His face appears on TV, billboards and supermarket branding. Still, Heston Blumenthal thinks cameras should stay out of his restaurants’ dining rooms.
“I would prefer if they [diners] didn’t take any photos and just enjoyed themselves at the table, and certainly not take them throughout the whole meal,” says the celebrity chef.
Speaking with news.com.au while in Melbourne to shoot a few episodes of MasterChef, Blumenthal says taking pictures detracts from the dining experience.
“Sometimes people take pictures from the moment they get somewhere and the camera disengages them from the emotion of being in the environment and the moment, as opposed to taking in the atmosphere, smelling, seeing, hearing, touching, feeling, all of those senses.
“I think flashes in a restaurant at night time is just not on because it’s not fair on the other diners,” he continues. “And also … who knows, if somebody takes a picture, somebody on the next table is sitting there with someone they shouldn't be sitting there with, it’s an invasion of privacy on the person.”
Which raises a question about just how often The Fat Duck is used as a destination for extramarital rendezvous and transfers of cash-filled briefcases.
Needless to say, Blumenthal is adamant he doesn’t take any photos of meals himself while dining out. “I never have done. For me, the memory of it is in my head.”
That may work for him, but as a chef with some of the most Instagrammed dishes in the world (#thefatduck currently has 8427 posts, and #meatfruit alone has 3762 posts) –it’s probably not worth biting the hand that Instagrams you.