Many chefs, and rightly so, consider themselvesartists. Not only are they creative and detail-oriented in their food creations, but they often plate them in artistic ways. And then…two minutes later these gastro-masterpieces are consurmed by appreciative consumers.
Thus, a blossoming trend has started where some chefs are photographing their latest chef-d'oeuvre. As reported by the Guardian: The Michelin-starred Julien Burlat of the Dome, in Antwerp, for example, who has devised a mini-photographic studio to sit at the "pass" – the birth-canal by which dishes leave a restaurant kitchen to make their brief way in the big world. There, the camera takes bird's eye views of his work for posterity and his database.
As a food photographer, this new trend immediately makes me start thinking about the logistics of this. Food must be delivered to the awaiting table, so how does the chef handle this immortalization? How do chefs combine utility and function for their endeavor? Do they use a point and shoot camera or an SLR mounted to the ceiling of the kitchen? Was a photo consultant brought in to address issues lighting?
It also raises practical questions: Are kitchens and restaurants now employing photographers or digital asset managers to organize and file all of these photos? Being a bit of a geek when it comes to organizing and automating systems, this concept intrigues me. I actually think it’s brilliant! It’ll be interesting to see if it catches on with other chefs in restaurants with high volumes of food coming out.
Photo Dome Restaurant, Antwerp