Who's hating on those annoying camera-toting "food paparazzi" now? Fine dining chefs in France, according to France 24. Three Michelin-starred chef Gilles Goujon (L'Auberge du Vieux Puits) says posting food porn on social media "ruins" the experience for other diners who no longer have an element of surprise about what they will be served. He also notes that photos "taken with a smartphone … [are] rarely good."
Goujon goes so far as to say that food porn "takes away a little bit of my intellectual property too." His idea is that when customers post photos of his plates on social media, it allows other chefs to copy him. Michelin-starred chef Alexandre Gauthier (La Grenouillère) has more practical ground for concern, and notes that by the time his customers eat the food after photographing and sharing it, the dishes are cold. He has added a no camera logo to his menus.
These arguments against food photography are of course nothing new. Grant Achatz has long been an outspoken critic of food photography at restaurants, arguing that it ruins the enjoyment of the food and often the integrity of the dish. Other, more extreme arguments against food photography have surfaced in the last year or two: In 2012, television health nag Dr. Oz suggested (pretty unconvincingly) that looking at food porn makes you fat and last year a Canadian study suggested that food photography could be a sign of mental illness. On the flip side, many restaurant actually encourage diners to photograph their food, on the ground that it offers free, positive publicity.