Instagram is a way to gain instant reviews of new dishes
"When we release a new dish we can always check out our social media the day after to see who posted a picture, what people are saying about it. It's great information. It's direct feedback from the customer. It's information you wouldn't be able to get, otherwise," says Fabian von Hauske, the young Owner/chef at Contra and Wildair -- two hot, hot NYC eateries.
Chefs now consider the impact their creations will have on social media when workshopping new dishes
"Chefs have been trying to make their food look good for centuries, and that hasn't changed," Stachon told me. "But there is definitely more of a focus on food in our culture these days -- and I think Instagram plays into that, and makes it even more important."
"When I'm designing a dish, one of the first things I ask myself is: how is this going to look? How would it look in a picture?" Shelton said. "Everyday people who might not consider themselves foodies are becoming passionate and caring about pictures of food, so there is definitely an added importance on the way things look -- now, more than ever."
Megan Pohoff, Executive Pastry Chef at WP24 by Wolfgang Puck who's known for creative, gorgeous looking confections, acknowledged that a beautiful dessert will inevitably gain more attention that a plainer dish, even if it's not as tasty. "Taste is always the most important thing, no question -- but making a beautiful plate is a big deal, too. You want to make these plates eye-catching, and photo worthy, for sure. You want to make a dessert so beautiful, people don't even want to eat it."
"The Instagram culture definitely plays into the way people make food now -- designing dishes, you have to keep these things in mind. Does this look good? Will this make a great picture? It's not our only concern, but you can't say it doesn't cross our minds when we make a new pizza," said Laura Meyer, Head Chef and Pizza Maker at Tony's Pizza Napoletana. "Eating a dish and having a photo go hand-in-hand these days."