Friday, December 6, 2013
If you consider that age old phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words,” then one must read the New York Times article, “Restaurants Turn Camera Shy, ” which chronicles a social phenomenon taking place in the trendy dining halls of Manhattan.
Unfolding is an epidemic of culinary shutterbugs photographing everything they eat to the consternation of their fellow diners and chefs.
These are not professional food critics but rather fearless photo chroniclers. With a battery of iPhones, for example, at Thomas Keller’s Per Se--“Flashes were going off left and right, bouncing off the expansive windows overlooking Columbus Circle,” according to the Times expose.”
It goes on to describe that nothing is left unrecorded. From a food obsessive’s passion for refulgent bowls of ramen to the vicissitudes of foie gras shavings—all get their moment in front of the lens.
If only Bette Davis’s Margo Channing were around to admonish with her immortal line, “Remind me to tell you about the time I looked into the heart of an artichoke.”
Portland has been spared all this at our version of high-profile eateries. But for someone like me who dines out and writes about it, I’m never without my little point-and-shoot to record the moment.
Portland's happiest bartender
No one has ever complained, noticed or cared. And I don’t feel self-conscious about it in the least--except when I zoom in for a candid shot of diners in the act. In New York where everyone thinks they’re a bold-face name, I’d be given the heave-ho if I didn’t have a release form.
I thought the Times article should have shown us a few photos of their pilloried subjects. Instead, I'll supply some of my own snapshots stored in my Photoshop file--stolen moments of food, diners and other vignettes of doing what comes naturally..
A old friend, the Baroness Gabriella Langer von Langendorff, out on the town in her famous emeralds, has never been to Portland
Food maverick, Anthony Bourdain, pontificating at Merrill Auditorium, Portland, 2011
Portland advertising honcho, Brenda Garrand (center), at New Year's Eve celebration , Carmen at the Danforth, 2012
Mother and daughter listienng to carolers at 555's Christmas Eve dinner, 2012
It was the quality of the meat I wanted to show--not the teeth marks!
Milk or cream in your coffee?
Footwear for organic farming (North Haven Island)
Vertical food then in vogue at the Chebeague Island Inn, 2004
At $29.95 there should have been two of these
Praying for a good meal?
Flower power at Petite Jacqueline
Tete-a-tete at the Fore Street bar
Name that Portland real estate mogul (the one with a pen in his shirt pocket)
Chef Larry Matthews really does shop at the farmer's market
Served as is at Moody's Diner
That ole fish: is it dead or alive?
The last straw: tiltin' roast fowl (chicken, quail, guinea hen?)--I needed a knife!
John Golden has written about food, dining and lifestyle subjects for Downeast magazine, the Boston Globe, Cottages and Gardens magazine, Gourmet magazine, Cuisine magazine, the New York Times and the New York Post.
In his highly opinionated blog, John reports on his experiences dining out all over Maine and his visits with food personalities, farmers and farmers’ markets throughout the state.