February 2015 Newsletter

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Newsletter | 0 comments


I was asking around about what I should write for this month’s Rubber Band. The word “temptation” was mentioned several times. I don’t know whether it was a hint for a Valentine’s Day theme or because I have been really hungry and everything has seemed tempting to me. I have been on another cleanse program to support my family members who are trying to go through their annual reinvention, and it’s been ten days now. I can tell you that all of this so-called “food porn” advertising on social media and TV can really make you look differently at the cheeseburger. This trend in advertising aims to plant a seductive and provocative image in your mind until you eventually are tempted to throw down the “green juice” for the sake of a ten-ounce patty of beef with bacon. Did I forget to tell you that the grilled onions, mayonnaise and slice of foie gras are really playing with my emotions? If you want to experience that firsthand, check out the bar menu at one of my favorite top-fifty Chicago restaurants, NAHA. Chef Carrie Nahabedian is a James Beard Award winner, and her restaurant is Michelin Star rated. The foie gras may not be on the menu, but I bet you could ask. She was one of my mentors years ago and taught me about adding luxury to food. The goal is to create temptation in your food so that people get sucked in.

Over the past several years, there has been a trend in the restaurant industry to reevaluate the use of photography on menus, advertising and print media. Domino’s was the first major company to end its relationship with a food stylist. The company was highly concerned that the manipulation of food under the camera to make it appear seductive was counterproductive to consumer satisfaction. How many times have you gone to a fast food establishment or ordered a pizza, opened the box and found that what you got looked nothing like what you expected? Check out the social media phenomenon of customers going into the QSR chains and asking employees to remake their food so that it looks like the picture that was advertised. The stylist wants to make the food look tempting and stimulate your brain to spur your temptation, but is that really the food being produced in those kitchens? In another article, about kitchen design, I recently discussed how we need to consider including a small section of the kitchen line with the correct lighting so that chefs can take pictures of their food as it comes off the line-an instant opportunity for them to hit the internet to seduce their next table of guests.

February Newsletter 2015

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