Whether you like to admit it or not, Instagram probably had a huge role to play in your favorite restaurant. In just a few years, the feeble Edison bulbs and dark, reclaimed barnwood that lined every trendy joint have been replaced by white walls and anything else that can make a menu pop within the confines of a square, Clarendon-filtered photo. And in an era when a diner with enough followers has more pull than Pete Wells himself, it's hard to blame a restaurant for catering to the social media savvy.
But the photo app we can't stop checking before going to bed is now making its way into the culinary school curriculum. Starting in May, the Culinary Institute of America will begin offering elective courses in food photography and styling to help its students create more hashtag-worthy dishes, The New York Times reports.
The classes will ditch teaching enrolled students Escoffier's five mother sauces and instead show them the basics of composing a photo-ready dish, working with various types of natural lighting and cooking with the photographer in mind. (According to the NY Times, this might mean purposely scorching vegetables so they stand out more, or undercooking meats so they turn out more luscious under the limelight.)
As frivolous as these classes may seem, they're a response to the fact that fewer students are choosing to become professional line cooks once they leave culinary school. (The Institute of Culinary Education has already been offering similar food-styling courses.) And even for those who decide to make their way up a rigorous kitchen hierarchy, their ability to come up with Instagrammable dishes might be the only thing that draws customers through the front door.
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