Leave it to Anthony Bourdain to give us such classics as the infamous “Kitchen Confidential”, “A Cook’s Tour”, and now “No Reservations”.  And yet, he’s able to give us more than a dream, the dream of eating and traveling.  He’s given us, “Food Porn”.  “Food Porn” are two episodes from his acclaimed “No Reservations” show that basically specializes in money “shots”, video stills, of mouth watering and finger licking shots of beautiful foods.  You get the picture [so to speak].  I’d like to think that he’s also satirizing people like me who use to take pictures of their food before we eat.

I’ve read a lot of food blogs out there.  While I can attest that many of the blogs are quite good, I am now feeling deflated about taking pictures of food, preferably before eating, during a single 3 [or more] course meal.  On a recent trip to New York, I had to ask myself, “Why do I take pictures of food, even if only to innocently share them on the internet?” There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking pictures of food, especially if you are a professional photographer, chef, cook, or pretty much make your living from the food industry.  I call that, livelihood.  But for us amateurs who just want to enjoy ourselves, what gives?

I recently read that many chefs would scoff, no, would puke at the thought of diners taking pictures of their food like they’re Ansel Adams.  Different angles, different lighting.  Chefs can be a short fused bunch I hear, and it would be no surprise to me that if they were to ever see me take pictures of their food, they would come storming out of the kitchen and say, “Just eat the f-ing thing, will ya!!!!”

More than just my fear of cooks/chefs, is my respect for food and those in the food service industry.  I don’t have to take pictures of every single damn course at a Daniel Boulud restaurant to be tickled pink that I am about to have an amazing dining experience.  Even though the old saying is a picture is worth a thousand words, what they don’t tell you is that pictures are, at best, 2-dimensional.  You can see it, but you can’t experience it.  And in dining, it’s about the experience and the memories it either creates or illicits.  So, during our short trip to New York and hereon moving forward, you will no longer see “food porn” shots from me.  It’s a good thing really.  I’m just a guy who loves to experience food at its finest and sometimes, not so finest.  And to take pictures of it seem to cheapen that experience by giving a blow-by-blow like I’m a boxing announcer [“And here comes the appetizer…holy smokes!!!!”.  We need to start using our imagination more, especially when everything isn’t explained to death.  So, just imagine what I’m writing as something that would take you into that dining experience.  It won’t be the same, but then again, that’s a good thing.