Oyster's Giuseppe Tentori: "To be honest, it's kind of flattering, because they appreciate what we do. They wouldn't post a picture of something they didn't like."

Only once did Tentori tell a customer to stop taking photos. "There were a group of tourists going to all the Michelin-starred restaurants. They came to Boka and were taking too many flash pictures. I had to ask them to stop, but only because a customer asked me to."

Marty Fosse, who runs three restaurants in Andersonville including Anteprima, says he only gets annoyed with restaurant photography if it's at the expense of food getting cold.

"But things have changed so much," Fosse said. "It's such a common practice to see people shooting food, we're really used to that now. Anyone who's taking pictures in food has an interest in food."

The lesson here reflects most other things in life: Moderation is the key.


(c)2012 the Chicago Tribune

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