The Fine Art of Food Blogging

June 09, 2010

Sitting down to a fine-dining restaurant experience just isn’t the same anymore.

Sitting down to a fine-dining restaurant experience just isn’t the same anymore. Professional (and some not-so-professional) food bloggers are taking the joy out of the relaxing restaurant experience for both the diners and chefs by placing meals on hold as they photograph plates, write snippets of notes, and prepare their missives for the World Wide Web.

The Web has taken over as a resource for word-of-mouth recommendations for just about everything from buying groceries to hotel and restaurant recommendations. And while this 24/7 resource has improved the consumer shopping experience and changed the way most retailers do business, it’s also eroding a tactile, fulfilling dining experience.

While there are fabulously professional bloggers in play presently, there are others who undermine a delicious meal with unprofessional photography, poor journalism skills and a basic lack of culinary knowledge.

The Web makes it simple for Everyman to suddenly become a food critic. We can’t prohibit these amateur posts, but we can at least demand that bloggers respect the chef and take quality photos. There is a reason restaurants use food stylists to showcase their food properly for photography. It takes skill to make a photograph look as delicious as the food itself.

Most chefs would like to tell these bloggers to put down the camera and experience the moment; to partake, not just of the food, but also the thought they had when designing their restaurant and their menus.

So, we’ll say it for them. Put down the camera. Stop asking your neighbor to hold up their plate. Relax. Be in the moment and enjoy the experience of dining. It is an essential element of the food that is being ignored.

If you can’t do that — honor the food and the presentation — then you don’t need to be blogging.

Surfing the Web recently, we discovered the Food Blogger Alliance, which presents important food blogging information such as how to track stats with Google analytics, typos and writing an ‘About’ page, among other topics. A search for etiquette and blogging rules left us with nothing on our plates. Another surfing attempt was to Google the phrase ‘food blog etiquette,’ which led to a site encouraging feedback to food bloggers while defining the proper etiquette in communicating with said bloggers.

It would appear there are plenty of rules established for how the public should communicate with the bloggers themselves, but nothing to establishing guidelines for this form of communication. So, we decided to create our own rules. If you must be a food blogger, please follow some simple, gracious rules:

1. Take photos quickly
2. Two photos per dish at the limit
3. Don’t post your photos if they don’t do the plate justice
4. Do not intrude on your neighbor’s meal
5. Remember, a major element of the plate is the experience, so do enjoy it