Instagrammers at the table don’t make a pretty picture
Food is a hit on Instagram — of that, there is no dispute. Some people’s feeds (what an apt name, when you think about it) are devoted to what they are devouring, or about to, given that food needs to be photographed these days before making it onto cutlery or chopsticks. At a restaurant in Hong Kong last year the server who had just placed the first of many degustation dishes on our table stood back and clapped his hands. “Before I describe what you are about to eat, I will give you one minute, tops, to photograph it. Ready, set, go!”
Oh dear. But at least none of our group stood on their chair to snap an aerial angle, which seems to be de rigueur with the more enthusiastic food bloggers and Instagrammers. The protocols are a minefield. Should all those seated at table wait until the photographers have finished or just hoe straight in lest hot food get cool or cold dishes start to congeal? I reckon it is every diner for themselves and hang the idea of good manners. If you wait for the snapper to finish, then fiddle with apps and filters, and post the pic to their adoring followers (“Great catch!”; “Good capture!”), then it could be time for breakfast. And forget a conversation during the repast, as said foodie will be in a mebubble and the meal will be spent counting likes and comments.
Many of this ilk don’t seem to like eating, which is a shame, especially where Tasmanian oysters are concerned. These little shuckers were snapped last week at Saffire Freycinet, the brilliant lodge at Coles Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula. Saffire’s executive chef Hugh Whitehouse and head chef Simon Pockran source the Pacifics from Freycinet Marine Oyster Farm just down the country road and guests can join an excursion to don waders and get among the cages in a clear green estuary, learn about oyster lore and legend and, importantly, the agility involved in successfully opening the shells.
Although I ate my approximate body weight in oysters during my two-night stay, I was up for more. As I farewelled the exuberant Whitehouse and prepared for the drive to Hobart, little did he know I had Barilla Bay in my sights. This oyster farm is next to the airport and you can buy plane-ready packs to take home. The staff pop the oysters among frozen ice pillows and seal in a polystyrene box. Voila, a dozen for $11.90, and so cheap that to buy less than two dozen seems impolite. Five hours later and I served the delicious mouthfuls for last Friday night’s dinner in front of telly. Picture perfect.
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