Plenty of restauranteurs complain about diners who seem more focused on photographing their food with their smartphones than on eating, but one elite Tel Aviv restaurant is embracing the trend, with dishes specially designed in order to enable you to get the best shot.
Celebrity chef Meir Adoni's Catit partnered with Carmel Winery to launch a project called Foodography, commissioning ceramics artist Adi Nissani to design plates that would help diners photograph their food in the most flattering way.
The project, which had more or less flown under the radar within the Israeli food scene, sparked a wave of international attention over the past few days.
The various plates have a slot to support a smartphone in the front. One plate, named The Limbo, is L-shaped: The food sits on a dark surface that rises into a gently sloping backdrop. Another plate, named the 360, sits on a miniature lazy susan in order to enable diners to photograph its contents from the most flattering angle.
The project is designed as a workshop. For a cool 599 shekels ($155), participants dine on a lunch including menu items such as organic duck breast with maple dim sum, pickled pumpkin, coal-grilled wild mushrooms and licorice cream; and goose breast parfait with crispy wine-plum leather, raspberries and orchids. The meal will be accompanied by a lesson in cell-phone food photography, which the project deems "the first of its kind in the world," delivered by Israeli food photographer Dan Perez, whose photography appears in Haaretz, among others.
A photo posted by carmel winery (@carmelwinery) on May 3, 2015 at 8:02am PDT
The next workshop is scheduled for June.
The workshops launched in February and received minimal attention in the local Israeli press - all of two articles.
Over the past week, however, the story gained was picked up by major publications around the world, including BuzzFeed, Eater, Mashable, Cosmopolitan and The Independent. "Over the last week, the Foodography project received exceptional interest and attention around the world and nearly every respected magazine, blog or site in the field of food wrote about it," Perez stated on his Facebook page.
Adoni runs four of Tel Aviv's most elite restaurants: Catit, Hamizlala, the kosher Blue Sky and Lumina.